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House of Commons Hansard #171 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was water.

Topics

Controlled Drugs and Substances ActPrivate Members' Business

6 p.m.

Conservative

Bev Shipley Conservative Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to support my colleague, the member for Peace River, on his great bill, Bill C-428.

Crystal meth use and production is a serious and growing problem in Canada. Unfortunately, regardless of where we are living in this great country of Canada, we are starting to see the effects of it in all of our communities.

My riding of Lambton—Kent—Middlesex is in southwestern Ontario. It is a rural riding, made up of small towns and mostly agriculture. Yet, as much as we have been able to control the use of it, we know that it infiltrates and it impacts our youth within our communities across the country.

As encountered in some of the United States, a rise of crystal meth use in Canada has been accompanied by an increase in related health problems and death among its users. The resulting emotional, financial and social costs are enormous.

I will look at four different areas: first, health effects; second, law enforcement; third, production; and, finally, the effect that it has on our communities.

First, the health effects of crystal, even taken in small amounts, can result in increased wakefulness and physical activity, decreased appetite, increased respiration and heart rate, irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure and hypothermia. Other effects of crystal meth abuse may include anxiety, insomnia, confusion, tremors, convulsions, cardiovascular collapse and in some cases even death.

The long term effects, because this is not only about what happens the day people take this product into their system, include paranoia, aggressiveness, extreme anorexia, memory loss, visual and auditory hallucinations, delusions and serious dental problems.

A few months ago my local newspaper printed a picture of a very attractive young lady. A picture of the same lady a few years later showed the visual effects of what intense drug use had done to that beautiful woman, not only to her facial features but her teeth and all the things that go with it. It was unbelievable that it had such detrimental effects.

Also, the transmission of HIV and hepatitis B and C can be a consequence of crystal meth abuse. Among abusers who inject the drug, infection with HIV and other infectious diseases is spread mainly through the use of contaminated syringes, needles and other injection equipment by more than one person.

Crystal meth abuse may worsen the progression of HIV and its consequences. Studies with meth abusers who have HIV indicate that the HIV causes greater neuronal injury and cognitive impairment compared to HIV-positive people who do not use this drug.

The intoxicating effects of crystal meth, however, whether it is injected or take in other ways, can alter judgment and inhibition and lead people to engage in unsafe and unpredictable behaviours.

The quality of life among users and dealers of crystal meth is greatly diminished. Addicts and dealers may experience dissolution of relationships, social isolation, altered personality, difficulty with academics, loss of employment, involvement in crime, drug-related psychosis and brain damage and health risk behaviours, including risky sexual encounters and declining physical fitness. Furthermore, individuals may not be motivated to seek help as meth users seemingly can create unbelievably high levels of energy and productivity.

I want to switch now for a minute about the legal part and the law enforcement of it. We continually hear police report increased levels of crime in communities where crystal meth is prevalent. We read in the paper about deaths. High speed pursuits, property crimes and identity thefts are associated with meth use. Many of these crimes are committed in pursuit of funds to sustain their consumption.

However, some crimes appear to be as a result of the state of the meth user after consuming the drug. Then once they have consumed the drug, they get involved in dangerous driving, vandalism, assault and threatening behaviour, usually against the most innocent people.

Police frequently report that the illicit drug use, trafficking and production are associated with violence and offences using firearms. Meth use is linked to an increased tendency to commit violent crimes, both because of the need to support the habit and as a result the cognitive changes that result in an individual from consuming these drugs.

Disorderly and disruptive behaviour by meth users have been a concern to communities, which report that the quality of life has decreased as the number of users increase. As noted earlier, meth users are likely to be erratic, paranoid, aggressive, brazen, energetic and then worst of all violent.

How does this stuff come about? How do we make it? What happens? Is it only these large labs? Does it happen at home? My understanding is meth recipes are, unfortunately, easy to obtain from cooks and other resources, including the Internet. There are many non-essential chemicals that can be used interchangeably to produce meth. These include acids, bases and solvents. These are all dangerous chemicals unless handled in a proper fashion.

It amazes me when I look at the bottles and containers this stuff comes in, which these cooks put together to make crystal meth, why anyone would ever want to go down that road of injecting these poisons into their bodies.

There are two different types of clandestine drug labs. One is the economic based labs or the super labs which are large, highly organized and can produce a few hundred grams to 50 kilograms in one production cycle. The other type is the small labs often referred to, as we do with many things, as the mom and pop type or the addiction based labs. These labs generally manufacture small amounts, one to four ounces of meth per production cycle. These operators typically produce enough drugs for themselves and some of their close associates and then have enough money left over to sustain their habit.

One of the problems associated with meth labs is the difficulty in detecting where these labs are located. Therefore, the number of labs already detected in Canada may not accurately reflect the existing problem that is out there.

I will talk about our communities for a minute. Meth labs use and production also have a major social impact on our communities. They can become vulnerable to petty crime, social disorder, risk of health, increase in violence, large scale labs and drug trafficking. Meth labs also pose serious public safety and health hazards to those in and around production operations. They produce environmental hazards, toxic fumes and from to time the potential for explosions.

In wrapping up, staff and students in schools may face users with behavioural problems, classroom disruptions, absenteeism, negative peer influence and, once again, possible contamination and the stress of having insufficient resources known to handle these issues because of the drug.

I cannot say enough about my concern as a parent, and now a grandparent, of what happens when our young people and professional people get involved in this. Therefore, I thank my colleague, the member for Peace River for bringing this forward. I know each and every one of us in the House will support it.

I thank my colleague from Peace River for bringing this bill forward. I know that each and every one of us across this House will support it.

Controlled Drugs and Substances ActPrivate Members' Business

6:10 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to complete the debate. I appreciate the many people who support it and who spoke on the bill thus far. I hear the support coming from the benches and I do appreciate it.

It has been interesting to bring this bill forward. I would like to thank the members who have shown up for the debate. I also want to indicate my thanks to members across party lines who have indicated their support for this bill. I would like to say a few things on that. The show of bipartisan support is not only support for this bill, but it is bipartisan support for our communities and young people who might otherwise become addicted to crystal meth or methamphetamines. I want to thank each member who plans to vote in favour of sending this bill to committee. We will work to make that happen.

We have had a number of discussions this evening. People have spoken about the effects of addiction and the effects of crystal meth. I want to reiterate a couple of things, specifically the importance that we tackle crystal meth for the one particular reason that it is so addictive. So many experts that I have spoken to over the length of time I have taken to research this have spoken about the addictive qualities of crystal meth and the fact that it only takes one time and many people are addicted for life. It is dangerous and it needs to be brought to our attention. We let these things happen in the shadows of our communities, but it takes people like us, members in this House, to stand up and say we are not going to let these things continue on and destroy the communities we live in.

We have heard tonight that these drugs, crystal meth or methamphetamines, are being mixed with other drugs. When young people and others buy illegal drugs, what they think are less addictive drugs, they may also be ingesting crystal meth or methamphetamines. Of course, that addictive quality is going to drive them to become addicted in a much faster way to the other drugs that they are taking.

I want to take a couple of moments to mention the front line workers who are affected by crystal meth every day. I want to thank them for their support and their work on the front lines. I want to thank the police officers for their work. They work with people who are addicted to crystal meth. They fight the good fight every day. I thank them.

I want to thank the medical workers and paramedics who see the impacts of crystal meth on a daily basis. I want to thank the addiction counsellors who work so hard. Often it is a losing battle with crystal meth users because it is such an addictive drug. Many people remain addicted even though they may go through counselling. It is very difficult for addiction counsellors to continue their work, but I would like to thank them for their continued service.

I would like to thank the teachers who see the impact on their students. I would also like to thank the parents, the children, the grandparents, the families who are so often affected. What got me started with this issue is the impact it has on communities and on families. We want to prevent this from affecting any other family. If we can save one family from the pain that I have seen in my community, if we can save one individual from being impacted by the detrimental effects of crystal meth, then we have done something great.

I know there is work that needs to happen on this bill. Together as we work in committee we can figure out how we want to deal with it to ensure that the people who are producing crystal meth are gone after. We can do that in committee. I urge all members to support not only this bill, but support the communities they live in and the young people who might otherwise be impacted by this drug.

Controlled Drugs and Substances ActPrivate Members' Business

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Is the House ready for the question?

Controlled Drugs and Substances ActPrivate Members' Business

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Question.

Controlled Drugs and Substances ActPrivate Members' Business

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Controlled Drugs and Substances ActPrivate Members' Business

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Controlled Drugs and Substances ActPrivate Members' Business

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I declare the motion carried. Accordingly, the bill stands referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

(Motion agreed to, bill read the second time and referred to a committee)

Controlled Drugs and Substances ActPrivate Members' Business

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. There are some extraordinary powers that Parliament possesses and I would like to now call upon Parliament to exercise one of those powers.

If you seek it, I think you will find unanimous consent to see the clock at 6:30 p.m.

Controlled Drugs and Substances ActPrivate Members' Business

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Is there unanimous consent to see the clock at 6:30 p.m.?

Controlled Drugs and Substances ActPrivate Members' Business

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of the HousePrivate Members' Business

June 14th, 2007 / 6:15 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order to present a motion:

That, notwithstanding any standing or special order, the ordinary hour of daily adjournment today shall be when debate on C-42 and C-58 has been completed, or 9:00 p.m., whichever comes first; and the debate pursuant to Standing Order 52 be limited to three hours.

There have been discussions among the parties, and if you seek it, I think you would find that there is unanimous consent to adopt this motion.

Business of the HousePrivate Members' Business

6:15 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have no objection to the order put forward, I just would like to clarify that the two government bills that will be dealt with are Bill C-42 and Bill C-58, and when they are completed, or at 9 p.m., whichever comes first, we would go directly to the emergency debate.

Business of the HousePrivate Members' Business

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is an excellent and almost literal translation of the motion and I thank the member for understanding my French so well.

Business of the HousePrivate Members' Business

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Does the government House leader have the unanimous consent of the House to present the motion?

Business of the HousePrivate Members' Business

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of the HousePrivate Members' Business

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Business of the HousePrivate Members' Business

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of the HousePrivate Members' Business

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

(Motion agreed to)

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-42, An Act to amend the Quarantine Act, be read the third time and passed.

Quarantine ActGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Is the House ready for the question?

Quarantine ActGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Question.

Quarantine ActGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Quarantine ActGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Quarantine ActGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

(Motion agreed to, bill read the third time and passed)

Canada Transportation ActGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

moved that Bill C-58, An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act (railway transportation), be read the second time and referred to a committee.