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House of Commons Hansard #68 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sentence.

Topics

Question No. 140Questions on the Order paperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

With respect to rare diseases and disorders: (a) what has the government done to work with the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health to carry out the recommendations in the 2007 Common Drug Review and work with its provincial and territorial Common Drug Review counterparts to establish a specifically designed approach for the review of drugs for rare disorders and for first-in-class drugs; (b) what is the government doing to follow up on the commitment to a national program for drugs and patients with rare disorders resulting from the 2005 pledge by the Minister of Health to consider the creation of an Expensive Drugs for Rare Disorders Program, and after the Health Council of Canada called for the government to re-engage on a national program for expensive drugs with rare diseases; and (c) what has the government done with regards to the recommendations contained in motion M-426 (rare diseases and disorders), which was passed during the 2nd Session of the 39th Parliament?

Question No. 140Questions on the Order paperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, in regard to a) As stated in the government response to the committee's report, response tabled in the House of Commons on April 8, 2008, “the Government of Canada supports the idea of exploring options to increase the adaptability of the [Common Drug Review (CDR)] for all types of drugs, including drugs used to treat special populations such as those suffering from rare diseases. [...] The Government of Canada is interested in pursuing discussions with CADTH (Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health), participating provincial and territorial governments, and other stakeholders, on suitable approaches to assessing drugs to treat rare diseases.”

The federal government continues to discuss issues related to the CDR with provincial and territorial partners via participation on the CADTH Board of Directors, composed of representatives from participating provinces and territories as well as the federal government, and the CADTH’s Advisory Committee on Pharmaceuticals, composed of representatives from federal, provincial and territorial publicly funded drug plans, and health-related organizations. Through these activities, the federal government works to ensure the CDR continues to make a valuable contribution to the healthcare system, and that its process works well for all drugs, including those for rare diseases.

In regard to b) Under the National Pharmaceuticals Strategy, NPS, the federal government pursued work with provincial and territorial partners to develop a Canadian approach to expensive drugs for rare diseases. However, since the 2006 NPS progress report, collaborative work on a federal, provincial, and territorial approach has stalled, as the provinces and territories chose pursuit of new federal funding over meaningful collaboration on national approaches. In addition, some provinces, Alberta and Ontario, have moved forward with their own programs specifically designed for drugs for rare diseases.

The federal government remains interested in collaborative approaches to improve pharmaceuticals management. However, such work must respect jurisdictional roles and responsibilities. Prescription drugs provided outside of hospital are outside of the scope of the Canada Health Act and hence, provincial and territorial governments determine whether, and under what terms and conditions, to publicly finance prescription drugs, including drugs for rare diseases.

In regard to c) Initial analysis on Motion No. 426 was undertaken after it was adopted in May 2008 and before Parliament was dissolved. The government continues to consider the issue of drugs for rare diseases and the need, if any, for action in areas of federal responsibility. Further work in this area will require the active engagement of provinces and territories, who, as noted above, have primary responsibility for drug coverage.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, if Questions Nos. 124, 125 and 139 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 124Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

With regards to the New Horizons for Seniors program: (a) to which projects and to which organizations has funding been allocated from this program; (b) what is the amount pledged for each project; (c) on which dates were the funding decisions made for each project funded by the program; (d) what are the names of each federal riding that received funding from the program; and (e) what is the total for each project?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 125Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

With respect to the Building Canada Plan (2007-2014): (a) under the Building Canada Fund, (i) what projects have been approved for funding to date, (ii) where are they located, (iii) who are the partners involved, (iv) what is the federal contribution, (v) what are each partner's contribution, (vi) has the funding flowed; (b) under the Public-Private Partnerships Fund, (i) what projects have been approved for funding to date, (ii) where are they located, (iii) who are the partners involved, (iv) what is the federal contribution, (v) what are each partner's contribution, (vi) has the funding flowed; (c) under the Gateways and Border Crossings Fund, (i) what projects have been approved for funding to date, (ii) where are they located, (iii) who are the partners involved, (iv) what is the federal contribution, (v) what are each partner's contribution, (vi) has the funding flowed; (d) under the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative, (i) what projects have been approved for funding to date, (ii) where are they located, (iii) who are the partners involved, (iv) what is the federal contribution, (v) what are each partner's contribution, (vi) has the funding flowed; and (e) under the Provincial-Territorial Base Funding, (i) what projects have been approved for funding to date, (ii) where are they located, (iii) who are the partners involved, (iv) what is the federal contribution, (v) what are each partner's contribution, (vi) has the funding flowed?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 139Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

With respect to science and research, what is the government's strategy: (a) for funding health research to prevent a brain drain of qualified researchers to the United States; (b) to ensure there is increased funding for Canada’s granting councils; and (c) to ensure scientific integrity in federal policy making?

(Return tabled)

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Controlled Drugs and Substances ActGovernment Orders

June 4th, 2009 / 10:15 a.m.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Conservative Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon, BC

Controlled Drugs and Substances ActGovernment Orders

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

Brent Rathgeber Conservative Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to begin the debate at third reading of Bill C-15, An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts.

I am pleased to note that this bill was adopted by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights of which I am a member. I would like to point out to the House that the bill was amended in committee and that most of the amendments were proposed by members of the Bloc Québécois and members of the NDP. I am pleased to see that these members worked hard and were able to submit constructive amendments to the bill, amendments which were adopted by the committee.

The Government of Canada recognizes that serious drug crimes including marijuana grow operations and clandestine methamphetamine labs continue to pose a threat to the safety of our streets and our communities. Bill C-15 is part of our strategy to address this problem. The bill proposes amendments to strengthen the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act provisions regarding penalties for serious drug offences by ensuring that these types of offences are punished by an imposition of mandatory minimum penalties. With these amendments we are demonstrating our commitment to improving the safety and security of communities across Canada from coast to coast to coast.

During its review of the bill, the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights heard from the Minister of Justice, government officials, including officials from the Department of Justice, and a range of stakeholders, including representatives from law enforcement. The bill was supported by law enforcement representatives who testified and by various other stakeholders, although the bill was not supported universally, as I am sure my friends from the opposition will point out.

As has been mentioned before, the government acknowledges that not all drug offenders and drug trades pose the same risk of danger and violence. Bill C-15 recognizes this. That is why what is being proposed in this bill is a focused and targeted approach. Accordingly, the new penalties will not apply to possession offences, nor will they apply to offences involving all types of drugs. The bill focuses on the more serious drug offences and the most serious drugs are targeted. Overall, the proposals represent a tailored approach to the imposition of mandatory minimum penalties for serious drug offences, such as trafficking, importation, exportation and production.

For schedule 1 drugs, that is, for drugs such as heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, the bill proposes a one year minimum for the offence of trafficking or possession for the purpose of trafficking in the presence of certain aggravating factors.

The aggravating factors would be that the offence is committed for the benefit of, or at the direction of, or in association with organized crime; or the offence involved violence or threat of violence, or weapons or threat of use of weapons; or the offence is committed by someone who was convicted in the previous 10 years of a designated drug offence. Moreover, if youth are present or the offence occurs in a prison, the minimum sentence is increased to two years' imprisonment.

In the case of importing, exporting and possession for the purposes of exporting, the minimum penalty is one year if these offences are committed for the purposes of trafficking.

I should point out that this part of the bill was amended in committee by the government so that an offender who commits one of these offences and abuses his authority or his position, or if the offender has access to a restricted area and uses that access to commit a crime, a one year minimum penalty will be imposed. Moreover, the penalty will be raised to two years if these offences involve more than one kilogram of a schedule 1 drug.

A minimum of two years is provided for a production offence involving a schedule 1 drug. The minimum sentence for production of a schedule 1 drug increases to three years where aggravating factors relating to health and safety are present. These factors are: if the individual used real property that belonged to a third person to commit the offence; or if the production constituted a potential security, health or safety hazard to children who are in the location where the offence was committed, or in the immediate area thereof; or if the production constituted a potential public safety hazard in a residential area; or if the individual placed or set a trap.

For schedule 2 drugs, somewhat softer drugs such as marijuana and cannabis resin, the proposed mandatory minimum penalty for trafficking and possession for the purpose of trafficking is one year if certain aggravating factors such as violence, recidivism, or organized crime are present. If factors such as trafficking to youth are present, the minimum sentence, quite appropriately, is increased to two years.

For the offence of importing or exporting and possession for the purpose of exporting marijuana, the minimum penalty would be one year imprisonment if the offence is committed for the purpose of trafficking. The government amendment mentioned above would also apply for an offender who abuses his authority, position or access to a restricted area in committing the offence, and he would also receive the minimum one-year penalty.

For the offence of marijuana production, the bill as amended proposes mandatory penalties based on the number of plants involved. For the production of 5 to 200 plants, if the plants are cultivated for the purposes of trafficking, the penalty would be 6 months. The minimum number of plants was raised to five plants from one plant as a result of an amendment that was proposed and vigorously debated at committee.

For the production of 201 to 500 plants, the minimum mandatory sentence would be one year; for the production of more than 500 plants, it would be two years; and, finally, for the production of cannabis resin for the purpose of trafficking, it would be a minimum jail sentence of one year.

The minimum sentences for the production of Schedule II drugs would be increased by 50% where any of the aggravating factors relating to health and safety that I have just described are present.

The maximum penalty for producing marijuana would be doubled from 7 to 14 years' imprisonment.

Amphetamines, as well as the so-called date rape drugs such as GHB and Rohypnol, would be transferred from Schedule III to Schedule I, and would thereby allow the courts to impose higher maximum penalties for offences involving these all too common drugs where unsuspecting victims are subjected to date rape.

The bill, as further amended in committee, would give the courts the discretion to impose a penalty other than the mandatory minimum on a serious drug offender who has successfully completed a court treatment program. I submit that this diversionary tactic is one of the strengths of the bill, and I know this is universally supported by the members of the committee.

Last, I should point out that the bill was amended to add a new section to the act. Proposed section 8.1 would require that a parliamentary committee undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operations of the bill two years after it comes into force.

To conclude, I am pleased that Bill C-15 has been thoroughly examined and rigorously debated by the justice committee and that we are rapidly approaching our goal of seeing this legislation passed into law. The bill was amended in committee, both by government members and by members of the opposition, and in my view these amendments are in keeping with the spirit of this bill and consistent with its objectives.

Bill C-15 is part of the government's continued commitment to take steps to protect Canadians and to make our streets and communities safer. We hear time and time again from our constituents that Canadians want a justice system with clear and strong laws that denounce and deter serious crimes, including serious drug offences. They want laws that impose penalties that adequately reflect the serious nature of these crimes. This bill would accomplish that lofty goal.

Controlled Drugs and Substances ActGovernment Orders

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Edmonton—St. Albert for his work on the justice committee. He is probably too modest to talk about it, but he has extensive experience in the courts in Alberta. He understands what happens in the courts, when not all of us around here do.

Based on his experience at committee and his experience looking at the law and this bill in particular, I want to ask the member whether he thinks that trafficking is a conviction that is easy to get. We are talking about trafficking, selling for commercial purposes, drugs that are harmful, that are the currency of organized crime in many instances, that get into our youth areas and that are certainly a scourge on our communities today.

The fear seems to be that one person possessing one joint on the way to a high school reunion or something is going to be caught by this bill. It is trafficking. Does he think these offences would be easily met in a court of law in this country?

Controlled Drugs and Substances ActGovernment Orders

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

Brent Rathgeber Conservative Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe for his and his party's support for this bill, both at second reading and at committee.

The member answered his own question. Getting a conviction for trafficking is not easy. There are a number of elements to that offence that the Crown must prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

This bill is not targeted at simple possession, the casual user who decides on any given night for recreational purposes to engage in what we call recreational drug use. It is not that I condone this, that is irrelevant; this bill is not targeted at that individual.

This bill is targeted at those who produce, who import, who export, and most important, those who traffic, those who sell to individuals. We hear time and time again from our constituents that those individuals are making the streets less safe, especially for children. It is those individuals we are targeting and, as the hon. member knows and supports, this bill would take steps to get those individuals off the street.

Controlled Drugs and Substances ActGovernment Orders

10:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague and I have differing views on the impact of this bill and what it is about.

I would like to ask him a question based on a letter that was submitted by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. The association did not actually appear in committee, but it did send a letter. I presume he read it. It was dated May 25. In the association's drug policy summary, it says:

The CACP believes in a balanced approach to the issue of substance abuse in Canada, consisting of prevention, education, enforcement, counseling, treatment, rehabilitation, and where appropriate, alternative measures and diversion to counter Canada’s drug problems.

It also stated:

Further, the CACP believes that to the greatest extent possible, initiatives should be evidence-based.

The letter does not actually state support for the mandatory minimums.

I wonder if the member would respond to the question that initiatives should be evidence-based and tell us what evidence this bill of mandatory minimums is based on. Where is the evidence? Even the Association of Police Chiefs is saying that it should be based on evidence.

Controlled Drugs and Substances ActGovernment Orders

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

Brent Rathgeber Conservative Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is not a formal member of the committee, but she frequently provides great input. I know her riding of Vancouver East has issues with respect to trafficking and substance abuse. I certainly appreciate her input and perspectives, although as she quite rightly points out we are not always in agreement.

I have read the letter. As the member will probably recall, Chief Vernon White from the Ottawa Police Service appeared in committee and he was very supportive. He indicated in response to a direct question from me that this is a targeted response to what he thinks is a very serious problem in society.

When talking about evidence, I remember he quoted the situation of a person with an addiction problem living under the Wellington Bridge who may or may not be trafficking to feed his or her habit. Chief White was quite specific that this instance would not constitute the type of evidence that would in his view, and based on experience in his department, lead to a charge that would entail a mandatory minimum sentence.

Although the offence of trafficking includes the sale of quite small amounts, police have indicated that in the appropriate circumstances they will use their discretion not to lay charges against individuals who should not in their view be subject to the minimum sentence.

I am glad my friend talked about treatment programs. We believe drug treatment programs are important. I spoke about the drug treatment courts in my comments. Last September, we announced $10 million for two new treatment initiatives. On January 15 of this year, we announced $408,000 over two years for the McCreary Centre, $342,000 for the Aboriginal Youth F.I.R.S.T. program and $308,000 for the College of New Caledonia's youth outreach program. That is all in Vancouver. I am assuming some of that is in her riding of Vancouver East.

This government takes drug treatment very seriously.

Controlled Drugs and Substances ActGovernment Orders

10:30 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate that the member did not touch on the only clause that really concerns me right now, and that is proposed section 8, which basically provides that there will not be mandatory minimums for any of the people he talked about in certain circumstances.

He will know that the proposed section 8 says that unless the judge is satisfied there was notice given prior to the accused entering a plea, there will not be a sentence. One of the key issues is what is happening in the courts with regard to plea bargaining and charges being dismissed when there are certain circumstances. There is a whole host of circumstances where mandatory minimums will not exist, even for crimes involving organized crime or more serious drugs. That is a problem. It is a matter of whether there are facilities to imprison these people, as well.

Those are important issues to this bill, and the member should address them.

Controlled Drugs and Substances ActGovernment Orders

10:30 a.m.

Conservative

Brent Rathgeber Conservative Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Mississauga South for his interest in the bill, and for his constructive criticism, quite frankly.

This is an interesting debate. We have members from one opposition party saying this bill goes too far and members from another opposition party who say it does not go far enough. I can assure the member that law enforcement and crown prosecutors have asked for this type of legislation to give them the tools to put drug pushers in jail for minimum periods of time.

With respect to the technical requirements, which he is concerned the Crown might not exercise, please believe that the Crown wants these tools and they will exercise them. They are asking for this type of legislation to help keep our streets safe and free from these individuals.

Controlled Drugs and Substances ActGovernment Orders

10:30 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, to follow up on what the member said, I agree of course that treatment is very important. He quoted Chief White from the city of Ottawa, but he also said there is a lack of treatment beds. The idea that we have the treatment does not exist. There is a seven month waiting list even here in the city of Ottawa. In Vancouver, we also have a very dire situation in terms of treatment.

That is one of the problems with this bill. It focuses on enforcement and it does not provide a balanced four-pillar approach. For the member to suggest that somehow treatment is well and fine is really not correct. There is a severe problem with treatment accessibility.

Controlled Drugs and Substances ActGovernment Orders

10:30 a.m.

Conservative

Brent Rathgeber Conservative Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, I did not really hear a question; that was more of a statement.

As I indicated, even in Vancouver the government has committed many millions of dollars for treatment. There will always be great need, but the government is committed to providing treatment through its funding of treatment centres, and also through the drug treatment courts, which are a diversionary tactic to keep people who should not enter the prison system on a more appropriate path.

Controlled Drugs and Substances ActGovernment Orders

10:30 a.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to join the debate at third reading of the bill. Yes, we dealt with it at committee. I want to thank all members of the committee for bringing to the committee a very intelligent debate on anti-drug laws.

It is interesting and somewhat refreshing when we have a news story that is actually accurate. There is a news story today about the bill. There is one quote in there that says the following about the offences in the bill:

These are trafficking offences, these are people who are in the commercial business of selling drugs. If you're convicted of trafficking in drugs, I believe you should do the time that is indicated in this bill.

That is a quote in a national news story attributed to me, and I am happy the newspaper got it right, because it is exactly how I feel about the bill.

It is curious about the opposition to the bill. All that was printed from the perspective of the other opposition parties, and maybe they did not get their whole quote and that is fair, that has happened to all of us, but the only real quotes from the opposition are that we are going down the road the United States has gone and it has been a failure.

There is nothing quoted, and I have heard nothing in the House, and I would have listened in the House on the occasions I had to speak to this bill or in committee for the many hours we spent on these issues in general. I would have listened, had there been some compelling evidence to suggest that a person convicted of trafficking in drugs should not go to jail.

It is important because occasionally we lose sight of the fact that there is a whole book called the Criminal Code that talks about what the offences are. What is trafficking? It is very important that the public perception not be that we are trying to put people in jail who are in possession of small amounts of drugs, particularly marijuana. This is where the pressure point of the public seems to be, that if individuals have a joint, they will go away for six months under this new law. That is not the case.

We heard evidence from the Department of Justice officials, and even the government would admit that DOJ officials are not always on side with everything that is brought down the pipe. They said very clearly that would not be the case.

These are issues involving trafficking. Trafficking, under section 5 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, has been interpreted by the courts variously, but for instance, “--distribution means the allocation to a number of people and accordingly, cannot occur where there is one recipient.--” That is a case from the New Brunswick Court of Appeal.

Another one: “--where the transportation by the accused of a narcotic is incidental to the accused's own personal use of the narcotic, as distinct from transportation as part of a transaction involving others, there is not an offence of trafficking”.

As my friend from Edmonton—St. Albert indicated, with his years of experience, it is not a walk in the park to convict somebody of trafficking in drugs. Trafficking in drugs, even marijuana, means that people are selling drugs for the purpose of a commercial gain. They are trying to increase the use of drugs.

Particularly, the bill gets into an issue that is very near and dear to me. The young children of our community are going to school in a different environment than when I went to school, and certainly when the member for Mississauga South went to school, which was considerably more years before I did. These are different times, and drugs are front and centre of the dangers that little children face every day. They walk to school. They go through playgrounds. They are faced with the possibility of being drawn into the net of drug use, which can ruin lives, families, and eventually may ruin our social mores in our community in general.

I sit back and think of what I am saying. Do I sound like a rabid Conservative? Am I a person who has become the Republican road show that we have seen for the last three years over there? When I look at the member for Windsor—Tecumseh, I know that he is a family man. I know that he is a church-goer. I know that he believes in social mores. I have to think that he does not think that putting traffickers back on the street again so they can corrupt our youth and our society is a good thing.

This is where we draw the line with our friends who are free-willing on drug use, on drug sales, on drug trafficking, and the Conservatives who would say, if George Bush did it, it is okay. That is why we are the party of the middle, the party of responsibility, and we say this is a good act.

This legislation targets trafficking. For the first time the Conservatives might be getting it right. They are saying that in order to avoid sending someone to prison on a mandatory minimum sentence, that individual would have the opportunity to take part in rehabilitation through diversion to a drug treatment court. These are great tools. They have been used extensively in western democracies for some time.

We have been critical of the government's national anti-drug strategy. Its strategy consists of a bunch of neoprene, blue placards placed in front of any television camera saying it has an anti-drug strategy.

Where is the funding for the drug treatment courts? Why are there not more drug treatment courts across this country? I live in Moncton, New Brunswick. New Brunswick is a province of this country. In fact, it is one of the first provinces of this country. There is no drug treatment court in New Brunswick, and that is a shame.

By supporting the bill we are saying to the Conservatives that for however long they might be government, and we all hope that might be a shorter time rather than a longer time, that they increase funding to diversionary tactics, treatment facilities and institutions like drug treatment courts.

The other aspect that the Conservatives are learning from the years of battering in justice committee is that it is important to have regular reports to committee and to Parliament with respect to how their legislation is doing. That is contained in section 8.1(1). Reporting to Parliament on the effect of this legislation would be a positive step.

The justice committee held one set of hearings in Vancouver. Members were astonished by the fact that marijuana, which in some popular parliaments might be seen as a recreational drug which makes one peaceful, is the currency of organized crime in western of Canada and probably in the rest of Canada as well. It is a serious problem.

We have to do something to include marijuana. I have heard nothing from the other opposition parties that it would be okay if it were crystal meth. Those members are trying to push the button of sensibility on the issue of moderate marijuana usage. It is wrong to think that marijuana and the trafficking of marijuana is part of our Canadian culture. It is not. It is part of the cashflow of organized crime.

We have been through this legislation. It is time to put the bill on the books and hold the feet of the government to the fire. Its anti-drug strategy must be something more than a 5 o'clock press conference.

With that in mind, I want to close my remarks by moving, seconded by the member for Cardigan:

That this question be now put.