Madam Speaker, I want to commend my colleague on his earnest and heartfelt speech. Our Liberal colleagues would do well to read and reread his words, because his speech was full of common sense and, above all, gave us many real reasons to truly protect Canadians from the coming scourge of marijuana legalization.
I must rise again today to speak against the Liberal government's marijuana legalization bill. Quebeckers can count on the 11 Conservative members from Quebec to represent them. We know that most Quebeckers are against the legalization of marijuana, as proposed by this government. The 11 members from Quebec unanimously agree that, on Monday, they will vote against legalization.
I am going to tell the House what my Quebec colleagues think of the bill that has been sloppily cobbled together by the Liberal government. On Monday, the Liberal bill to legalize marijuana as of July 1, 2018, will go through third reading. Because the government has made this issue its top priority since it was elected, the Liberals will ram this bill through despite all opposition.
The Prime Minister will thumb his nose at everyone who spoke out against this initiative. He will continue to ignore vigorous public opposition. He will turn a blind eye to the facts, the studies, the science, and what Canadian society wants. We have seen over and over again that the majority oppose this bill.
So far, numerous organizations, associations, federations, and institutions have expressed their disapproval of the Liberal government's initiative and its rush to get this done. People across Canada are obviously worried, and with good reason.
The Prime Minister could not care less about what experts, scientists, social workers, police forces, and society in general think, and he never has.
The provinces and municipalities will have to shoulder much of the responsibility for the consequences of marijuana legalization, but they were not adequately consulted. Recently, unable to keep up with the Prime Minister's frenzied, reckless pace, the Government of Quebec once again called on the government to postpone enacting the bill.
Earlier this week, first nations members also asked for a delay. The Prime Minister categorically refused. True to his arrogant form, he is even forcing a ridiculously unfair revenue-sharing scheme on the provinces and municipalities, even though marijuana legalization will end up costing them a bundle.
The Prime Minister wants to offload the hefty health care and security costs onto the provinces and municipalities, while pocketing most of the revenue from marijuana sales, no doubt to pay down the Liberal's huge budget deficit.
Let us talk about the facts. Numerous studies have shown the negative impacts of marijuana on the brain, especially for people under 25 and those most vulnerable. Research has also shown that legalizing the drug will not help eradicate organized crime, as the Liberal government claims.
Furthermore, we already have a problem with impaired driving on our roads, and this piece of legislation will only increase the risk of accidents, injuries, and deaths. Also, Canadian police officers do not have the necessary training or tools to detect impaired drivers, not to mention the lack of oversight of drug use in public places and workplaces, and the added pressure on our health care systems.
The Liberals' bill obviously does not pass the smell test, nor does it come close to passing the common sense test. Not only are the Liberals going against what Canadians want with this bill, but they are also putting Canada in a difficult position on the international stage.
In fact, three international treaties will be violated if the government goes ahead with the legalization of marijuana. Also, Canada will be the only country in the G20 and G7 to make this substance legal. No other government in the world has legalized marijuana so quickly.
No other government has imposed so few restrictions on the possession of plants in the home and no specific requirements regarding public safety. For those reasons, we, the members of the Quebec caucus of the Conservative Party of Canada, will stand up in the House of Commons on Monday and vote against this bill.
If those words sound familiar, it is only because I was just reading from the joint letter that we, the Quebec caucus members of the Conservative Party, signed and published today to express our position on this bill, which will unfortunately pass on Monday considering the power of the Liberal majority, despite everything that experts, the general public, and police forces are saying, and despite what common sense dictates.
The letter is signed by the member for Richmond—Arthabaska, our political lieutenant, the member for Beauce, the member for Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, the member for Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d'Orléans—Charlevoix, the member for Beauport—Limoilou, the member for Louis-Saint-Laurent, the member for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, the member for Lévis—Lotbinière, the member for Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, and the member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles.
We on this side of the House have taken a clear stance. The government wants to move quickly on this without weighing all the facts. We believe that as of July 1, 2018, this bill will drastically change our society. This week we had the opportunity to meet with U.S. officials who are also very concerned about the impact that this bill will have at the border.
Our border with the United States is something we must take care of, something we must absolutely be concerned about. It is not complicated: we should ensure people are able to cross the border as easily as possible. The United States is our most important client. It is where Canadians go most often to relax. It is the place where we have the most ties, and it is our primary economic partner.
The United States is very worried about what is happening because their federal government considers using marijuana as a crime. Anyone who commits a crime outside the United States and admits it may be denied entry into the United States. That is what the Liberals are failing to tell Canadians.
Let us imagine that a person smokes marijuana, whether in their apartment or in a park, just before crossing the border. We know that the smell of marijuana really lingers and that it permeates just about everything near the person smoking it. When the canine units at the border sniff the scent of marijuana on this person, the U.S. customs officers may not find any drugs, but they will pull him or her aside to the dreaded car search area, where no one wants to go. They will search the entire car to locate the source of the scent, even if the individual does not have marijuana on their person.
Once the vehicle has been searched, they will question the driver. They will ask whether he or she has ever consumed marijuana, and I hope the driver will say no. Otherwise the Americans will have the right to turn that person back and ban him or her from the United States for a set period of time because they admitted to consuming marijuana, with is a federal offence in the United States. This is not something that the Liberal government is quick to point out to Canadians who are travelling to Florida, Arizona, or California, and it is also not something that they have settled with the Americans.
For that and other reasons, and especially because of the harm that this government is going to do to Canadian youth, I and my other 10 Quebec colleagues, will vote against Bill C-45 on Monday.