moved for leave to introduce Bill C-415, an act to establish a procedure for expunging certain cannabis-related convictions.
Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to introduce today a bill that would expunge the records of certain cannabis-related convictions. Over 500,000 Canadians have a criminal record for cannabis possession. That is 500,000 Canadians who may be barred from finding employment, from volunteering in their communities and from finding a place to rent, all for non-violent action that will soon be perfectly legal.
I also emphasize that not all Canadians have been treated equally under our cannabis laws. In Toronto, black people without a criminal record were three times more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession than white people. In Halifax, they were five times as likely to be arrested, and in Regina it happens nine times more often to indigenous people.
This bill would allow people to wipe from their records all cannabis convictions for things that will be perfectly legal within two weeks. Under the current broken pardons system, Canadians have to wait several years and pay $631 just to apply. Under my bill, they would not have to wait several years, and it would be completely free.
This bill is about righting past wrongs, and it would help hundreds of thousands of Canadians to get on with their lives.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)