Question period in Senate – Nov. 16 2016

Marijuana Companies—Information Leak

Hon. Claude Carignan (Leader of the Opposition): My question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. On November 16, the stock of six different marijuana companies spiked sharply, even though there was no obvious reason for that to happen, such as the announcement of a merger or an acquisition.

The stock rose so rapidly that it tripped circuit breakers, and transactions for these companies were halted multiple times that day. We know that the government expects to receive the report of the Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation today.

Can the Leader of the Government tell us whether the Minister of Justice will ask her department to conduct an investigation to determine whether an information leak from the task force could be responsible for the sudden volatility in the stock prices of these six marijuana companies?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I am not up to date with the answer to the question the honourable senator has posed, but I will make sure I am able to respond to him appropriately.

Senator Carignan: By way of additional information, we also learned that the Liberal government violated some of its own guidelines last spring when the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice was approached by the Cannabis Friendly Business Association, a professional association that supports the sale of marijuana, at a Liberal Party fundraiser.

I understand that you cannot answer my question right now because you were not aware of these activities, but will you take the question on notice and get back to us about whether the six companies whose stocks were recently affected, namely Canopy Growth Corporation, Aurora Cannabis Inc., Aphria Inc., Mettrum Health Corp., Supreme Pharmaceuticals Inc., and OrganiGram Holdings Inc., participated in Liberal Party fundraisers over the past year?

Senator Harder: As the honourable senator suggested, I will indeed look into this.

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