Ottawa, April 13, 2017 – Senator Claude Carignan greeted with some satisfaction the bill tabled today by the government, which includes the majority of the provisions in his own bill tabled last fall on the detection of drug-impaired driving.
Senator Carignan believes this bill should be adopted quickly to enable implementation of control measures and prevention programs before the legalization of cannabis. “Since the beginning of discussions on this issue, I always said there was no rush, that the government would be well advised to learn from the experiences in other countries and use this information to avoid repeating mistakes made by these jurisdictions. But since the government decided to go ahead with its legalization plans, we must now at least have measures based on control and prevention. In this respect, this bill must be fast-tracked and passed without delay.”
In addition, Senator Carignan said he is pleased that the government decided to present a separate bill on drug-impaired driving which will pass before marijuana is legalized. “It will be easier to pass it quickly after its study and after making the necessary technical changes because, even at first glance, the bill has some shortcomings. I would have preferred that the government pass my Bill S-230 immediately but, still, we have a good basis to start with this bill which should, in my opinion, be studied and passed as quickly as possible,” concluded the Senator.
Senator Carignan will follow this issue closely because it concerns public safety and he wants to make sure it is dealt with fully.
Bill on marijuana legalization
Senator Carignan also reacted to the bill legalizing cannabis consumption and possession. He said he is concerned with the impact on people’s health, especially young people’s, and he deplored that the bill as written does not take into account the provinces’ opinions. It is the provinces themselves that will have to deal with the problems associated with this bill.
Senator Carignan believes that the approach of the Trudeau government is totally disrespectful toward the provinces. “The provinces will have to set the minimum age for consumption and possession; the provinces will have to determine where and how marijuana can be marketed; the provinces will have to pay the health costs associated with legalizing marijuana; the provinces will have to implement prevention programs in schools; the provinces will have to implement controls through police forces; but the Trudeau government did not set aside any funds for the provinces to pay for these requirements resulting from this new act. It is very troubling,” said Senator Carignan.
The Senator also underlined how ordinary citizens come to him because they are worried about this bill. “I entered the Senate almost 8 years ago, and this is the first time I have received so many questions from the public on a government bill. People are interested and concerned, especially the parents of young children and teenagers,” added the Senator.
This bill leaves more questions open than it answers, whether in the areas of public health or public safety. “We will study this bill closely, and listen to witnesses and citizens. We will ensure that the government offers adequate mechanisms and that they did not simply put together a few measures to give the impression they are keeping an election promise,” concluded Senator Carignan.
Contact: Office of Senator Claude Carignan
Information: Jacques Hébert, Political Advisor