Senators Carignan, Boisvenu and Batters in Washington to discuss impacts of cannabis legalization in

Press release


Senators Carignan, Boisvenu and Batters in Washington to discuss impacts of cannabis legalization in Canada with senior U.S. leaders

Washington, D.C. April 4, 2018 – Three Conservative Senators from Canada who are members of the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs met today with various senior U.S. leaders to discuss predictable consequences of legalization for Canadians travelling to the United States.

Dissatisfied with the lack of response from Canadian authorities on this subject and given the ambiguous testimony of Trudeau cabinet ministers appearing before several Senate committees, Senators Carignan, Boisvenu and Batters decided to travel to Washington to get a clear picture of the American perspective on this Canadian issue. They met with officials in the Trump Administration, the U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and high-level advisors to the Official American Administration, including senior officials in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Office of Field Operations and, finally, the SAM group (Smart Approaches to Marijuana).

Senators met with representatives of U.S. authorities to discuss issues dealing with border safety, illegal markets, impacts on Canadian marijuana users, risks for Canadian travellers in possession of small quantities of cannabis, cross-border trade, including postal trade of cannabis, problems linked to trucking and public transportation safety.

Senator Claude Carignan, critic for bills C-45 and C-46, said he is counting on this short trip to get some answers to questions on cannabis legalization and Canada-U.S. relations. “Border issues are critical, and we must not and we cannot ignore them. When we ask questions of the Canadian government, we receive unclear and vague responses which do not satisfy us. Our role as legislators is to measure all the impacts of bill C-45, and that is what we are doing today by meeting with senior officials of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.”

Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu, Deputy Chair of the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, stated that: “We went to Washington to find clear answers to the questions asked by Canadian workers and tourists, including families, who cross the border. Faced with the Liberals’ empty answers and broken record, we had to seek concrete and real facts right at the source.”

Finally, Senator Denise Batters maintained that: “The legalization of marijuana in Canada could have profound effects in our interaction with our closest neighbour and friend, the United States. In our review of this legislation, Conservative Senators have discovered many unintended consequences stemming from the Trudeau Government’s haste to implement legalization. We are here to further explore and address some of the international implications with our most important trading partner.”


Source: Office of Senator Claude Carignan, P.C.

Information and contacts:

Jacques Hébert, Director of Parliamentary Affairs, Office of Senator Carignan


Maryam El-Akhrass, Communications Assistant, Office of Senator Boisvenu


Lana Fawcett Helman, Director of Parliamentary Affairs, Office of Senator Batters, Q.C.

613- 617-1894,

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