Ministers Brief Senate on Cannabis Bill

A marijuana plant at the AmeriCanna Edibles facility

Ministers Brief Senate on Cannabis Bill

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joe Mahoney

UPDATED February 6, 2018 8:58pmET


A trio of ministers defended the government’s cannabis legalization bill in the Senate chamber this afternoon.

Jody Wilson-Raybould (Justice), Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Health), and Ralph Goodale (Public Safety), along with parliamentary secretary Bill Blair, answered questions on Bill C-45 as the Senate sat as a Committee of the Whole for two hours.

Watch:

Selling and Taxing Marijuana: Plans from Ottawa and the Provinces

What happens in a Committee of the Whole? Senators sit in a less formal setting. Cabinet ministers and others who aren’t members of the Senate may be invited to take part.

A similar debate took place in June 2016 as the Senate considered the government’s assisted-dying legislation. Wilson-Raybould and then-health minister Jane Philpott answered questions in the upper chamber.

Down the hall, the Conservatives had the first opposition day of 2018 in the House of Commons. And they were again focused on December’s ethics commissioner report on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s 2016 vacation travel.

Here’s the motion from Official Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer:

That, in the opinion of the House, when any Member violates the Conflict of Interest Act, including accepting gifts or hospitality (section 11), furthering private interests (section 21), being in a conflict of interest (section 5), and accepting travel (section 12), or violates the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons, and, in so doing, incurs a cost upon the taxpayer, that Member must repay those costs to the taxpayer.

-Andrew Thomson

Here’s more Today in Politics with Mark Sutcliffe: