Senate backs bill to legalize recreational marijuana

Justin Trudeau reminded senators that his government was elected on a promise to legalize pot

The Senate has given approval in principle to the Trudeau government’s bill to legalize recreational marijuana.

Bill C-45 passed at second reading this evening by a vote of 44-29.

The approval comes after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reminded the senators that his government was elected on a promise to legalize recreational marijuana.

That was seen as a subtle warning that they should not attempt to thwart the will of Canadians or the government they elected.

The uncertainty was triggered by Conservative senators, who were hoping to deliver a double-barrelled embarrassment to Trudeau: upending one of his signature election promises, while demonstrating the folly of his efforts to reform the Senate into a less partisan, more independent chamber.

Earlier in the day, Trudeau said the criminal cannabis regime has not protected Canadian children, who are among the highest under-age users of marijuana in developed countries, and has put up to $7 billion every year in the pockets of organized crime.

Ordinarily, a second reading vote is not a big hurdle and is dispensed with on the basis of a quick voice vote — after which the bill is sent to committee for closer scrutiny, witness testimony and any proposed amendments before returning to the Senate for a final debate and vote.

But in the case of Bill C-45, the 33 Conservative senators had vowed to vote en masse against it at second reading.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

B.C. Green Party pushes for wild salmon commissioner

The role would serve as a unifying force in the provincial government

BC Ferries confirms Northern Sea Wolf will not sail until mid-July

BC Ferries had hoped to get the vessel in September of last year, but it didn’t arrive until December

UPDATED: Horgan says B.C. defending its interests in Trans Mountain pipeline

Canadian finance minister’s update comes the same day Kinder Morgan shareholders plan to meet

5 things to know about B.C. Floods 2018

Snowpacks continue to melt causing thousands to be displaced, dozens of local states of emergency

Black Press Media to launch Pipeline Full of Controversy series

Series covers Trans Mountain’s history, science, Indigenous reaction, politics and economics

B.C. RCMP swoop in to save injured eagle

An eagle with a broken wing now in a recovery facility after RCMP rescue near Bella Coola

Bug spray 101: Health Canada wants you to stay bite free

Health Canada is reminding Canadians to use bug spray and other insect repellents safely

Unions reject CP Rail contract offers

Both meeting Friday to determine next steps; 72 hours notice required before strike action.

B.C. jewellers warn public about fake gold scam

‘They are playing on people’s sympathy and their greed’

Former B.C. premier says pot industry about to enter Wild West

Mike Harcourt says Canada is about to enter a new gold rush with many dreaming of striking it rich

Hunt continues for two suspects in Ontario restaurant explosion

The explosion left 15 people injured, but all victims have now been released from hospital

B.C. teacher charged with sexual offences involving two teens

Henry Kang, 50, of Abbotsford charged with two counts each sex assault and sexual exploitation

Toronto Raptors star to hold basketball camp in B.C.

DeMar DeRozan is hosting a four-day camp for players aged 6-16 at the University of Victoria

Most Read