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

Volunteer needed to empty dog poop can in Saanich Park

Local volunteers do the work of irresponsible dog owners at Mount Doug

Saanich police continue to search for attacker in Gordon Head sexual assault

Police urge residents to remain vigilant, lock doors and windows

Vancouver Island overdue for the big one, can also expect mega-thrust tsunami

The last big earthquake was 70 years ago in Courtenay

Proposed terms for forum exploring amalgamation between Victoria and Saanich under fire

Amalgamation Yes questions size of assembly, while Saanich stands accused of changing mandate

Sexual assault charge dropped against from CFB Esquimalt member

Navy Lt. Ronald Clancy was charged with two counts of sexual assault in August 2018

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Watchdog called after man who yelled racial slurs at B.C. vigil hurt during arrest

BC RCMP say man was ‘acting suspiciously’ at prayer vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

Reeling Port Alice about to lose its only bank

Scotiabank branch closure follows latest mill setback, bad for business and the elderly

Most Read