Bill C8 Update


On
March 6, the Hon. David Dingwall, Canada’s new Minister of Health,
introduced a motion that revived Bill C-7, the Controlled Drugs and
Substances Act. The bill was renamed Bill C-8, and deemed passed by the
House of Commons. Apart from changing the Bill’s number from C-7 to C-8,
this version of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act is identical to the
bill originally passed by the House of Commons on October 30, 1995, the day
of the Quebec referendum.

It
used to be that it required the consent of all parties in the House for
a bill which died in this manner to be revived. This was changed by the
Conservative government of Brian Mulrouney. At the time the Liberals
complained about this “undemocratic” change in process, but have now used
the exact same procedure to get their legislation through without debate.

The
reinstated Bill will return to the Senate, where the Standing Senate
Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs will likely continue the
hearings that began in December, but were interrupted when the session of
Parliament ended on February 2.



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