Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, June 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle

Feds avert possible delay of marijuana bill

Promise more funding for Indigenous mental health and addiction treatment services, special help for businesses

The Trudeau government has averted a potential confrontation with Indigenous senators that could have delayed the legalization of recreational marijuana.

The 11 members of the Senate’s Aboriginal Peoples’ committee had planned to support a Conservative amendment that would have deferred implementing Bill C-45, pending a report on government efforts to address the concerns of Indigenous communities.

That could have been enough to ensure the amendment passed, given that other senators are also sympathetic to the concerns of some First Nations, who say they have not been properly consulted on the measure.

But just prior to the debate, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor and Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott sent a letter to the committee, promising a full report to Parliament in September and another within 12 months.

The ministers also promised more funding for Indigenous mental health and addiction treatment services, special help for Indigenous businesses to navigate the licensing process to grow marijuana and consultation on jurisdictional and revenue-sharing issues.

As a result, committee chair Lillian Dyck says Indigenous senators have achieved more than they’d hoped to do with the amendment from Conservative Sen. Dennis Patterson, who says he has decided — with “hesitation” — to abandon it.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Team BC advancing undefeated in junior nationals

A Langley-based team is 6-0, thus far, at the Canadian curling championships.

South Surrey mother ‘never called 911’ after killing daughter, court hears

Crown submits evidence shows Lisa Batstone wanted eight-year-old Teagan to die

Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’ relative

Woman was told she’d be fired if she didn’t marry boss’s Indian relative so he could immigrate here

Feds earmark $7.5 million to help keep Surrey teens out of gangs

It’s expected as many as 4,730 teenagers in Surrey will benefit from it

A look inside Brendan McLeod’s ‘Brain,’ in Surrey on tour

INTERVIEW: Toronto-based artist at Centre Stage with words and music

VIDEO: Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Four students sent to hospital after school bus crash in Mission

Mission RCMP say hospitalization a precaution, 14 students were on board

5 to start your day

Court hears South Surrey mother ‘never called 911’ after killing daughter, Four students sent to hospital after school bus crash in Mission and more

Arrest made in case of incapacitated woman who gave birth

A 36-year-old nurse has been arrested and charged with sexual assault

B.C. dairy farmers say milk cup is half full in new Canada Food Guide

Despite what seems like a demotion, B.C. Dairy Association insists its inclusion is still integral

Slippery roads reported along Coquihalla

The winter weather is finally here in the Central Okanagan

$20K pay gap between women, men in Canadian tech jobs

The report defines tech workers as people either producing or making extensive use of technology, regardless of industry

Catholic student says he didn’t disrespect Native American

Many saw the white teenagers, who had travelled to Washington for an anti-abortion rally, appearing to mock the Native Americans

Former Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay voted into Baseball Hall of Fame

M’s legend Edgar Martinez, Rivera, Mussina also make the grade

Most Read