Health Committee Vice Chair Wants More Input On Legalization

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Health Committee vice chair wants more input on legalization Don Davies says he wants the committee to hear from cannabis producers, dispensaries, edibles manufacturers, young people, and 'ordinary Canadians'.

Lift had a chance to interview NDP critic for Health and Health Committee vice-chair Don Davies Thursday to discuss the motion he presented before the committee to ask for two more days of discussion and witness testimony.

Davies has said he wants to hear from licensed producers, dispensaries, people from the edibles market, young people and ordinary Canadians. He also says he will be drafting a motion with the committee to do some touring of licensed producers, dispensaries, and edibles manufacturers.

Although the committee chair, Bill Casey, is responsible for the decision to accept the motion or not, Davies says he’s hopeful that the Liberals will see the value in hearing from more Canadians on this important piece of legislation.

His hope, says the MP from Vancouver-Kingsway, is that the committee can hear from 32 more witnesses over two days before September 30th, when he expects the committee will begin to look at sending the legislation back to parliament for its third reading some time in October.

Davies says his intention is not to prolong the hearings or delay it being sent back to parliament for third reading, and envisions these two extra days to be in addition to what he sees as as another few weeks of the committee meeting to go through the bill page by page, in addition to a hearing with ministers next week.

“I could have forced a debate on it right there,” says Davies, “but I didn’t want to do that. My intention is not to delay. The Liberals themselves are calling the cabinet members next Tuesday night.”

“After that we still have to go through this bill clause by clause, section by section. That’s going to take several weeks to get through. I didn’t want to look like I was delaying, so in my motion I put that I wanted to have two separate meetings before September 30th. That’s fifteen days from now. So sometime in the next fifteen days, just schedule two more days so that we can hear from these groups. I don’t want to hold this up. I want legalization to come as soon as possible.”

“The Conservatives are trying to delay. They’ve tabled a motion—they haven’t moved it yet—that they want to have another six meetings, but they don’t specify when. That’s irresponsible in my view. What they’re trying to do is delay. That’s not what I’m trying to do.”

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