Article bThe Canadian Press via Global News
Ontario’s Liberal government defended allowing medical marijuana users to vaporize anywhere by saying they had consulted “very broadly” – but emails show those consultations involved the input of just two people, The Canadian Press has learned.
Ultimately, the associate health minister had to defend the policy for just one day after the government backtracked on the policy within 24 hours. The emails, obtained through freedom-of-information legislation, show the premier’s top staff members were both unaware of the new rule and confused by it.
The new e-cigarette regulations banned the use of the devices anywhere regular cigarettes were prohibited. But the government provided an exemption for medical marijuana users, meaning they could have vaped in restaurants, at work or on playgrounds.
The exemption became public Nov. 25 and by the next day, Dipika Damerla, then the associate health minister, said that based on the feedback the government had received, they were going back to the drawing board. The government ultimately decided there would be no exemption.
But during those fleeting hours when Damerla defended the policy, she said there had been widespread consultations before the change was introduced.