Article by David Brown, Lift News
A recent article in the Quebec publication TVA Nouvelles has started a wave of speculation that Trudeau and the Liberals will be delaying legalization.
In response to a question about legalization on July 1, 2018, Trudeau responded that it will not be July 1, but ‘next summer’. This has spawned numerous follow up articles and speculation that the Liberals are ‘walking back’ their July 1 date. But the problem is, the July 1 date has been disputed for months now, if not from the very beginning.
Although it could change, June 29, 2018 is currently the last projected sitting day for the Senate and June 22 the last scheduled sitting day for the House. So any legislation would have to be agreed upon by both chambers and receive royal assent by that date, barring any changes in schedule. That is, by July, 2018. Summer begins June 21.
The July 1 date emerged initially from a CBC article on March 27 which stated that the government would legalize by July 1, 2018. While it didn’t say on July 1, this spawned a slew of headlines declaring Canada Day, July 1, as the beginning of legalization in Canada. Previous to this the rumour was ‘April 20, 2018’.
By early April, the Liberals’ point man on legalization, Bill Blair, was already emphasizing that the goal was to have legislation passed and regulations in place by that date, but not necessarily on it.
“I believe that … a reasonable goal is to have all this work done by the beginning of July, but by that date and on that date are very different things,” Blair said in an interview. “I don’t think that’s an appropriate date. That’s my opinion.”
As Bill C-45 was debated in the House of Commons, the July 1 date continued to come up repeatedly in speeches from the opposition parties, usually as a criticism, while the Liberals’ messaging continued to focus on July 2018, not July 1. In November, in response to one of these concerns from a conservative MP, Blair again clarified that July 1 was not the date.
“First of all,” the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and to the Minister of Health told conservative MP Gérard Deltell, “I assure the member opposite that the date of enactment will not be July 1, Canada Day, a day that is special to all Canadians. I can say with great assurance that it will not be that day. In my opinion, that day is a sacred day for the celebration of the birth of this country, and we will not be doing the enactment of this proposed legislation on that day. We will not be doing it on July 1.”