Bill C-46: Impaired Driving Act

Buckle up bud, but don’t drive high!

Bill C-46An Act to amend the Criminal Code, Offences relating to conveyances, was tabled in the House of Commons, May 11, 2017.


Part 1 amends the provisions of the Criminal Code that deal with offences and procedures relating to drug-impaired driving. Among other things, the amendments

(a) enact new criminal offences for driving with a blood drug concentration that is equal to or higher than the permitted concentration;

(b) authorize the Governor in Council to establish blood drug concentrations; and

(c) authorize peace officers who suspect a driver has a drug in their body to demand that the driver provide a sample of a bodily substance for analysis by drug screening equipment that is approved by the Attorney General of Canada.

Part 2 repeals the provisions of the Criminal Code that deal with offences and procedures relating to conveyances, including those provisions enacted by Part 1, and replaces them with provisions in a new Part of the Criminal Code that, among other things,

(a) re-enact and modernize offences and procedures relating to conveyances;

(b) authorize mandatory roadside screening for alcohol;

(c) establish the requirements to prove a person’s blood alcohol concentration; and

(d) increase certain maximum penalties and certain minimum fines.

Part 3 contains coordinating amendments and the coming into force provision.



Compromise of UN treaties helps legitimize 420 industry

As Canada moves forward with Bill C-45, federal legislation grapples with  questions concerning Canada’s position relative to the UN drug control conventions.  Legalization would make Canada the first G7 country to adopt legal adult recreational cannabis use.   This compromise allows for the majority of public opposition to prohibition while balancing federal non compliance to UN treaties, as Canada moves forward with federal legalization of non-medicinal cannabis in 2018.

International political factors historically impose ‘suppression conventions’ that underpin a range of prohibition regimes in international law, thereby limiting market growth and development in fringe industry.  These conventions may become questionable in time and therefore ought to be open to review and re-interpretation.

Policy Report 7 by the joint committees of GDPO, WOLA and TNI advocate Inter se  modification of the UN drug control conventions to facilitate cannabis regulation. This policy procedure would help to study, shape and characterize future drug control system shifts within the legal boundaries of international law, a modification facilitating a solid legal basis from which to learn how different models of the industry operate within acceptable international policy, rather than those that oppose or oppress.

Within new federal policy and legislation, Canadian banks such as TD Bank, have announced they would consider participating in the cannabis sector once recreational marijuana becomes legal in Canada later this year.  This marks a major step towards legitimacy and the acceptability criteria used to determine a tolerable level of risk for financing a market; one example of how government regulation helps affect and promote new industry and economic development.