Senate backs bill to legalize recreational marijuana

Justin Trudeau reminded senators that his government was elected on a promise to legalize pot

The Senate has given approval in principle to the Trudeau government’s bill to legalize recreational marijuana.

Bill C-45 passed at second reading this evening by a vote of 44-29.

The approval comes after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reminded the senators that his government was elected on a promise to legalize recreational marijuana.

That was seen as a subtle warning that they should not attempt to thwart the will of Canadians or the government they elected.

The uncertainty was triggered by Conservative senators, who were hoping to deliver a double-barrelled embarrassment to Trudeau: upending one of his signature election promises, while demonstrating the folly of his efforts to reform the Senate into a less partisan, more independent chamber.

Earlier in the day, Trudeau said the criminal cannabis regime has not protected Canadian children, who are among the highest under-age users of marijuana in developed countries, and has put up to $7 billion every year in the pockets of organized crime.

Ordinarily, a second reading vote is not a big hurdle and is dispensed with on the basis of a quick voice vote — after which the bill is sent to committee for closer scrutiny, witness testimony and any proposed amendments before returning to the Senate for a final debate and vote.

But in the case of Bill C-45, the 33 Conservative senators had vowed to vote en masse against it at second reading.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Langley’s AOK team need help repairing homes, restoring lives

An Aldergrove family will get help retrofitting their house in May, thanks to volunteers.

Fraser Health patients to see 23% hike in knee, hip replacement surgeries

New approach will see first-available surgeon waitlists

Calgary trampled Stealth at Langley Events Centre Saturday night

Pro Langley lacrosse players are off to Georgia for the last game of the season.

Kindness of Alberta students fulfills dream for older Langley couple

A new roof and fence enable a Langley City couple to stay in their home.

Lawn bowlers kick off Langley season

The bowlers welcomed new members and civic officials.

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Final week for ALR input

Public consultation process closes April 30

‘When everybody leaves: Counselling key to help Humboldt move on after bus crash

Dealing with life after a tragedy can be the worst part following a loss

One person arrested after man killed in Vancouver

Police say this is Vancouver’s seventh murder of 2018

Half-naked shooter guns down four, runs away in Nashville Waffle House shooting

Nashville police say they are looking for Travis Reinking in connection with the shooting

Downtown roads closed for Vancouver Sun Run

Thousands of runners participate in the annual event

Child’s body found in river downstream from where boy went missing during flood

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms in February

B.C. VIEWS: Eliminating efficiency for farm workers

Don’t worry, NDP says, the B.C. economy’s booming

Hockey for Humboldt charity game Friday

Event in Maple Ridge will benefit bus tragedy victims

Most Read