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Ontario Hansard - 20-November2017

Ms. Peggy Sattler: It is a pleasure to rise to offer some comments on the speech from my colleague the member for Oshawa with regard to Bill 174, the Cannabis, Smoke-Free Ontario and Road Safety Statute Law Amendment Act.

One of the points that she made that deserves to be repeated is around the inconsistencies in the penalties that are set out in this act when it comes to selling cannabis to minors compared to existing penalties related to selling alcohol to minors and selling cigarettes to minors. Certainly, she has mentioned that the risks of some kind of effect on brain development are significant for young people, whose brains are developing up to age 25, and this is what Ontarians would expect from this Legislature—that we would put in place very stringent protections for our youth. However, ironically, the penalties that are set out in this legislation for selling cannabis to minors are actually less—the financial penalties are less, the prospects of imprisonment or the length of imprisonment are less—when compared to the Liquor Licence Act and the Smoke-Free Ontario Act. This is a major concern, because certainly when we are putting in place a regulatory framework, we want to ensure that the risks of cannabis, the risks of cigarettes, the risks of alcohol—that all of these risks are acknowledged and that the appropriate protections are put in place. We are concerned that this legislation perhaps doesn’t do enough to protect our young people.

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