John Weston's tackling crystal meth and ecstasy bill became law March 25 as the last Private Member's Bill to be enacted before the fall of the Federal Government. Governor-General David Johnston signed the bill soon after 8 a.m. last Friday, an event that concluded the twisting path of a Bill that was menaced on several occasions, notwithstanding unanimous support in both Houses of Parliament.
Bill C-475 criminalizes the possession of precursors to the synthetic drugs of Crystal Meth and Ecstasy.
The Bill states that "no person shall possess, produce, sell or import anything knowing that it will be used to produce or traffic in a substance referred to in [the relevant sections of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act]".
"Today's enactment is all about protecting our youth; building our communities; keeping our streets safer," said Weston, member of Parliament for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country. "It's about teamwork, and the great progress we can make in public service when Canadians of different backgrounds find common ground.
"The new law will provide much needed help for law enforcement officials to protect our young people from the scourge of these drugs."
Weston drafted the Bill with input from stakeholders across Canada and from the Justice Critics of all three Opposition parties, from whom he received input that changed the original wording he'd proposed for the Bill.
Canadian law enforcement officials support this bill, including the B.C. Association of Police Chiefs, the West Vancouver Police Board, the National Council of the Catholic Women's League of Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
Various municipalities that endorsed the Bill include West Vancouver; North Vancouver District; Sechelt; Powell River; Squamish; Gibsons; Whistler; Bowen Island; and Lions Bay.
The Bill was the first Private Member's Bill in this session of Parliament to receive unanimous support, when it passed through the House in June 2010, but was held up in the Senate until March 24, when Weston and other witnesses appeared before the Senate Committee on Constitutional and Legislative Affairs. As the main witness, Weston, was grilled for about an hour on an array of legal, policy and other matters, in English and French. With one dissent, the Committee voted to report the Bill to the Senate, which passed it unanimously at third reading, with less than a day to go before the Confidence Vote that brought down the Government and killed all remaining legislation currently in process.