Trudeau government rejects Liberal MPs’ call for decriminalization of all drugs

Legal drug model in Portugal wouldn’t work in Canada, federal health minister says

The Trudeau government is rejecting a call from its own backbenchers to decriminalize all illicit drug use in Canada — just days before Liberals are set to debate the idea at a national convention in Halifax.

A so-called priority resolution put forward by the national Liberal caucus for debate at the convention calls on the government to treat illegal drug use as a public health issue, not a criminal issue.

It urges the government to adopt the model instituted in 2001 in Portugal, where treatment and harm reduction services were expanded and criminal penalties eliminated for simple possession and consumption of illicit drugs.

READ MORE: B.C. health officer makes last call for decriminalization of illicit drugs

READ MORE: Federal funding to combat guns, gangs and opioid crisis

Anyone found in possession of an illegal drug in Portugal is ordered to appear before something called a dissuasion commission, which can refer the person for treatment or impose administrative sanctions, such as fines.

But Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor says what works for a small country like Portugal wouldn’t work in large country like Canada, where 10 different provinces have sole responsibility for delivering health care.

Moreover, she notes that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly drawn the line at legalizing recreational marijuana and doesn’t intend to go further down that road with other, harder drugs.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Tier 3 Bantam Championships

“The packed arena and electricity within was fantastic.”

Port Hardy RCMP issues warning about recent overdose

“Our primary concern is public safety. We are urging the public to be aware of what is circulating.”

Port Hardy RCMP looking for volunteers who are interested in public safety

“The volunteer program will include community and crime prevention programs”

Suspicious fire in Alert Bay burns two homes, spreads to nearby bush

Police say underage suspects have been identified

VIDEO: North Island Bantam Eagles tie Dawson Creek Canucks in front of massive hometown crowd in Port Hardy

The Tier 3 Bantam Championships continued in style last night at the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena.

Stolen Bentley spotted going wrong way down highway found in Summerland

The car has been recorded going the wrong way on the Coquihalla, found two days later

Fire crews battle large blaze at Courtenay hostel

Courtenay Fire Chief Don Bardonnex said nobody was injured

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

2 fires in Victoria caused by cigarettes prompts warning from deputy fire chief

Two separate fires caused by cigarette butts were avoidable

Most Read