Proposed changes will better protect the health and safety of Canadians
OTTAWA, June 11, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of
Health, along with Roxanne James, Parliamentary Secretary to Canada's
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, today announced a
series of proposed enhancements to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA); updating Health Canada's nearly two-decade-old rules for drug
The CDSA has two core objectives: protecting public health and
maintaining public safety. There are a number of areas where Health
Canada inspectors, as well as the police, require updated legal
authorities in order to keep up with the evolving drug trade. The new
legislation introduced today is designed to address those needs, and to
address new drug abuse issues. The proposed changes to the CDSA will
equip the Minister of Health and law enforcement officials with better
tools to more quickly control dangerous new drugs, combat illegal drug
production and distribution, and enable Health Canada inspectors to
more effectively ensure compliance in the legitimate controlled
This action demonstrates the Government's commitment to safe and healthy
communities by better protecting Canadians against the introduction of
new designer drugs marketed to youth, and the ongoing problem of
prescription drug abuse.
The updated Act would give the Minister of Health modern and effective
tools to respond to changes in the illegal drug market, including the
authority to quickly control potentially dangerous new drugs.
The amendments enhance law enforcement's ability to dispose of seized
goods more efficiently and safely, and strengthen criminal penalties
for the illegal possession, production or sale of chemicals or
equipment intended for use in the illegal production of a controlled
Proposed amendments also respond to the Government's commitment to
address prescription drug abuse by strengthening the ability to
inspect, monitor and regulate the movement of controlled substances
within the legal supply chain, minimizing the potential for diversion.
Amendments will make it easier to dispose of seized material where there
is a health or safety risk to those involved resulting in safer
environments, efficiencies and cost savings for police.
The illicit drug market is innovative, and has created new "designer"
drugs that should be subject to the CDSA but are not yet regulated.
This new authority will allow the Minister of Health to quickly
schedule new substances, allowing for swift action as new drugs appear.
New authorities to levy fines will provide inspectors with more
flexibility when bringing companies into compliance.
This legislation is in keeping with the Government's National Anti-Drug
Strategy which focuses on prevention and access to treatment for those
with drug dependencies, while at the same time getting tough on drug
dealers and producers who threaten the safety of our youth and
This legislation compliments Private Member's Bill, C-475, introduced by
Member of Parliament, John Weston, which brought in stronger powers for
precursor chemicals used in manufacturing methamphetamine.
"Our Government is committed to protecting the health and safety of
Canadians. The series of proposed changes introduced today will help
protect our communities from dangerous drugs and ensure appropriate
consequences for all those involved in the production and trafficking
of such substances."
The Honourable Rona Ambrose
Federal Minister of Health
"The amendments introduced today will allow our Government to better address the rapidly evolving threat caused by
illegal drug production and distribution and is another positive step
towards keeping Canadian streets and communities safe."
Parliamentary Secretary to Canada's Minister of Public Safety and
Fact Sheet: Key Features of the Protection of Communities from the Evolving Dangerous Drug Trade Act
National Anti-Drug Strategy
Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse
Health Canada news releases are available on the Internet at: www.healthcanada.gc.ca/media
SOURCE Health Canada
For further information:
Michael Bolkenius, Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Federal Minister of Health, (613) 957-0200; Health Canada, Media Relations, (613) 957-2983; Public Inquiries: (613) 957-2991, 1-866 225-0709