It was my great pleasure to welcome Bill Blair, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice, to Mission last week. Before becoming my colleague in Ottawa, Mr. Blair enjoyed an outstanding career in law enforcement, spanning more than 30 years with the Toronto Police Department, including two terms as their Chief. Now, as the Member of Parliament for Scarborough Southwest, he has been tasked by the Prime Minister to steer us through the complexities of cannabis legalization.

Our Government has committed to legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis in a careful way to keep it out of the hands of children and youth, and to stop criminals from profiting. We are committed to the safety and education of all Canadians regarding this issue.

We recognize that legalizing and strictly regulating access to cannabis is a complex issue. This is not a step we take lightly, and it is why we appointed a task force last year to consult widely and present its best advice. The task force sought the views of a diverse community of experts, professionals, advocates, front-line workers, government officials, citizens and employers.

We will carefully consider the task force’s advice as our Government works to develop evidence-informed legislation on this issue to be introduced in Parliament in the spring of 2017.

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