Blair expected in Western Canada later this week on legalization tour

Head of the government's legalization task force holding small meetings with law enforcement and other stakeholders ahead of promised legislation

Bill Blair is in Ottawa today and tomorrow, but will be in Western Canada later this week, according to sources close to his office.

Although there is no itinerary as yet established for Secretary Blair’s tour to meet with Canadians to discuss cannabis legalization and regulation, he is expected to spend a few days in Western Canada, likely the Lower Mainland, later in the week to meet with regional media and some small, by-invitation meetings, largely with law enforcement and related officials.

Blair, who was the chief of the Toronto Police Services from 2005-2015 and has worked in law enforcement since the 1970’s, was announced as the head of the government’s cannabis legalization and regulation task force early last year. He is also the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice, Jody Wilson-Raybould. Wilson-Raybould and Minister of Health, Jane Philpott are the Government’s leads on the legalization ticket.

Bringing law enforcement in Canada on-side with the government’s decision to legalize is an important step in ensuring the transition goes well. Based on Blair’s twitter feed, his stops last week were also largely with smaller groups, mostly from law enforcement.

Although there is little public info to update these groups on, as the Federal Government prepares to present legislation by this spring to legalize and regulate marijuana, maintaining communication with these law enforcement stakeholders will allow for the government to see how these groups' questions and concerns are evolving through the process.

Having someone with four decades in law enforcement, including as the chief of Canada’s largest city (and one of N. America’s largest) speak with law enforcement in their own language about legalization is a valuable asset for the Liberal government in their quest to legalize cannabis.

More info from Lift as it becomes public.

The government has committed to legalizing, regulating, and restricting access to cannabis to keep it out of the hands of children and keep the profits out of the hands of criminals. The government’s goal, with input from Canadians, is to better control access to cannabis and put in place appropriate safeguards for its production and sale. These engagement sessions conducted by Mr. Blair will help further inform the government’s work going forward.

“I look forward to meeting with Canadians from across the country to hear their perspectives on regulating access to legal cannabis,” said Blair in a press release. “We know that the current system of prohibition through the criminal justice system is not protecting the health and safety of Canadians, especially our young people. These meetings, along with the work of the Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation and the online consultations, will help inform the development of legislation to be introduced in Parliament this spring.”

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1 comment

  1. Robert Reply

    Blair should go to the north pole and stay there ĥow did I know he was not going to meet with anyone who actually is for legalization we already know most of the police chiefs across Canada are against legalization they are already saying they don't want us growing our own.
    This just Blair ĉircling the wagons I will be surprised if the government doesn't back out of tĥis promise too.