Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, June 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle

Feds avert possible delay of marijuana bill

Promise more funding for Indigenous mental health and addiction treatment services, special help for businesses

The Trudeau government has averted a potential confrontation with Indigenous senators that could have delayed the legalization of recreational marijuana.

The 11 members of the Senate’s Aboriginal Peoples’ committee had planned to support a Conservative amendment that would have deferred implementing Bill C-45, pending a report on government efforts to address the concerns of Indigenous communities.

That could have been enough to ensure the amendment passed, given that other senators are also sympathetic to the concerns of some First Nations, who say they have not been properly consulted on the measure.

But just prior to the debate, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor and Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott sent a letter to the committee, promising a full report to Parliament in September and another within 12 months.

The ministers also promised more funding for Indigenous mental health and addiction treatment services, special help for Indigenous businesses to navigate the licensing process to grow marijuana and consultation on jurisdictional and revenue-sharing issues.

As a result, committee chair Lillian Dyck says Indigenous senators have achieved more than they’d hoped to do with the amendment from Conservative Sen. Dennis Patterson, who says he has decided — with “hesitation” — to abandon it.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Odd jobs program in Summerland now operating as a social enterprise

This year the program will provide work for people receiving disability support

Snowy morning on mountain west of Penticton

Snow fell for about two hours and stayed on the ground for four, says resort manager

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: rain expected

Showers are expected to end by tomorrow

Penticton woman dies after Riva Ridge Mobile Park fire in May

BC Coroners Service says investigation in progress

Comedic play about calling cable service company will be staged in Summerland

The Penticton Chamber Theatre will stage Able Cable in Summerland on June 22

VIDEO: Rare white killer whale captured by drone near Campbell River

The transient orca has been named Tl’uk, a Coast Salish word that means ‘moon.’

Penticton family honours loved one with acts of kindness, free coffee

The family of Kathy Castle want to ensure she is remembered by the community

Okanagan MP tables bill on RCMP Day in Canada

North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold throws support behind Vernon-based campaign

B.C. imposes interim moratorium on resource development to protect caribou

The caribou population in northeastern B.C. has dwindled over the last two decades

B.C. sculptor depicts epic eagle battle in latest piece that took 2,500 hours

Clasped in one of the raptor’s talons is each one’s desire: a living venomous diamondback rattlesnake

Students disciplined after anti-LGBTQ signs posted in Kamloops high school

Vessy Mochikas, SD73’s principal for inclusive education, called incident a learning opportunity

Air Canada expects Boeing 737 Max to resume flying by September or October

Air Canada isn’t worried about safety of the planes, says vice-president

Fast music can lead to a better workout: UBC Okanagan researcher

Upbeat tunes can make HIIT exercise more enjoyable, easier for less-active individuals

Update: Alleged South Okanagan car-jacker threatened driver with bear spray

Elementary school was put under a hold and secure by RCMP

Most Read