"Mr. Speaker, the minister mentioned simple possession and that one of the goals of Bill C-5 is to reduce that issue. My colleague, the member for Courtenay—Alberni, has tabled a private member's bill, Bill C-216, to address exactly that issue and, in the process, address the overdose crisis that is happening right now all across the country. This will save lives, if we pass Bill C-216, and will reduce simple possession by decriminalizing it.
Will the minister support my colleague's bill?"
David Lametti (Liberal) LaSalle—Émard—Verdun, QC
"Mr. Speaker, we are still studying that bill. Certainly the sentiment behind it is one that speaks well of the hon. member and of all people who would like to attack the opioid crisis and other problematic drug abuse situations in our country.
This current bill is not meant to do that. It is meant to address flexibility in sentencing to reduce the overrepresentation of Black and indigenous people in the criminal justice system. The fundamental challenges that are being attacked by the private member's bill on the other side are wider than that, and I will look at the bill, as will all of my colleagues, with due diligence."