B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth (Black Press)

Saliva test likely for marijuana impairment

Enforcement must be ready by next July, Mike Farnworth says

The federal government is offering provinces help with the task of enforcing marijuana-impaired driving by the time recreational use is legalized across Canada on July 1, 2018.

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said the issue of enforcement was a main focus of his meetings with other provincial ministers and federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould last week.

The federal parliament is considering Bill C-46, the Justin Trudeau government’s proposed crackdown on impaired driving. The legislation gives police new powers to demand breath samples for alcohol and saliva samples for drug impairment, and it was introduced this spring along with the legislation to legalize recreational marijuana sales.

RELATED: Local governments want help with pot regulation

“What the feds have indicated to us is that they will be giving us assistance in that regard, particularly with the kinds of testing that they agree on,” Farnworth said. “I know that there’s been a lot of work done particularly on the saliva test for example.”

Farnworth said B.C. has not decided on penalties for drug-impaired driving, but he prefers a common set of rules across the country.

“It’s my expectation that that is a critical issue that’s got to be addressed by the time legalization occurs in July 2018,” Farnworth said.

Wilson-Raybould has argued that demanding a breath or saliva sample is no different from demanding a driver’s licence.

“The Supreme Court of Canada has recognized as reasonable the authority, under provincial law and common law, of police officers to stop vehicles at random to ensure that drivers are licensed and insured, that the vehicle is mechanically fit, and to check for sobriety,” Wilson-Raybould said in May.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Kelowna council settles on 3.6 per cent tax increase for 2018

“Safety” budget heavy on a wide-range of public safety related spending

Meningococcal disease outbreak declared in Okanagan

Five cases in last six months among 15-to-19 year-olds, including one in Coldstream

Mail bandit puts damper on Christmas in Central Okanagan

Mail Box thefts have been reported throughout the Okanagan

West Kelowna RCMP seeks to reunite stolen items to owners

Numerous personal belongings were found during a seizure

Budget 2018: Kelowna to look at monitoring downtown security cameras 24 hours per day

Potential $30,000 budget item will be discussed further over objections of the mayor

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Debt-to-household-income ratio rises in third quarter, household net worth

Total household credit market debt grew to $2.11 trillion in the third quarter

Charges in car wash shooting stalled

Court waits for police watchdog report on Salmon Arm incident.

B.C. Mountie told to resign after texting teenage sex assault victim

RCMP documents say Const. Brian Eden sent sexually inappropriate photos to 17-year-old girl

Family doctors should learn to treat addiction, not shun patients: scientist

B.C. Centre on Substance Use’s Dr. Evan Wood said efforts underway to change addiction medicine image

Four dog deaths investigated in Cranbrook

One vet suggests a parallel to these deaths and similar ones in 2016

Province rejects Ajax mine in Kamloops

KGHM Ajax had proposed a 1,700-hectare open-pit copper and gold mine, just southwest of Kamloops

Border officers rally at B.C.’s Peace Arch

CBSA employees tire of ‘lack of respect’

FCC votes along party lines to end ‘net neutrality’

Move rolls back restrictions that keep big providers from blocking services they don’t like

Most Read