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article imagePM to announce by day's end when pot will be legal in Canada

By Karen Graham     Jun 20, 2018 in World
Ottawa - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to announce Wednesday afternoon when marijuana will become legal in Canada at an end of sitting news conference.
The announcement comes on the heels of an historic vote by the Canadian Senate Tuesday night to pass Bill C-45, the government’s legislation to legalize cannabis. The vote was also a win for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who had campaigned for the legalization of marijuana.
The Globe and Mail's Campbell Clark says: “That’s why the bill’s passage through the Senate is a political marker for Mr. Trudeau’s government: It is a success in overcoming inertia. There aren’t many Canadians who still believe their fellow citizens should go to jail for smoking a joint. Still, they worry about the pace of change.”
According to Bill Blair, the Liberal's spokesperson on cannabis, Trudeau will make the declaration today at the end of session news conference at 4:30 p.m. reports CTV News.
The bill still needs to receive Royal Assent, which could happen today. Just a word on what "royal assent" means. The Royal Assent ceremony is based on the United Kingdom tradition used prior to Confederation.
The chamber of the House of Commons; the Speaker s chair is at the rear and centre in the room.
The chamber of the House of Commons; the Speaker's chair is at the rear and centre in the room.
Royal Assent
Royal Assent is the approval by the Sovereign of a bill that has passed both houses of Parliament in identical form. It is the process by which a bill becomes an act of Parliament and part of the law of Canada. The job falls to the Governor-General or one of the Governor General’s deputies (a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada or a senior official such as the Secretary to the Governor General).
For those Americans who wonder about Canada needing to have the assent of the Sovereign, the process is not much different than how a bill becomes a law in the United States. In the U.S. — a piece of legislation has to pass both the Senate and House of Representatives before going to the Executive Branch, the president, for final approval.
In Canada, the legislative process by which a bill becomes part of the law of the land requires the participation and approval of the three components of Parliament: the Sovereign, the Senate and the House of Commons. Representatives from all three components of the Sovereign are present for the signing, much like the procedure for signing bills in the U.S.
Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould cautioned Canadians that the current laws and prohibitions on cannabis still remain in place until the day of implementation. “It is the prerogative of the Prime Minister, so I suspect that the Prime Minister will have something more to say on that,” she said.
Wilson-Raybould also said she anticipated that Bill C-46, the impaired driving bill that was introduced alongside Bill C-45, will pass Parliament “very soon.”
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