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Bill C-236

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First Session, Forty-third Parliament,
68-69 Elizabeth II, 2019-2020
HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA
BILL C-236
An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (evidence-based diversion measures)
FIRST READING, February 26, 2020
Mr. Erskine-Smith
431099


SUMMARY

This enactment amends the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to require peace officers to consider measures other than judicial proceedings to deal with individuals alleged to have been in possession of certain substances. It also sets out principles to be taken into account in the determination of the most appropriate measures to take.
Available on the House of Commons website at the following address:
www.ourcommons.ca


1st Session, 43rd Parliament,
68-69 Elizabeth II, 2019-2020
HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA
BILL C-236
An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (evidence-based diversion measures)
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
1996, c. 19

Controlled Drugs and Substances Act

1The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act is amended by adding the following after Part I:
PART I.‍1
Evidence-based Diversion Measures
Principles
Declaration of principles
10.‍1The following principles apply in this Part:
(a)problematic substance use should be addressed primarily as a health and social issue;
(b)interventions should be founded on evidence-based best practices and should aim to protect the health, dignity and human rights of individuals who use drugs, and to reduce harm to those individuals, their families and their communities;
(c)criminal sanctions imposed in respect of the possession of drugs for personal use can increase the stigma associated with drug use and are not consistent with established public health evidence;
(d)interventions should address the root causes of problematic substance use, including by encouraging measures such as education, treatment, aftercare, rehabilitation and social reintegration; and
(e)judicial resources are more appropriately used in relation to offences that pose a risk to public safety.
Warnings and Referrals
Warnings and referrals
10.‍2(1)A peace officer shall, before commencing proceedings against an individual alleged to have committed an offence under subsection 4(1), consider whether it would be sufficient, having regard to the principles set out in section 10.‍1, to take no further action, warn the individual or, with the consent of the individual, refer the individual to a program, agency or other service provider in the community that may assist the individual.
Subsequent charges not invalidated
(2)The failure of a peace officer to consider the options set out in subsection (1) does not invalidate any subsequent charges against the individual for the offence.
Proceedings — limits
10.‍3Proceedings may be commenced or continued against an individual alleged to have committed an offence under subsection 4(1) only if, having regard to the principles set out in section 10.‍1, the individual cannot be adequately dealt with by a warning or referral mentioned in section 10.‍2, or by way of alternative measures, as defined in section 716 of the Criminal Code, because of the nature or number of previous offences committed by the individual or any other aggravating circumstances.
Record of warning or referral
10.‍4The police force may keep a record of any warnings or referrals used to deal with individuals alleged to have committed an offence under subsection 4(1) only if doing so is necessary for the protection of public safety.
Evidence of warning or referral not admissible
10.‍5Evidence that an individual has received a warning or referral mentioned in subsection 10.‍2(1), evidence that a peace officer has taken no further action in respect of an offence under subsection 4(1) and evidence of the offence is inadmissible for the purpose of proving prior offending behaviour in any proceedings before a court in respect of the individual.
Published under authority of the Speaker of the House of Commons

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