According to the Nanaimo News Bulletin September 10, 2008 article,("Drug Testing Hits Construction;") "An agreement between B.
C.'s unionized construction workers and their employers has created a new industry-wide policy requiring workers who have workplace accidents or near misses to undergo mandatory drug and alcohol testing.
As the Sun states, "Export of illegal amphetamines produced in Canada, the report claims, has grown to 20 per cent of the country's output in 2007 from only five per cent in 2006." The article claims that the report's findings are not "particularly new information to local police forces and academics." However, some "academics were skeptical of the report's pedigree, considering it to be ideologically driven by hard-line U. But if you read the whole thing, Canada is just a small part in a global market." In a disappointing move, the Canadian House of Commons passed "the controversial C-15 mandatory minimum sentencing drug offense bill" in early June of 2009, according to the Drug War Chronicle's June 12 feature article ("In Bold Step Backward, Canadian House of Commons Passes Mandatory Minimum Drug Sentencing Bill").
The Chronicle reports that, "Bowing to the wishes of [...] Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Liberal Party Members of Parliament (MPs) joined Monday with Harper's Conservatives" to approve the measure after an unsuccessful filibuster attempt by opposing NDP and Bloc MPs.
' Pretty soon you'll see everyone do it-either that or you won't get insurance,' he said. ' It's not clear that the tests effectively determine active impairment,' she said, adding the testing could lead to employers accessing medical information they have no right to access.' The safety justification, in our view, is incredibly problematic when it comes to pre-employment screening," said Vonn.' We would expect that there will be numerous individual challenges.
The kits, which are also distributed - though differently - in Prince George and Toronto, "include a mouth piece and a push stick," which advocates say could help reduce "the transmission of communicable disease[s]" like Hepatitis C; as the Bulletin states, "research has shown that crack pipes can carry hepatitis C-positive blood." The kits will be distributed "through the same agencies distributing needles for drug injection" and can be provided at a negligible cost to taxpayers.
As Salem News reported on May 14, 2009 ("Canada: Feds to Pay for Military Veterans['] Medical Marijuana"), Canada's "federal government has decided to pay for medical cannabis for some veterans" in a reversal of Canadian Veterans' Affairs' previous ban on doing so.
The policy is not all-inclusive, nor is it perfect; as Salem states, "Payments can be made only to veterans licensed by Health Canada to possess medical marijuana, and who buy government-certified cannabis." Additionally, the Drug War Chronicle reports that "Only about 3,000 of the estimated 400,000 people who use medical marijuana in Canada are licensed through Health Canada, and only a small fraction of them obtain their marijuana from Health Canada." Furthermore, "Patients and advocates have long complained that Health Canada's sole-source monopoly marijuana is of low quality" ("Canada: Veterans Affairs to Cover Medical Marijuana Expenses").
Moreover, the Bulletin notes, "unlike needles," crack kits "could be reused by drug addicts several times." Victoria should be applauded for approving this laudable idea that not only assists crack users in ingesting the drug more safely but also expands upon the success of harm reduction measures more typically associated with heroin users.
On June 25, 2009, the Vancouver Sun ("Canada Primary Source of Ecstasy in Drug Trade") reported that this year's "United Nations report on the world drug trade reiterates what [British Columbian] police forces have been saying for a couple of years now: Canada has become a global producer of 'party' drugs, especially ecstasy. accounted for more than 80 per cent of the methamphetamine labs reported worldwide in 2007 -- almost 6,000 of them.
He said unionized contractors and the 14 building trades worked on the policy since the last round of bargaining and it applies to everyone on the job site, including managers and administrative staff.