Trudeau government avoids defeat on key pot bill vote
Senators voted 44 to 29, largely along partisan lines, to send bill to 5 committees for further study
By John Paul Tasker, CBC News
The Liberal government avoided a disastrous result for its marquee marijuana bill Thursday, as the legislation to legalize recreational cannabis passed a key stage in the Senate. It's now headed to five separate committees for further study.
Senators voted 44 to 29 to pass the bill, largely along partisan lines, at second reading. A defeat would have killed the bill, forcing the government to start over again in the House of Commons with new legislation, all the while jeopardizing plans for full legalization by summer.
All 28 Conservative senators present in the chamber voted against the bill. Virtually all Independent senators — most of them appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — sided with the government.
Independent P.E.I. Sen. Mike Duffy was the lone hold-out and voted with the Conservatives. And, in a rare move, Speaker George Furey, who usually refrains from voting, voted to move the bill to committee.
"I think it's an important statement by the majority that this bill must advance," Peter Harder, the government's representative in the Senate, told reporters after the vote.
"This is a bill that is of high interest to the Senate. There are many issues to be dealt with, and it's important that second reading passed tonight so the Senate could get on with its study, meeting with experts, and deciding if the bill can be improved in any fashion."
Trudeau government avoids defeat on key pot bill vote | CBC News
It's traveling a rocky road. The Conservatives are making sure that all the facts are checked before it becomes law.
Liberal plan to legalize pot survives Senate vote
By Amanda Connolly, Global News
The government’s plan to legalize marijuana by this summer remains on track.
After a tense day of uncertainty over whether the Liberals could garner enough support from independent senators to defeat a Conservative effort to kill the bill, Bill C-45 passed second reading on Thursday night.