ISSUES

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Editorial: Cannabis legislation fails to protect Canada’s youth

by Dr. Diane Kelsall, MD MEd

Reprinted with permission from the Canadian Medical Association Journal With tabling of Bill C-45, the federal government has moved one step closer to fulfilling its election promise to legalize the use of cannabis in Canada, despite concerns over the many health risks associated with its use. The purported purpose of the act is to protect […]

Committee rejects reasonable amendment to proposed transgender law

by Senator Betty Unger

Today I proposed an amendment to Bill C-16. It was a moderate amendment, designed to address some of the concerns around transgender rights, yet without compromising those rights. The basis of the amendment was simple: Bill C-16 must not disconnect gender expression from gender identity because to do so means that people who don’t even believe they […]

High school marijuana users have lower grades

by Jason Unrau

Blacklock’s Reporter (“Examine Pot & Grades”) | May 12, 2017 High school marijuana users have lower grades, says a University of Waterloo study. The research is the first of its kind since the Department of Public Safety noted it had no data on the impact of legal cannabis on school performance. “Regardless of students’ aspirational […]

One in six children hospitalized for lung inflammation positive for marijuana exposure

by Senator Betty Unger

Originally published on April 30, 2016 at www.medicalxpress.com A new study to be presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2016 Meeting found that one in six infants and toddlers admitted to a Colorado hospital with coughing, wheezing and other symptoms of bronchiolitis tested positive for marijuana exposure. The study, “Marijuana Exposure in Children Hospitalized for […]

Doctors call for public health campaign to dispel mistruths about pot

by Marco Vigliotti

CMA president Dr. Granger Avery said Canadians must be informed that smoking marijuana is not a ‘benign activity.’ The Hill Times | May 8, 2017 Before legalizing marijuana, the Trudeau government needs to launch an aggressive public education campaign to combat popular mistruths and make significant investments to improve the admittedly sparse slate of existing […]

Senator Unger: Senate must address concerns over transgender rights

by Senator Betty Unger

It is very likely that even without an amendment to Bill C-16, the courts will understand gender rights to be belief-based and interpret those rights accordingly. But Parliament needs to make this explicit. The Hill Times May 1, 2017 PARLIAMENT HILL – When the Senate returns from its Easter break, the Senate’s Standing Committee on […]

Government admits marijuana is a “mind-altering” drug.

by Senator Betty Unger

IN HIS OWN WORDS: While doing an on air interview with 630 CHED on April 21, 2017, MP Bill Blair,  Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice noted that marijuana is a mind-altering drug. Yet he still wants to legalize it. Listen here: MP Bill Blair,  Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice points out that science […]

Psychiatrists urge government to consider mental health implications of cannabis legalization on youth

Canadian Psychiatric Association NEWS RELEASE Ottawa, ON, April 12, 2017 – With the federal government set to legalize marijuana on or before July 1, 2018, the Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA) has released a statement today highlighting the importance of safeguarding the mental wellness of youth and young adults in the forthcoming legislation. “There is a […]

Statement: Federal government decisions are hurting Alberta

by Senator Betty Unger

Honourable Colleagues, My home province of Alberta was the economic engine of Canada for decades, but now is in a severe recession. Through our petroleum industry, Alberta provided good paying jobs for hard working people across the country – which included many fine workers from Atlantic Canada. But all of this changed with the downturn […]

Concerns over transgender rights must be addressed and corrected

by Senator Betty Unger

SUMMARY: The ongoing debate about gender identity rights has given voice to numerous concerns and anxieties. While no one wants to deny legitimate human rights to trans persons, there are very real questions about the implications of separating sex from gender and enshrining this in law. The two primary concerns center around safety and privacy in […]

The environmental benefits of carbon fuels: A professor speaks out

by Professor Pierre Desrochers

Following is the February 1, 2017 presentation by Professor Pierre Desrochers (University of Toronto) to the Standing Senate Committee on Transportation and Communications regarding the Committee’s study to develop of a strategy to facilitate the transport of crude oil to eastern Canadian refineries and to ports on the East and West coasts of Canada. Watch […]

Harvard Medical School: Marijuana use can cause psychosis

by Senator Betty Unger

Excerpted from Harvard Medical School’s “Medical marijuana and the mind“ Marijuana exacerbates psychotic symptoms and worsens outcomes in patients already diagnosed with schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders. Several large observational studies also strongly suggest that using marijuana — particularly in the early teenage years — can increase risk of developing psychosis. An often-cited study of […]

Is marijuana harmful to youth? A doctor speaks out.

by Senator Betty Unger

Dr. Harold Kalant is a professor emeritus of the University of Toronto’s department of Pharmacology and toxicology.  He was director of biological and behavioural research at the Addiction Research Foundation of Ontario (now the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health). Since 1959 Kr. Kalant’s research has been largely on alcohol and cannabis. Following is Dr. Kalant’s […]

Green path the wrong one

by Senator Betty Unger

Prime Minister Trudeau’s pot legalization plan bad for the country’s young people Edmonton Sun | January 11, 2017 Sen. Betty Unger, Alberta Senator Last summer the Trudeau government established a task force to study marijuana legalization and regulation. Their mandate was to consult with Canadians about developing a framework for legal access to marijuana (cannabis). […]

Concerned parents turned the tide against marijuana legalization

by Dr. Emily Dufton

The following is excerpted from, “Parents, Peers and Pot: The Rise of the Drug Culture and the Birth of the Parent Movement, 1976-1980” by Emily Dufton. Text has been edited for brevity. From 1973 to 1978, marijuana was decriminalized or legalized across America in twelve states that together contained a third of the nation’s population. […]

Alberta Senator wants to see real change

by Senator Betty Unger

Published: 2017-01-03 Moncton Times & Transcript It was refreshing to read your December 17 editorial, “Reform needed in Red Chamber”. Rarely does one hear about the need for a Triple-E Senate reform these days. Attention has shifted to the elusive topic of Senate “modernization” while awareness of the need for true Senate reform has all but been lost. As a Senator […]