Government of Canada invests $11.5 million to keep Quebec’s roads safe from drug-impaired drivers
July 17, 2019
Public Safety Canada
Reducing impaired driving increases road safety, saves lives and eliminates preventable injuries each year. The Government of Canada is providing law enforcement with access to new technologies, more resources and the training needed to detect and prosecute drug-impaired drivers. If you consume cannabis in any form, do not drive. Find an alternative means of transportation.
Today, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, the Honourable David Lametti, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, Peter Schiefke, announced $11.5 million over five years to support frontline law enforcement officers to combat drug-impaired driving in Quebec. The announcement was made on behalf of the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, the Honourable Bill Blair.
Projects the funding will support include training on the relevant legislation, Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) evaluation and the use of oral fluid drug screening devices, as well as the purchase of approved drug screening devices themselves.
The funding will also be used to develop standardized data collection and reporting practices for analyzing trends, identifying gaps and providing an accurate picture of drug-impaired driving in the province, and across Canada. The funding is part of the $81 million announced by the Government of Canada for provinces and territories to support public and road safety activities.
“I have witnessed the consequences of drug-impaired driving too many times during my law enforcement career. People who think impaired driving is a victimless crime have never had to console families grieving the loss or catastrophic injury of a loved one. I have and it is something you never forget. There is no excuse to drive impaired. Be responsible and don’t drive high. You will save lives.”
- The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction
“I am pleased to announce critical financial support to the Province of Quebec to help train law enforcement officers to better detect drug-impaired driving. Our Government amended the Criminal Code to strengthen the detection and prosecution of drug-impaired driving. This funding will ensure that our roads are safer by providing our police with the necessary tools to investigate and enforce the law.”
- The Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
“We must all do our part to keep our roads safe, and that means being respectful of other drivers and our passengers by driving sober. Plan ahead if you are going to use cannabis and make sure you have a safe way home. It’s not a lot to ask – it should be the number one priority for everyone.”
- The Honourable Peter Schiefke, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth) and to the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction
There are over 14,400 Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST) trained officers across Canada (November 2018) and 1,129 certified DREs (July 1, 2019).
For this agreement, Quebec has established a training objective of over 18,000 officers on former bills C-45 and C46 and Law 157, as well as refresher training to detect impaired driving over four years; and over 7,100 officers trained in the use oral fluid drug screening devices over three years; and an additional 204 DREs over five years.
Public Safety Canada introduced its second Don’t Drive High public awareness advertisement in April 2019. The campaign will continue to engage young Canadians and leverage partnerships with other levels of governments and organizations that are working toward the same goal to eliminate drug-impaired driving on Canadian roads.
Overall, 15 per cent of cannabis users with a valid driver's license reported driving within two hours of consuming cannabis, according to combined data from the fourth quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019. This was unchanged from the first half of 2018.
Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction
Public Safety Canada
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