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May 8th, 2019

New Democrats Want Answers on the Excise Tax Imposed on Medical Cannabis

OTTAWA— NDP Deputy Leader Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie) was joined by Daphnée Elisma, a Patient Health Advocate from Cannabis Santé, and lawyer Jacqueline Bissonnette, to ask the Liberal government to clarify its position on medical cannabis.

"The Liberal tax on medical cannabis is unfair and damaging to the health of patients. It shows that the Liberal government is out of touch with the reality of people,” said the NDP Deputy Leader. “So far, my questions to the Minister have gone unanswered. But this time, I hope that he will finally justify the stance taken by the Liberals."

Last February, Boulerice wrote to the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Health asking them to act through drafting legislation to help patients who are often turning to medical cannabis as a last resort. He received no response from the government.

"Medical cannabis must be treated just like other prescription drugs. Its price must be reviewed and untaxed in order to allow patients to treat themselves properly,” added Boulerice. “Some patients are forced to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars each month to get their medication. This is wrong!"

With the tabling of Motion M-198, the NDP recognizes that health care is a fundamental human right and that no one should be denied access to the prescription drugs they need to be healthy. We are calling for medical cannabis to be considered as medication and for research funds to be allocated to studying this treatment.