The omnibus Ontario bill, Bill 174, An Act to enact the Cannabis Act, 2017, the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation Act, 2017 and the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017, to repeal two Acts and to make amendments to the Highway Traffic Act respecting alcohol, drugs and other matters passed Third Reading and received Royal Assent today in Queen’s Park.
Third Reading was a Liberal and NDP vs. PC vote which ended as 63 in favour to 27 opposed.
Status of the Bill
- First Reading – Completed November 1, 2017
- Second Reading – Completed November 23, 2017 (Carried on division)
- Committee – Completed (Justice Policy) November 29 (Transcript) & November 30th (Transcript)
- Report to the House – Completed December 11th, 2017
- Third Reading – Completed December 12th, 2017 (Carried on division)
- Royal Assent – Completed December 12th, 2017
- Coming into Force – WE ARE HERE
It is unfortunate that the Standing Committee of Justice Policy made none of the requested amendments that were submitted for Schedule 3, Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017.
Make no mistake about it, the bill as it was passed is devastating to vapers and the vaping industry in Canada. However, we have been told that there will be exemptions for vaping retail shops within the regulations.
This is what was presented in the proposed regulations for the Electronic Cigarette Act, 2015 (Bill 45) which were never finalized nor proclaimed:
The ministry is also proposing to permit the display and promotion of e-cigarette products (but not the testing or sampling of e-cigarettes) in places where they are sold, provided that the following conditions are met:
- Owner must inform its local public health unit in writing that it wishes to operate under the exemption;
- Products and promotional material must not be visible from the outside of the store;
- Individuals under the age of 19 would not be permitted to enter the shop;
- Customers could only access the store from outdoors or from areas in an enclosed shopping mall;
- Store could not be a thoroughfare (e.g. kiosk in a mall corridor).
So what happens now?
The Government is currently drafting proposed regulations that will be open for public consultation. Any exemptions will be listed in those proposed regulations.
We encourage EVERYONE (consumers and industry) to respond during the consultation period whether you agree or disagree with their proposal.
Different sections of the Act can be Proclamed at different times. Depending on what gets proclaimed for what date will determine what is in effect.
After consultation period on the proposed regulations, the final version will be posted and they will not be effective until the proclamation date for “that section”.
So it is business as usual (prepare for Federal Bill S-5) until Regulation for the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 are finalized and proclamation date(s) has been set.