Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2017-09-27 16:00
I'd like to thank all the witnesses. I am particularly grateful to Mr. Comeau and Alcohol Countermeasure Systems for giving us very specific recommendations for amendment, because of course, that's what we're trying to do here. I appreciate that.
The instrument that you showed us earlier I think is called DrugWipe, a saliva drug tester that your company produces. Is that correct?
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2017-09-27 16:01
On your first recommendation, you talk about the Australian experience. I think the thrust of the study that you showed from Drs. Huestis and Cone was that we really don't need blood testing, if I can summarize. You're saying, showing the chart, that samples of saliva are just fine in terms of demonstrating the presence of THC.
To put words in your mouth—I want you to react to this—there really would be no need to have blood tests, which are more intrusive, of course, if we have the benefit of saliva tests, which are just as reliable. Is that what I'm supposed to take from this?
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2017-09-27 16:02
We've heard lots of evidence about how intrusive blood tests are. Their constitutionality is up in the air because of the intrusive nature of blood tests. If the science is as you suggest, as Drs. Huestis and Cone suggest, then one wouldn't need to be as concerned if that's the implication of the science you're presenting here.
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2017-09-27 16:02
Right.
On the use of urine as a bodily substance, you've suggested that, because of the metabolites, it's historical evidence rather than current presence of THC in the system. I'm struck by the fact that at the work site people still use urine tests, if I'm not mistaken, in railways as well as in Fort McMurray and everywhere heavy equipment is used. They're the gold standard in employee testing to this point. Has there been a change? Are people using, for example DrugWipe, in the workplace?
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2017-09-27 16:03
You make the point that this is entirely gender-neutral and that there are no issues of that sort using saliva tests.
You mentioned that the only time urine could be useful would be post-mortem, where a person has died on a highway. Wouldn't a saliva test still be valuable? If a person dies, is the saliva test no longer relevant?
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2017-09-27 16:04
But it's not necessary to do that. A corpse can still provide saliva through the same kind of device that you've just been describing.
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2017-09-27 16:04
In your materials you talk about evidentiary value. You showed us Dr. Logan's test. I was really struck by the fact of how little evidentiary value there was in the chart you've provided for THC in the blood. What about if alcohol and cannabis are mixed together, as often occurs? What's the implication of alcohol when one is using these oral fluid devices that you've just been talking to us about?
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2017-09-27 16:05
Just to be clear, if you were to apply your DrugWipe saliva drug tester to a person who has both had alcohol and THC/cannabis in their system, the fact that there's also alcohol in the system wouldn't destroy the benefit or the evidentiary value of the saliva tester.
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2017-09-27 16:05
I understand.
I just want to ask, in the time that I have available, about Washington. You didn't have a chance in your oral remarks, but in your written material you talk about the Washington Traffic Safety Commission work.
We have a range of what are called per se limits from one nanogram per millilitre to five, and some states don't have any. What is your position? What would your recommendation be to this committee? Should we have per se limits or not?
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2017-09-27 16:07
Do I have time for just one quick question?
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2017-09-27 16:07
Ms. Gentile, I wanted to make sure you didn't escape. You talked about the disproportionate effect on racialized groups, and their fear about that in this bill. That is presumably to do with randomized tests at the whim of a police officer going after somebody. Would you react the same way if there were roadblocks, and only at roadblocks would people be able to administer tests? Would this fear of discrimination be as strong?
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2017-09-27 17:04
Thank you very much. I'd like to pursue what Mr. Fraser was talking about.
For Mr. Yost and Ms. Thompson, I heard Ms. Thompson say that the government has a zero-tolerance approach, yet I understand we're going to have per se levels set by regulations under Bill C-46 of two nanograms, and five nanograms as well. If the Australians have a presence-absence system, isn't that essentially what a zero-tolerance level would mean? I'm told on the other hand that we're going to have regulations that won't set that, so I'm confused.
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2017-09-27 17:05
But why would we contemplate regulations that set a limit of two nanograms per millilitre, then, if it's zero tolerance?
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