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HEALTH & SAFETY: Recreational cannabis, construction and the Ontario workplace (a panel discussion)
September 19th, 2017 1:15 pm     A+ | a-

Andrew Pariser and Amina Dibe / RESCON

The Cannabis Act has been getting considerable attention in the media, and with good reason. The federal government is sticking to its legalization date of July 1, 2018 for recreational cannabis; this means that employers and employees need to be aware of the details of the legislation and potential implications to the construction industry.


The issue of legalization of recreational cannabis has been at the forefront of discussion in boardroom meetings in the industry. Due to the relevance of the legislation to our industry, RESCON has partnered with the Ontario General Contractors Association to host an informative event regarding the upcoming legislation.

To learn how recreational cannabis legalization could affect your business, construction professionals are invited to the Cannabis in Construction Symposium on Monday, Oct. 2 in Maple. This event will touch on issues related to labour relations, health and safety, and employer drug policies through presentations and an interactive panel discussion.

We’re very proud to present:

-          Carl Peterson, partner at Filion Wakely:He specializes in employment and labour law, with expertise in the construction industry and health and safety. He has been active in his career in developing seminars for employers to prevent accidents.

-          Dr. Melissa Snider-Adler, chief medical review officer at DriverCheck Inc.: She specializes in addiction and family medicine. For the last 16 years, she has been providing opioid agonist therapy throughout Ontario. She also gives talks throughout Canada about workplace substance abuse.

-          Norm Keith, partner at Fasken Martineau:Like Peterson, he specializes in employment and labour law but also has expertise in dealing with drug- and alcohol-related issues in the workplace. Keith is the author of the book Alcohol & Drugs in the Canadian Workplace.He has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada in a case relating to alcohol and drug testing.



The Cannabis Act is a federal bill that would allow for full legalization of cannabis in Canada. Legalization of recreational cannabis builds on the legalization of medical cannabis which first occurred in 2001. Earlier this month, the Ontario government released its framework regarding sale, distribution, age limit and lawful use of recreational cannabis.

Key points from the framework include:

-          The minimum age to purchase, use and possess recreational cannabis will be 19.

-          Use is prohibited in workplaces, in public places and inside a motor vehicle.

-          The sale of recreational cannabis will be overseen by the LCBO, with 150 standalone stores to be opened by 2020.

-          An online ordering service with door-to-door delivery will also be implemented, available in July 2018.

-          Police will be able to confiscate small amounts of cannabis from youth under the age of 19.

To see the provincial government’s cannabis framework, click here. For more news on the announcement, click here.

While Ontario’s recent framework announcement provides vital information, much uncertainty still exists regarding cannabis legalization. We’re looking forward to hosting this symposium.

For more information about the upcoming event or to RSVP, please contact Amina Dibe at 905-760-7777, ext. 110 or at


Andrew Pariser is the vice-president of RESCON and chair of the RESCON health and safety committee. Amina Dibe works in external and government relations for RESCON.


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