Message from the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

It is my pleasure to table this report outlining the early successes and on-going challenges relating to the implementation of former Bill C-46, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (offences relating to conveyances) and to make consequential amendments to other Acts (S.C. 2018, c. 21).

This Act has been described as the most significant set of reforms to the law of impaired driving in a generation. It was and remains an ambitious piece of legislation with the laudable and important overriding goals of responding to and, ultimately, reducing the harms caused by impaired drivers on Canadian roads and highways.

This report presents some early findings on the impact of these legislative changes but, as with so much in the past few years, the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic cannot be overstated. Who could have predicted when this review and report were first being contemplated, nearly 3 years ago, that the data would need to be qualified by such a caveat? However, this is exactly the situation we find ourselves in and I am pleased that, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the available data confirm that the legislative changes are having the intended impact.

I recognize, however, that it is not all good news. As reflected in the information from the public opinion research, Indigenous peoples and racialized Canadians report being disproportionately impacted by police traffic stops. I am encouraged by the increasing recognition of the pernicious problem of racial profiling by the courts, and that this will hopefully help lead to a change in police conduct. Efforts are also being made to collect better data on the criminal justice system and the ethnocultural-identity of individuals who come into contact with police and the justice system. I hope this will lead to better decision-making on all areas of public policy, including law and policing.

In the meantime, I am proud of the impact of former Bill C-46 in the area of impaired driving. But this is not the end of the process. Although there is no legislative requirement for continued reports to Parliament on the implementation of Bill C-46, Parliamentarians and the Canadian public can rest assured that we will continue to monitor this area to ensure that the law remains responsive to scientific, judicial, and societal changes.

Drive responsibly everyone.

The Honourable David Lametti, P.C., Q.C., M.P
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada