ARCHIVED - Public Safety Minister Vic Toews delivers opening address at Training Conference on Drugs, Alcohol and Impaired Driving

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Montreal, July 19, 2011 — The Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, delivered remarks at the opening session of the 17th Annual Training Conference on Drugs, Alcohol and Impaired Driving hosted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The Minister reinforced the government's commitment to fostering relationships with all levels of government and agencies, as well as international partners, to ensure that our efforts to prevent and respond to illicit drug use, including efforts under the National Anti-Drug Strategy, help keep Canadians safe and healthy.

“The Government of Canada shares deep and growing concerns about the issue of drug-impaired driving and its serious and harmful impacts,” said Minister Toews. “This issue requires the same type of long-term multi-faceted response that has been used in Canada to respond to alcohol-impaired driving. We are committed to ensuring that law enforcement personnel are provided with the tools needed to fight this growing problem and keep our roads safe.”

In recent years, Canada's criminal law relating to drug-impaired driving was enhanced under former Bill C-2 (Tackling Violent Crime Act).  Law enforcement officials in Canada can now demand from suspected drug-impaired drivers physical tests at the road side and drug evaluations at the station, followed by a demand for bodily fluid samples.  Previously, police sought voluntary cooperation. Refusal or failure to comply is punishable by the same Criminal Code penalties as refusing a demand for a breath test for alcohol.

This conference is an opportunity for police officers from Canada and abroad to gain a broader understanding about issues related to impaired driving as well as foster partnerships and promote increased cross-border understanding of the growing issue of drug-impaired driving.

For more information on the National Anti-Drug Strategy visit

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