Mr. Chairman, I have a lot of respect for the hon. member for Essex East. I know he is an experienced lawyer, and I have a lot of respect for his opinions. However, I certainly do not agree with his interpretation of this section. He has misread it. If a man does not plead guilty, the onus is still on the crown. First, the onus is on the crown to show that the man was in possession. Then, the onus may shift and he may explain it as the trial goes 90205-6-355
Food and Drugs Act
on. Now, that is not putting any unfair obligation upon the accused. He explains it, and he is found not guilty. If he cannot explain it, then the crown must go on to show that he has the drug for illegal purposes. Unless the accused can explain why he has it, then he is guilty. I do not read the provision the way the hon. member does. I do not think the man is put in jeopardy. I do not see that the provision can be changed in any way. We have many statutes containing such provisions where the man himself is caught with the goods and he is the only person who can really explain why he has them. I do not see how the suggested amendment would help. I do not see the provision the way the hon. member does, and I do not think the man is put in jeopardy.
Topic: FOOD AND DRUGS ACT
Subtopic: AMENDMENTS RESPECTING CONTROL OF BARBITURATES