Toronto, Ontario

Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel

Monday, September 30, 2019, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm Hotel information
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HRPA Continuing Professional Development

This program has been approved for 5.5 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours under Section A3 of the Recertification Log of the Human Resource Professionals Association.

Lancaster House CPD
  • This program has been approved by the Law Society of New Brunswick for 4.0 Continuing Professional Development hours.

The legalization of recreational cannabis has highlighted the need for employers and unions to address workplace impairment while respecting employee rights. In this essential session, an experienced Drug Recognition Expert will be joined by management and union lawyers to provide expert guidance on the impairing effects of cannabis and other drugs, how to recognize the signs of impairment, and tips for ensuring legally compliant policies and testing.

Learning outcomes:

  • Understand the seven recognized drug categories and how they impair one's abilities
  • Recognize common signs and symptoms of impairment
  • Identify aspects of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests that may be applicable to the workplace
  • Be aware of the legal framework for regulating recreational cannabis
  • Develop legally compliant policies and procedures that respect employee rights
  • Apply knowledge and skills to a realistic scenario, and receive expert feedback

Designed for:

  • Human resources/industrial relations professionals and executives
  • Union officers and representatives
  • Labour and employment lawyers/consultants
  • Health and safety specialists


Steven Maxwell

Drug Recognition Expert and Chief Consultant
Steven Maxwell Drug Recognition Expert Consulting
Niki Lundquist

Legal Counsel
Erin Porter

Employer Counsel


Please Note: This schedule is a draft only and is subject to change.

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.


9:00 a.m. – 9:10 a.m.


  • The session leader, an experienced Drug Recognition Expert, will review the agenda and goals for the day.

9:10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

 PART 1:  Understanding Impairment

  • An overview of the seven recognized drug categories (including cannabis) and how they impair one's abilities.

10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.


10:45 a.m. – 11:35 a.m.

 PART 2:  Recognizing Impairment

  • Common signs and symptoms of impairment.
  • What knowledge and skills do supervisors need to recognize signs of impairment?

11:35 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

 PART 3:  Legalization of Recreational Cannabis

  • What framework for recreational cannabis is established by Bills C-45 and C-46 and the Blood Drug Concentration Regulations?
  • How is Ontario regulating recreational cannabis use? Do any laws or regulations specifically address recreational cannabis use and the workplace?

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.


1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

 PART 4:  Expert Demonstration

  • A demonstration of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests administered by police officers on those suspected of impaired driving.

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

 PART 5:  Workplace Policies, Testing and Impairment

  • How should drug use policies be adapted to address recreational cannabis? Should workplace policies adopt the blood drug concentration limits in the Blood Drug Concentration Regulations?
  • Can/should policies require co-workers to inform management if they suspect a colleague is impaired? Are co-workers entitled to anonymity in these circumstances?
  • Can/should policies require employees to self-disclose all drug/alcohol use?
  • In what circumstances is drug testing permissible? What observable signs may support reasonable cause testing? When has post-incident or reasonable cause testing been overturned at arbitration?
  • Can employers require employees to participate in tests similar to roadside tests police may administer to detect impairment? What tests may be appropriate in the workplace context?
  • What is the appropriate response when an employee is reasonably believed to be impaired at work? What steps should be taken by the union in representing employees in these circumstances? What are the employer's and union's obligations where impairment is known or suspected to be related to a substance use disorder, or arises from authorized prescription drug use?

2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.


2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

 PART 6  Interactive Exercise

  • In groups, participants will work through a scenario drawn from real life to practice applying the knowledge and skills covered in the session.
  • Session leaders will provide feedback on attendees' application of both knowledge and skills.

3:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

 CONCLUSION  Wrap-up and Q & A

  • Session leaders will provide a concise review of important concepts and skills covered during the training session and will take questions from participants.