Thursday, July 24, 2008

Consumer Product Safety Act: Why be concerned?



Emacs!

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Bill-C51 C-51 "An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts"
as framed by the government will not become law due to the actions of those concerned about natural health    
products being classified as drugs and the powers being granted to those administering the Act.                      

Concern over the granting of powers that infringe on restraints on government agents having the ability to enter,
search and seize without agreement through the courts carries over into Bill C-52.  As well the retreat on C-51  
can be reversed through powers granted in C-52.                                                                                         

Claudia Hudson and other individuals have developed an approach that I commend to you.  Presenting at the     
constituency offices of as many Members of Parliament as possible Petitions with names enough on them that 
the M.P. receiving it is obligated to present it in the House of Commons.                                                        

Links to their website, CANADIAN GRASSROOTS, with more detailed information is above                              

Portions of two articles stating concerns are below.  For those who wish to seek wider opinion the Google site is
http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&q=Bill+C-52&btnG=Google+Search&meta=cr%3DcountryCA                   

At my request Claudia sent a post to-day.  Her e-mail address is purposely provided for you to ask her questions
and to link you in to the Grassroots activity that is underway.                                                                           

Knowing my tendency to be repetitive I'll simply ask you to consider supporting the initiative that is being taken.

Until mid-August,                                                                                                                

Joe  of Windermere                                                                                                     
(for the next two weeks)                                                                                                    

From: "Claudia Hudson" <hudcom@sympatico.ca>
Subject: Bills C-51 and C-52 Attention
Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2008 14:30:38 -0400

The summer is passing quickly, as summers do.
 
However, this summer of 2008 is taking with it the rights of Canadians under law by way of Bill C-52. This piece of legislation has been artfully designed to assure Canadians of safe manufactured goods while issuing  penalties which are in contradiction to our rights and freedoms,The Standing Committee in Ottawa is using the summer of 2008 to prepare C-52 (which will revive C-51) for action in early September.
 
Go to www.canadiangrassroots.info to see what you can do and read the links below to understand that the summer of 2008 is fleeting faster than you think. There is not much time for you to pay attention

 Claudia


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BACKGROUNDER: BILL C-52

Summary
As can be seen from the foregoing the Federal Government has increased its oversight of consumer products, increased the power of inspectors, altered the scope of penalties for violations, imposed and defined obligations to comply with Orders of inspectors, or the Minister. There are certain appeal rights, but it is not clear who will sit in review. There is no review of the Minister's Orders and under the Act there does not appear to be any review of alleged breaches of violations by the Courts.
Some issues to consider:
http://www.chfa.ca/media/pdf_files/Bill%20C-52/bill%20c-52_backgrounder,%20june%202008.pdf

• Should the Minister be able to impose unspecified conditions as part of an Interim Order?
• Should the Minister be able to endlessly require a person manufacturing, importing, or labelling, a consumer product to support the safety of the consumer without good cause?
• Should the Order of the Minister, or inspector, in all cases be based on reasonable grounds?
• Should the holder manufacturer, importer, or seller, of a consumer product be able to limit its required actions requested by the Minister if it ceases further sales of the consumer products and recalls existing product?
• Should there be appeal provisions included in the Act with respect to Minister's Orders and/or decisions and/or violations?
• Should there not be a limit on disclosure of personal and/or confidential business information? Should notice be required? Should the disclosure be limited to only that which is directly necessary to protect the health and safety of Canadians?
• Should an inspector be able to seize an article for an unlimited period of time without reasonable grounds to believe a breach of the Act has occurred?
• Should the owner be charged for storage of the article and conveyance where no breach of the Act has occurred?
• Should an inspector be permitted to define actions to be taken where no right of review by a Court, (review only by undefined class of individuals) where no breach of the Act has occurred, for an undefined term?

It is important to keep in mind that Bill C-52 is not yet Law, it is proposed Law and as such there is time for stakeholders to make their thoughts and concerns known. CHFA will be requesting the opportunity to appear before the Standing Committee on Health when it reviews Bill C-52, which will likely take place in the fall.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact CHFA at info@chfa.ca or 1-800-661-4510 (416-497-6939).


______________________________________________________________________
Draft Discussion Paper on Bill C-52 the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act

Prepared by Shawn Buckley, president of the Natural Health Products Protection Association
Click here to download this article in printable PDF format.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Purpose of the Paper

On April 8, 2008, Prime Minister Stephan Harper introduced Bill C-52 in the House of Commons. A copy of the Bill can be found at
http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=3397415&Language =e&Mode=1&File=29.

The stated purpose of the Bill is to protect consumers. The Federal Government has been aggressively advertising to convince Canadians that the new law will protect them.

The NHPPA has asked me to prepare this Discussion Paper on Bill C-52 out of a concern that the Bill may represent an unprecedented encroachment on freedoms currently enjoyed by Canadians. The NHPPA is focussed on protecting Canadians' access to Natural Health Products. Although Bill C-52 does not specifically target Natural Health Products, the NHPPA is concerned that Bill C52 sets a precedent where Canadians will accept the removal of their rights in the name of safety. Also, if Bill C-51 is defeated but Bill C-52 passes, Bill C-52 could be made applicable to Natural Health Products by way of a regulatory amendment to Schedule I of Bill C-52.

Summary of Points Discussed In This Paper

    * Bill C-52 is being advertised as necessary to protect our families.

    * Under the existing law the State can already:
          o ban or restrict any consumer product under threat of million dollar fines and two year jail sentences under the Hazardous Products Act;
          o make immediate orders banning or restricting any consumer product if there is a significant risk to health or safety. In addition to fines and imprisonment for
            non-compliance, the State can apply to the Court for an injunction which brings police enforcement of the order, and
          o prosecute for criminal negligence or homicide under the Criminal Code. In some cases this can result in penalties of life imprisonment.

    * The real change brought about by Bill C-52 is not that it protects consumers, as the current law already grants the State significant powers to protect safety. Rather
      the real change is the abolition of procedural safeguards citizens currently enjoy.

    * Bill C-52 abolishes the law of trespass thus allowing the State access onto private property without any legal recourse.

    * Bill C-52 allows the State to seize property without a Court order, without reporting the seizure to a Court, and for an indefinite period.

    * Bill C-52 allows the State to assume control over the movement of private property without a Court order and without a safety concern.

    * The search and seizure powers in Bill C-52 are probably unconstitutional for violating the right found in section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to be
      free from unreasonable search and seizure.

    * Persons can be fined and have property forfeited to the State for administrative violations. Persons so charged have no right to have a Court determine their guilt or
      innocence. Guilt is determined by the Minister. There is no defence of due diligence or of honest but mistaken belief. There does not have to be a safety risk to be
      charged with an administrative offence. The Minister who determines your guilt or innocence can keep seized property if he/she finds you guilty.

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LEGISinfo

39th Parliament - 2nd Session
(Oct. 16, 2007-)

C-51
An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts
The Minister of Health, The Hon. Tony Clement

LEGISinfo
39th Parliament - 2nd Session
(Oct. 16, 2007-)

C-52
An Act respecting the safety of consumer products
The Minister of Health, The Hon. Tony Clement




About this Bill

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