This bill regulates everything

Anything from bottled water to roller blades could be banned overnight and without parliamentary approval, says a new consumer products bill introduced January in the federal House of Commons.

Anything from bottled water to roller blades could be banned overnight and without parliamentary approval, says a new consumer products bill introduced January in the federal House of Commons.

The federal cabinet can unilaterally ban any consumer product—or place it under strict legislative authority, says bill C-6, which has already passed first reading.

Introduced on January 29, 2009, C-6 was drafted in response to a barrage of health crises related to consumer products.

Excessive levels of lead paint on Chinese-made children’s toys provoked massive recalls across Canada and the United States in 2007.

That same year, pets started dying after eating Chinese-made pet food containing melamine, an industrial chemical.

Dirty equipment at a Maple Leaf processing plant last year caused 57 confirmed cases of listeriosis across Canada—killing 21 people.

“Canadians are dying because of the mismanagement of our government,” NDP Leader Jack Layton told CTV in September.

Last September, natural health product aficionados celebrated when bill C-51, a proposal to bring more regulatory scrutiny to the natural health products industry, was killed by the fall election.

Bill C-6 could easily lead to restrictions on natural health products similar to those proposed in the controversial Bill C-51.

If passed, C-6 would allow inspectors to “enter or pass through private property” on suspicion without any legal liability.

A warrant would still be required to enter private homes.

“Bill C-6 abolishes the law of trespass,” reads a discussion paper by Shawn Buckley, president of the Natural Health Products Protection Association.

Canada’s Hazardous Products Act already provides ample regulatory authority for consumer protection, argue C-6 critics.

Existing laws allow regulators to “prohibit or restrict the advertising, sale or importation of a consumer product,” notes Buckley.

Contact Tristin Hopper at

tristinh@yukon-news.com

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