Is Health Canada Protecting You?

When I recently posted a video of police in the US raiding an organic food store with guns drawn, my first thought was “Oh look, the War on Raw Cheese has begun.” After all, those frightening organic grocers are a pretty deadly threat, don’t you think?

My second, less tongue-in-cheek thought was, “Yikes, if it happens there, someday it could happen here.” Yikes indeed. Turns out, it might not be someday, it might be next week.

Among other concerns, first Bill C-6 and now the new Bill C-36 give Health Canada unprecedented rights to literally enter private citizens’ homes and businesses with no legal safeguards for those citizens. What’s wrong with this picture? Even known drug lords are innocent until proven guilty.

I’ve always appreciated that we Canadians take a more reasoned, conservative approach to meddling with the affairs of our citizens. Or so I thought. Seems the reduction of civil liberties in the name of security may not be something we lament only for our neighbours to the south.

I want to have a choice about what goes into my body whether it’s water, food, or medicine. I’m bright enough to seek out options, I make choices, and I take the responsibility. My choice may not be your choice, but allowing it to be my choice is precisely the beauty that living in a democracy offers.

In my view, health regulations are meant to ensure I’m getting the truth about my options, not for someone to be forcing choices on me, without my having any recourse or external checks and balances.

I was recently asked by a reporter if I trust our health regulations. Well no, no I don’t. Not unreservedly. I mean, it was perfectly legal to put unhealthy goop on movie popcorn for decades until the public got wind of what it actually contained and raised a ruckus. Right? And it took the action of private citizens to bring the truth about cigarettes to light, didn’t it? (And still we have choice about cigarettes.)

I don’t know all the in’s and out’s about the new proposed Health Canada legislation (Bill C-36) but it’s worth learning more before it quietly passes into law.

National Health Products Protection Association
Health Canada Exposed
Shiv Chopra, Health Canada Whistleblower

I do know that we need to maintain our right to choice and our right to due process. Giving any government organization the right to operate above the law is a recipe for disaster. And it’s not democracy.

4 thoughts on “Is Health Canada Protecting You?

  1. Marcus Riedner

    Note, the current version of the bill is available online here:

    The parts of this bill that are related to search-and-seizure, access to property, and equipment are in Subsection 21.

    Under Subsection 22. (1) If the place mentioned in subsection 21(1) is a dwelling-house, an inspector may not enter it without the consent of the occupant except under the authority of a warrant issued under subsection (2).

    And under Subsection 23. Except with the authority of an inspector, no person shall remove, alter or interfere in any way with anything seized under this Act.

    So it -sounds- like the personal rights of individuals in a residence are protected, but your vehicle and/or business may not be subject to a warrant.

  2. liz gaige Post author

    Thank you for adding your comments. I find reading the legalese hard to follow, so the summary offered on the NHPPA website is helpful.

    While it’s very important, loss of protection for individuals is not the only concern with this bill. The new measures create a hostile business environment that could easily squeeze out small and mid-sized businesses, leaving only the biggest players to monopolize the industry and limit consumer choice.

    Like the section that would make directors and officers liable for anything that happens within a company. This is a dangerous precedent. And even if valid, why would it only be necessary in this industry? Why not within Health Canada itself? Why not in banking? If the financial industry were regulated by personal liability, there would be some accountability and justice for the severe mismanagement that has led to current economic troubles.

    Quoting from the NHPPA summary, these are additional significant concerns:

    * Directors, officers and managers are personally liable for violations by their company. [Emphasis added]
    * Directors, officers and managers can be saddled with debt years after they have left the company.
    * All businesses manufacturing, selling or distributing consumer products are saddled with additional red tape and expense regardless of whether or not there is a safety concern. [Emphasis added]
    * Retailers and distributors of consumer products become liable for product labeling and instructions.
    * There may be a significant conflict of interest. Health Canada may benefit financially from fines and the seizure of private property.

    In ending, I’ll just say this: these kinds of measures make me very, very wary of how consumers and small business will be affected, and make me wonder who will benefit.

  3. Richard Tisher

    Trudeau said ‘ Government has no place in the bedrooms of the Nation’. Should this not apply to the private kitchens as well?

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