The liberal party has just passed legislation namely Bill C- 47, the Liberal Budget Implement Bill. This is an “omnibus bill”, meaning it hides very unpleasant and unpopular clauses. As a budget bill it is considered a confidence motion and is expected to pass by the government presenting it. If this budget bill had been rejected by a majority of MP’s it would be tantamount to a no confidence vote and so trigger a general election. Consequently, all members of the ruling party must blindly support the bill. In today’s Canada the Prime Minister expected every NDP MP to also support his budget. This is how Bill C- 47 was passed.
Contained within the bill were unpalatable sections pertaining to Canada’s new dental plan, immigration, banking, greenhouse gasses, air traveler’s rights, income taxes and new government restrictions on natural health food supplements. All of these clauses are hidden deep within the bill.
Health Canada is introducing what they call the “Self-Care Framework” which, when fully implemented will mean that most of our Natural Health products will be gone. The Natural Health practitioners we rely on will also be gone. These new regulations will remove the current exemptions for Natural Health products to be treated differently from pharmaceutical drugs, and they are NOT drugs. An Order of Council can be brought forward at any time and impose such stringent rules for vitamins, minerals, prebiotics, omega-3’s, collagen, herbal remedies and certain topical products including toothpaste, sun screen, shampoo and deodorants to name but a few.
The crippling new fees which will be imposed, will affect health stores, distributors, and manufacturers by making production and sales so difficult that many will not be able to survive. This oppressive legislation will allow Health Canada to treat common natural supplements which are plant based and organic and have been used as traditional healing for centuries, as if they are equivalent to manmade chemical concoctions created in a lab, manufactured, and patented to generate maximum profit for huge multinational corporations.
The existing framework of regulations are rigorously assessed, requiring valid and high-quality scientific evidence which includes clinical trial data, journal articles, pharmacopoeias, and traditional resources. The new fees collected by Health Canada will be used to create a new enforcement arm to impose stricter regulations and censor truthful health information.
Health Canada is falsely claiming that natural health products are risky. This is a LIE. You are fourteen times more likely to be struck by lightening than to be killed by a natural health product. Prescription drugs on the other hand are the third leading cause of death. We need protection FROM Health Canada not from healthy products. A recent survey of more than70% of brands in Canada said they would have to pull product from the market and one in five companies are considering pulling out of Canada completely. Fines have been increased from five thousand dollars for an offence to five million PER day on an offence.
I am appalled that Health Canada resorted to “hiding” these changes in the bill C- 47 in sections 500 to 504. These sections must be repealed, and cost recovery stopped. The proposed massive increase in costs will be passed on to consumers causing steep price increases threatening to undermine the very foundation of consumer choice leaving Canadians with fewer options for maintaining their health and wellbeing. We must fight for our right to choose!
WRITTEN BY: NATHALIE MCNEILL, FOUNTAIN HEAD HEALTH STORE