It appears the govt. is going to attempt to use Bill C-52 to backdoor Bill C-51
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
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:
- ban or restrict any consumer product under threat of million dollar fines and two year jail sentences under the Hazardous Products Act;
- 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
- 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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