Parliament ponders a bad bill

Its title may sound harmless, but the Canadian Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) is an iron fist in a velvet glove. It is a bureaucrat’s dream come true, which would allow Health Canada and its inspectors access to private property without a warrant; would impose onerous reporting requirements on businesses; and would permit the divulgation of confidential information to foreign governments.

To date, the CCPSA has garnered few headlines, likely due to its all-party support and its voter-friendly theme. Its goal is laudable: Who could argue with safeguarding Canadian consumers and their children? Over the past few years, images of horrific infant deaths involving drop-side cribs, scary stories of kids exposed to cadmium-laced jewellery and the kerfuffle over BPA in baby bottles have sent parents into a panic, and politicians scrambling to respond.

The result is the CCPSA, or Bill C-36. It passed second reading in the Senate on Nov. 18, and is currently in committee.

It is scheduled for review on Dec. 1, with a report anticipated the next day. If unamended, C-36 could go to third reading as early as Dec. 7, and get Royal Assent before the Christmas break.

Why should Canadians be concerned about Bill C-36?

First, the new law removes the requirement for Health Canada inspectors to obtain a warrant to search and seize private property at a place of business. Section 21 of the CCPSA provides that inspectors may “at any reasonable time enter a place, including a conveyance” (i. e., a vehicle) “where they have reasonable grounds to believe a consumer product is manufactured, imported, packaged, stored, advertised, sold, labelled, tested or transported, or a document relating to the administration of this Act or the regulations is located.”

Once there, inspectors can “examine or test anything–and take samples free of charge,” open packages, examine documents, seize products and the vehicles used to transport them, order the owner of a vehicle to move it, use computers on site to examine documents and, incredibly, order the people working there to “establish their identity to the inspector’s satisfaction or to stop or start the activity.” It further states that “[a]n inspector who is carrying out their functions and any person accompanying them may enter on or passthrough or over private property” and that people there shall give him any assistance he requires.

The new legislation also would require businesses to report all “incidents” of product returns involving injury — as well as the potential for injury — to both their supplier and Health Canada within two days. But as the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) noted in its submission on the CCPSA on Oct. 10, the bill fails to define its terms. Is that two business days or two consecutive days? What would be considered first notification of such an “incident”?

In addition, a study by the CFIB found that most products are not returned for safety reasons, but for customer dissatisfaction. Retailers simply issue a store credit or refund, and don’t document the return beyond a receipt. In a 2010 survey of 500 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), “over half of the SMEs surveyed said they’d never had a defective product brought back to them.”

Finally, the CCPSA would allow the government to disclose personal and business information to foreign governments without the consent of the parties involved. While the bill says foreign governments are bound to respect the confidentiality of corporate information, this still represents a potential violation of personal privacy rights.

Canada already has strict regulations to ensure product safety and deter the manufacture and sale of harmful products. The Hazardous Products Act imposes fines of up to $1-million dollars and two years in jail. The Health Minister can ban or restrict any consumer product if there is significant risk to health and safety. Inspectors can search and seize products–with a warrant. And manufacturers and sellers can be prosecuted for criminal negligence or homicide in a court of law.

Bill C-36 loads small businesses with confusing paperwork and kowtows to foreign governments. And in its zeal to protect Canadians, the bill denies them their basic Charter rights.

Ultimately, it’s a dangerous piece of draconian legislation that is well worth worrying about–and watching.

National Post: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/11/29/national-post-editorial-board-parliament-ponders-a-bad-bill/#more-19648

About Conspiracy King

Since 1991, The Preferred Network has been a leading edge source of high quality alternative information, on a wide variety of topics ranging from Mind Control, Secret Societies, UFOs, New World Order, Free Energy, Redemption, Religion, Spirituality, Health, 911 and many other huge  conspiracies!