Canada’s upper chamber, the Senate, may yet save the day for Canadians on bill C-6, which is essentially a repackaging of Bills C-51 and C-52 that generated such outrage among Canadians last year for their attempt to impose Codex-style pharmaceutical fascism on the supplement industry — reclassifying common herbs and foods as prescription drugs — the usual Codex stuff. Here’s an excerpt from Helke Ferrie’s report on the status of Bill C-6 as published in the October issue of Vitality magazine. It seems there’s still hope, if the Senators block the bill. Health advocates have been sending letters and emails to Senators all summer so there should be little doubt as to how “the people” feel about this issue:
“On April 30, 2009, all four parties supported Bill C-6 without protest. True, MP Paul Szabo (Liberal, Mississauga North) and MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis (NDP, Winnipeg North) wanted assurances that C-6, to amend the Hazardous Products Act, would not affect regulation of natural health products. Judy Wasylycia-Leis reminded parliamentarians: “The furor that erupted after the introduction of Bill C-51 [to amend food and drugs regulation] and C-52 [the former version of C-6] last year was a result of the fact that the government failed to consider the need to clearly differentiate natural health products from current drug legislation.”
Indeed, the pernicious fact is that C-51, C-52, and C-6 share regulatory provisions that were and are constitutionally insupportable and make a mockery of current medical and environmental science.
The Conservatives promised that C-6 has nothing to do with natural health products, pointing to Clause 4 (1). What they didn’t say, and what the Opposition failed to recognize, is that if C-6 were to become law, any sort of consequential amendment to food and drugs legislation could be made, and that this could happen by a mere Order in Council, without any parliamentary debate. Nobody would know. This extraordinary power is written into Bill C-6, which also is explicitly exempted from the mandatory requirements of the Statutory Instruments Act, against which all Bills must be checked to ensure that they are in harmony with the Constitution. The authors of C-6 must know why they did that. Tested for its constitutionality, C-6 would not survive.
Parliamentarians went into summer recess assured that C-6 aims to protect Canadians from terrible poisons hidden in dangerous imports arriving from various foreign countries. Nobody even thought of asking why this Bill was exempt from being checked against the Constitution. Not one MP wondered why C-6 has these extraordinary powers that would make a judge’s jaw drop. C-6 was sent off to the Senate. Having been approved by all parties, Harper & Co thought it unlikely to raise Senatorial hackles. The fact that this toxic products Bill is itself toxic to the rule of law, human rights, and our Constitution never surfaced at all in parliamentary debate. Parliament had been successfully bamboozled, misled, or was complicit.
If I had my way, every MP would have to pass, with at least 80% success, an exam in Canadian constitutional and international human rights law as a mandatory prerequisite to run for office. The examination results would be posted on the Internet and the major newspapers. Imagine the dazzling intellectual wattage that would illuminate our parliament as a result of this one precautionary measure!
Latest Developments in the Bill C-6 Battle
If you want something done in Canada, you do it in the winter. If you want to prevent something from being done, you do it in the summer. This tactic has worked for Liberals and Conservatives alike for at least a century. Therefore, Manitoba’s Senator Sharon Carstairs’ surprising move on June 23 to adjourn second reading of C-6 until September could at first be understood as summertime having arrived in Canada and that the living was easier without debating Bills. However, knowing her thoughtful work in the late 1990’s, which made public the antiquated, inhumane policies that dictated chronic pain management, I suspect her decision to have C-6 discussed in the fall was based on her correct assessment of its assault on human rights.
C-6 was tabled in the Senate on September 16. Over the summer, determined and coordinated action by various health freedom groups resulted in each Senator receiving at least 600 e-mails or letters from across Canada protesting this Bill on the issue of its unconstitutionality. Having waded through the moral and legal morass of Bills C-51 and C-52 last year, this campaign went to the very heart of the matter: the loss of constitutionally guaranteed freedoms which were snuck into a Bill under the guise of protecting public health. By the time the Senators met to discuss C-6, they had read the Bill, its legal analysis, and got an earful from Canadians. The result: the Senators were furious.
The last time that happened, about a decade ago, a public inquiry was the result of their outrage. They subpoenaed those now internationally famous “rogue” scientists from Health Canada (Drs. Shiv Chopra, Margret Haydon and Gerard Lambert) who had consistently fought the governments of Prime Ministers Mulroney (Conservative) and Chretien (Liberal) for disregarding published science and safety requirements of the Food and Drugs Act, and for knowingly passing into our food and pharmacies drugs that cause cancer, liver failure, hormone disruption, systemic disease, birth defects, and central nervous system injury. As payback for their audacity in testifying before the Senate, those scientists were fired by the next Prime Minister, Paul Martin (Liberal).
In 1999, bovine growth hormone and other killer drugs investigated by that Senate inquiry were subsequently banned in Canada and the rest of the world. But many more such scientifically and legally insupportable or unsupported drugs are still killing and maiming Canadians (in fact, at least 23,000 people annually) according to the Canadian Medical Association.
NATURAL HEALTH PRODUCTS UNDER SIEGE
Meanwhile, the natural health products (NHP) which kill nobody and often cure, continue to be under attack in blatantly illegal ways – including recent raids at gunpoint. Over the past 6 months, the Canadian Coalition for Health Freedom has provided to the Senate documented case histories of these assaults on natural health product distributors. This is highly significant because Health Canada is acting already as if C-6 was in place, and as if consequential amendments had already been made to the Food and Drugs Act. Passing C-6 would legalize Health Canada’s now out-of-control behaviour….”