Dr. Eldon Dahl is a naturopathic doctor whose home was raided by the RCMP and Health Canada about a year ago. From his description below it sounds as if what happened at his home was very much like what happened at the Manna Storehouse Coop in Ohio last December, and, for that matter, at Michael Schmidt’s Glencolton Farms 3 years ago. In his case however, it seems to have been about vitamins that someone, apparently, didn’t want him to have. The video above and those linked to mid-way down the letter were made in January 2009. The letter that follows was written recently and was addressed to members of Canada’s Senate, which, as far as we know, is still contemplating the passage of Bill C-6. Thanks to Gordon Watson for passing this news item on to the Bovine. It’s hard to know what to make of raids like this, whether to take them at face value, or to read into them an attempt to cow others and spread fear of the government.
Health Canada raided my loving family – at gunpoint – and kept us prisoners in our own home for 11 hours while they confiscated both business and personal property. I am a naturopathic doctor who sells 100% safe natural products. One of the excuses for the raid was that the totally harmless folic acid (a vitamin) that I sell did not conform to regulations. Instead of informing me by letter or phone call, Health Canada used swat team tactics, which caused us extreme emotional distress as well as irrecoverable financial loss. This unreasonable search and seizure is proof positive that Health Canada cannot be trusted with the powers it already has.
We Need to be Heard
The steering committee of the Social Affairs Committee has excluded witness appearance days for opponents of Bill C-6 and from consumer groups who have an interest in the consequences of this unprecedented piece of legislation. Instead of democracy, there is another agenda in motion. C-6 is fatally flawed in that it unlawfully violates both the constitution and our charter rights as Canadians. Outspoken advocates of this position, including Dr. David Rowland, Trueman Tuck, Shiv Chopra, Helke Ferre and myself have been refused witness days.
In order not to run the risk of hastily enacting an unlawful piece of legislation, the Committee needs to lift its time constraints. It needs to give equal air time to learned opponents of C-6. True democracy demands it. It should be the right of every citizen to participate in any legislative process that would deny our fundamental rights as Canadians.
Health Canada’s Hidden Agenda
I read with interest the testimony of Health Canada officials before you on 21 October 2009. They basically told you to “trust” them: that they would not abuse the sweeping powers given to them by Bill C-6. I don’t believe them. Neither will you when you read how Health Canada conducted an armed raid on my loving family and treated us as criminals, keeping us prisoners in our own home for 11 hours.
Food and Drugs Act gives Health Canada the power to “seize and detain for such time as may be necessary any article by means of or in relation to which the inspector believes on reasonable grounds any provision of this Act or the regulations has been contravened.” Health Canada has for many years been using this clause as an excuse to remove from the market entirely safe products which are incapable of harming anyone, and in our case are products that many count on to build and maintain their health. By means of C-6, Health Canada intends to extend its confiscatory powers to every industry that sells consumer goods of any kind.
Note that subsection 23(1)(d) above doesn’t even mention safety or harm. It gives total discretion to inspectors to remove from the market any product which they believe contravenes the Food and Drugs Act. C-6 gives to Health Canada the power to do this (and much more) to those whose consumer products simply may not happen to conform to bureaucratic dictates.
Whenever a product is unjustifiably removed from the market, consumers of it are adversely affected by being deprived of its benefits and by having their rights to enjoy it taken away. Until now, Health Canada has been using its rogue powers to restrict the freedoms of health consumers. If C-6 becomes law, then every consumer in Canada will be affected by this runaway bureaucracy.
All of the products that I sell are totally 100 per cent safe. All are freely available for sale in health foods stores in the U.S. There has never been a single documented fatality nor even one documented case of harm caused by any of the products I sell, not ever, not in the entire history of the planet. Clearly, Health Canada has for many years been using safety as a smokescreen to hide its true agenda. What is worse, now Health Canada is using safety as the banner they wish you blindly to follow.
What happened to me and my family on 15 January is shocking and incredible, especially given that it happened in Canada and in 2009. My wife and I are still affected adversely by its impact. I wish I were able to tell you about it face-to-face rather than through the written word. If you would like to connect more personally with the events and injustices of that day, feel free to watch any or all of these four short segments recorded on YouTube:
My True Story – Bill C-6 in Action
Health Canada is already doing what they say they won’t do:
On 15 January 2009, at our home in Calgary, my wife answered the door. Four RCMP officers, one with his gun drawn and finger on the trigger burst through. The sheer force of entry damaged the locking mechanism, which lay on the floor. I will never forget the terrifying look on the face of my wife; I have never seen her so afraid. To describe the panic that I felt is nearly impossible. My wife raised her hands over her head in surrender, as an armed RCMP officer pointed his gun to her chest yelling, “That is not cool, that is not cool!” I thought she was going to be killed.
Unbeknown to us, at our daughter’s house across town, our daughter’s roommate was experiencing the same treatment. The RCMP and Health Canada broke into our daughter’s house without her name appearing on any warrant. This is her private residence totally unrelated to our business. The raiding party forced themselves into my daughter’s house and even kicked in her bedroom door.
That day’s events have permanently scarred my memory, and I live with the terror that it may happen again. I heard my wife say, “Please put the gun away! We are no harm to any of you. We are humanitarians, not criminals.” The RCMP kept us confined for the “protection” of Health Canada agents who arrived shortly thereafter, under the supervision of drug inspector Kim Seeling.
I was handed a search warrant and told of our right to remain silent, because anything said could be used against us in a court of law. The search warrant was for Folic Acid, the amino acid L-carnitine, plant based progesterone cream and other ultra safe supplements that are available over the counter in the USA or for export. I asked the officer for clarification, “You raided our home at gunpoint for common vitamins?” He answered, “We have a search warrant for these products.”
My wife asked the officers for their names and badge numbers; they refused her request. My wife, daughter and I were sequestered to sit in our living room for 11 hours. I asked the officer if I could photograph or film the investigative proceedings. He said, “You need to sit where you are. We are treating you very low key. We could place you in a holding cell till the search and investigations are concluded, but we don’t think it’s necessary if you cooperate.” Next I was supervised by two RCMP officers who forced me to open our home safe. Once opened, Kim Selling photographed its contents.
Whenever washroom breaks were needed, a male RCMP officer went with us and stood at the door and listened. Having my wife and daughter victimized in our own home clearly violated our Canadian Charter Rights. And why? Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure.
Storm trooper tactics were never required. The decent and humane thing would have been for Health Canada to notify me in writing or by phone call that they suspected some of my products may not have been in compliance, the let me respond and make good on any alleged noncompliance. After all, my products are 100% safe, as Health Canada well knows.
November 15, 2009 marks 11 months. No charges have been laid against me. My entire finished products inventory (not only those listed in the search warrant) continues being seized, my case files are sealed, the RCMP Incident Report refused, and our Access of Information report has been denied. My ability to make an income remains severely restricted because I am unable to conduct any business.
Health Canada also seized my family’s personal computers plus a tax refund cheque that was in my desk. I am an author, and two of my books that were to be published are on the hard drives that were confiscated. Thus, I am also unable to earn an income from my writing.
In seizing my entire inventory, Health Canada violated Section 37 of the Food and Drugs Act, which exempts products that are not manufactured or sold for consumption in Canada. Many of the products I sell are destined for foreign countries and fully comply with the regulations in those countries.
Health Canada also went way beyond its authority by deliberately damaging my international trade reputation. This is an abuse of power with intent to harm. They questioned Slovakia Health, stating that they had concerns about our company’s reliability. When I asked what the enquiry entailed, the inspector at Slovak Health would not say what Health Canada was asking for nor if they divulged any of my confidential information to him.
Health Canada is already destroying businesses and livelihoods. C-6 would give them the power to escalate and expand their police powers exponentially, across many industries, including every retail store in Canada. Since Health Canada has a history of abusing the powers given to it by the (the armed raid on my home being only one example), there is reason to believe that they will also abuse the even greater powers given them by C-6.
It is one thing to examine the wording of C-6 and yet another to see and feel its dire consequences. That is why it is so important for you to appreciate what happened to me and my family. Incidents like this will become commonplace if C-6 becomes law.
I write to you on Remembrance Day. My father, like many others, fought overseas in WW II for our freedom. Who would think that in 2009 we would be fighting again for freedom, only this time within our own borders and with a rogue department of our own government?
I am not a complainer. I can take punches like anyone else; but I ask you Canadian gate-keepers, how would you feel if this treatment happened to your family in your home? Do the right thing and protect Canadian citizens from harm, but in so doing, don’t take away our constitutional rights and freedoms.
Mine is just one story about Health Canada’s abuse of power over small businesses. There are many others.
Constitutional Concerns about Bill C-6:
– Scientific Ignorance. In the total absence of scientific evidence of harm, Health Canada intends to take action against product vendors.
– Allegiance to Foreign Governments. Health Canada intends to ignore Canadian Sovereignty.
– Disclosure of Confidential Information. The Health Minister may disclose personal and confidential business information to third parties without the consent of the concerned person.
– Unreasonable Search and Seizure. Inspectors may enter any premises where they believe there are products relating to the Act. They may examine and seize anything deem relevant.
– Trespassing. Inspectors may enter on or pass through or over private property, without being liable for so doing.
– Use of Force. Inspectors may be accompanied by peace officers authorized to use force.
– Confiscation. Goods seized may never be returned to their owner. Anything seized may become forfeited to Her Majesty in right of Canada.
– Lack of Training. The Minister may designate any person to be enforcers of the Act, regardless of their qualifications, training, or experience.
– Unlimited Powers. Inspectors may take any measures they consider necessary to remedy non-compliance with the Act, including putting the person out of business.
– Excessive Penalties. Anyone who contravenes a provision of the Act may be fined up to $5,000,000 and imprisoned for up to five years.
– Presumed Guilty. Anyone whom is believed to have contravened sections of the Act is deemed guilty of an offence – even if their products are totally safe. Anyone who pays a fine is deemed to have committed the violation in respect of which the amount is paid.
– No Defense. Those named in a notice of violation are not allowed to defend themselves by truthfully claiming that they exercised due diligence to prevent the violation. Innocence and truth are irrelevant.
– Bypassing Parliament. Health Canada intends to expand the powers of C-6 even further by issuing Orders in Council which will not be subject to parliamentary debate.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
10. Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
11. Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defense.
12. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation.
17(2). No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
Canadian Bill of Rights
1. It is recognized and declared that in Canada there have existed and shall continue to exist without discrimination by reason of race, national origin, colour, religion or sex, the following human rights and fundamental freedoms, namely,
1(a). The right of the individual to life, liberty, security of person and enjoyment of property and the right not to be deprived thereof Except by due process of law.
1(b). The right of the individual to equality before the law and the protection of the law.
2. Every Law of Canada shall, unless it is expressly declared by an Act of Parliament of Canada that it shall operate notwithstanding the Canadian Bill of Rights, be so construed and applied as not to abrogate, abridge or infringe or to authorize the abrogation, abridgment or infringement of any of the rights or freedoms recognized and declared, and in particular, no law of Canada shall be construed or applied so as to
2(e). Deprive a person of the right to a fair hearing in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice for the determination of his rights and obligations.
2(f). Deprive a person charged with a criminal offence of the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, or of the right to reasonable bail without just cause.
Charter of Rights and Freedoms
8. Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure.
11. Anyone charged with an offence has the right
11(d). To be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal.