Safe Foods for Canadians Act

From Lewis Retik, on Mondaq.com:

“On June 7, 2012 the federal government introduced the proposed Safe Food for Canadians Act (the Act). The proposed Act which must be passed by Parliament and may be subject to change, would apply to all persons and establishments that manufacture, prepare, store, package or label foods and/or beverages, as would its associated regulations.It remains unclear what these regulations would look like.

As part of a wider Government of Canada effort to modernize the federal regulatory framework for food safety, the Act’s primary purpose is to make food as safe as possible for Canadians, in part by targeting unsafe practices, increasing penalties and requiring licensing and registration. If enacted, it would consolidate and replace the Canadian Agricultural Products Act, the Meat Inspection Act, the Fish Inspection Act, and the food provisions of the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act. The federal government has indicated that the Act would provide more consistency with respect to rules and regulations and better align our system with those of trading partners such as the United States.

Registration and Licences

One of the most significant developments under the Act would be a mandatory licensing and registration regime for all persons who deal with foods that move between provinces, either imported or exported. A licence or registration would also be required to engage in any activity (i.e., manufacturing, preparation, storage, packaging, or labelling) with respect to such foods. At this time we do not have specifics about the proposed licensing and registration regime; however, even companies currently operating under a licence or registration system for a specific food product should expect to be subject to new requirements regarding the movement of goods both within Canada and internationally.

The Minister would have the power to grant, suspend and revoke non-transferable licences or registration for persons and establishments.  Such licences would prescribe the food product and the activity(s) in which the licensee can engage with regards to the food, as well as any conditions that the Minister might choose to prescribe, either when the licence is granted or at a later date. The process for a person to apply for and obtain a licence or registration is unknown at this time.

Prohibitions and Offences

The sections of the proposed Act dealing with prohibitions and offences contain further substantial changes from existing legislation. The proposed Act includes a number of prohibitions targeting unsafe practices such as deception and erroneous impression and tampering. Under the proposed Act, penalties for offences would increase significantly. For example, the maximum fine for most minor offences would be $250,000 for a first offence, and $500,000 for subsequent offences. More serious offences would carry a maximum fine of $5 million and for certain serious offences the fine could be set even higher at the discretion of the court….”

Read more on Mondaq.com

7 Comments

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7 responses to “Safe Foods for Canadians Act

  1. The whole paradigm that government should be involved in any manner with peoples food and health is laughable on the face of it. It’s a fairy tale that wears thin with many, and is not the reason we instituted government.
    It’s a slippery slope of violations of liberty that will never end.

    For starters a monopoly agency such as government will get bought off and owned by the very people that it is supposed to regulate. This is a fact, and no amount of mental gymnastics, and rules, or oversight will change the fact.

    Let independent, free market organizations advise people on health choices, and it becomes near impossible for industry to buy them all off. As soon as the people sense that one agency is not acting in their best interest and they will switch and use another, or others will spring up.

  2. This act sounds like it was written by big business, as a means of driving all small business – out of business. How many $250,000 fines could you survive especially when bog business owns the inspectors and selectively enforces against the small producer? (Just like is being done in the US today)

    What is going to cap license fees? If big business wants the license fees and hoops you must jump through to cost $50,000 (or even $5,000) how many small business’s are going to be able to make pickles or kraut on a small scale for the farmers market? This bill like most things government does is designed to suit the people that bought the politicians, and destroy the competition for the mega business. And the dumbed down sheeple will clamor for their own enslavement and destruction.

  3. Those ridiculous fines are how the government now goes about ignoring the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The courts have defined “liberty” as not including economic liberty, so the government can fine you into oblivion and it’s not considered a violation of your liberty. This is the modern way of doing things. Canadians should be prepared to see this model followed routinely.

    • Level Headed

      Thank you for chiming in. I listen up whenever you write. I appreciate your insight on this, I didn’t realize the trend was that bad and that the courts were interpreting it that way. This is worse than I thought.

  4. Karen I am not familiar with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but if it is anything as it sounds a government document granting you certain rights this is a very slippery dangerous slope. A government powerful enough to give you something is also powerful enough to take it away.

    There is also great folly in government being the final arbiter of it’s own power. I think we all know how that is going to end.

    You might find Jefferson’s rules of 98 on this topic enlightening:
    http://mises.org/media/1851/The-Principles-of-98

    “To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions (is) a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.” ~Thomas Jefferson

  5. Gordon S Watson

    for the last 133 years, the perennial theme in the Dominion of Canada, has been the contest between provincial power versus usurpation / aggregation of power by the central govt. Show me in the British North America Act where the federal govt. gets power to do this? ! If Central Canada’s resident Marxists think they can unload this pile of dung in British Columbia, they can go straight to hell

  6. Inalienable Wrights – You’ve made this point countless times already. Government is not the source of rights. I GET IT, and I agree. But the Canadian government and courts occasionally respect this document called the Charter, so we take it out and wave it around whenever we think it will help. When they start ignoring that too, the situation is simply more serious than before.

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