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The long awaited Shawn Buckley is here at the Senate Social Affairs Committee.........
4:55pm So here we are, at last, listening to two lawyers tell us what is wrong with Bill C-6. The Senator sitting beside me leans over and says Sean Buckley "is very good." Ms. Cherniak is pointing out that the Bill is "setting up good corporate citizens to fail."
Senator Eggleton says Health Canada insists it will act under the law. Of course, says Mr. Buckley. But there's an exemption for trespass. Even the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act requires court oversight. Why not here, as protected by section 8 of the Charter?
"Is this the slippery slope to state power against individuals without court supervision?". Good question! Part of our traditions, I might add, going all the way back to the Magna Carta.
4:59pm: Now Senator Eaton (ON) asks about trespass. Then she interrupts him and substitutes her own opinion. She believes Health Canada, not the clear wording of section 20(4) of the Bill. Mr. Buckley calmly refutes her (Health Canada's) position.
Then other senators try to correct her and another senator who seems to believe the same spin. The Chair tries to keep it to questions. Senator Eaton says she disagrees and then says she doesn't understand what he's saying. Hmmmm --- not hearing what the lawyer is trying to explain. She continues to argue. Fortunately, Mr. Buckley keeps his cool.
5:10pm: Now Senator Martin (BC) ... sure enough she plays the baby crib story. The debate version of politicians kissing babies, perhaps?
So what's best for Canadians. Mr. B. Neatly separates the emotion from the need to protect civil liberties. It's procedural fairness, State control vs freedom and the Rule of Law that is the issue here.
Now Senator Martin also disagrees. And begins to sing Health Canada's song yet once again.
Mr. B talks of a need for review of executive (State) action. Amen.
Next comes Senator Segal (ON).
5:19pm: "Health Canada says it's a reasonable person. What do you say to that, Mr. Buckley?"
"Can you imagine a civil servant saying they want broad powers to act unreasonably?" A few shy smiles around the table -- and a chuckle when he observes he's never heard Heath Canada called reasonable before today. Based on extensive experience defending against unreasonable exercise of power.
5:32pm: "Opinion should not colour the law. Statutes should be clear and not subject to how the winds blow", says Ms. Cherniak. Mr. Buckley agrees.
Senator Ogilvie (N.S.) takes a run at being a lawyer instead of a mere scientist. Why oh why is this concept of the Rule of Law so hard to grasp? Is it because we've always had it? Does no-one remember King John (of Robin Hood fame) in 1215? Who was so bad his barons held him hostage until he finally signed a "Big Charter" (Magna Carta)? Whew!
So now Senator Ogilvie also says he disagrees. Amazing ... is he giving evidence too? Ah well, I suppose it's just as well to know where he and others on his side of the table are coming from.
5:43pm: Senator Dyck (SK) asks whether the bills goes further than necessary. She's a scientist so she understands risk. But that's not what she asks -- instead she focuses on due process, a legal question. Mr. Buckley answers again. The Rule of Law is too important and should not be abandoned. Senator Dyck is civil enough not to argue with him, whatever her own opinion may be.
6:00pm: At least the heart surgeon amongst us, Senator Keon (ON), understands that no-one should stand above the law. Fair enough, but that's why we usually insist on judicial overview to make sure the law is fairly exercised. Absence of review is tantamount to a total lack of accountability.
The last senator to speak is Joe Day (NB). "It's not the platitudes of Health Canada we're being asked to approve. It's the words written down.". Ah, well said. Mind you, he is carrying on and on refuting previous senatorial oratorical positions ....
But time is up. The Chair says we have to go ... and so we will. A good session, all things considered. Powerful points were made and received. Now it's up to the Committee to treat ALL evidence with respect.
Posted On Nov 26 11:43AM
I don't understand why the government would push this through when it likely wouldn't stand up in a court of law, and surely, would be challenged. Why put Canadians through the headache and pocket-ache for a flawed bill. Let's get it right now, please!
Frankly, the more I read about this bill, the more it smells of a business agenda and not a health agenda at all. Sad.
Posted On Nov 26 10:59AM
Thank you Senator McCoy for all you service and work.
the health Minister was on CBC National News last night trying to sell the idea that the existing legislation was not strong enough to prevent the problem with the cribs. but I feel that she can and is able to ban those style of cribs. I feel that if the Minister and the department had enacted and warned Canadians before it became an issue it could of been effective in preventing parents from buying the cribs in the first place.
In my opinion that the Health Minister failed to act in time and the existing legislation is more then adequate to prevent problems if the minister and department put the money into using the existing act and hiring more inspectors and doing more testing of products before they hit the shelves and warn Canadians clearly before it is a problem. I feel that the same could of been done with hiring more meat inspectors and not cutting back to save money and then you wind up with a problem like we had with the tainted meat problem.
Also, I feel that in this life we take risks, it is part of what life is about. We can't bubble wrap our lives and give up our rights, liberties and freedoms to a "state" run system to nurse us and treat us as "livestock". We have common law that is over the Magna Carta and being a natural born person on the land we do not consent to stand under any other, nor do we stand over others. That we own our own lives and that which we produce. For more on this please check out this video.
Let the rest senators know how you feel and your local MP. The time is now!
Posted On Nov 25 11:22PM
"Our point of contention is not only what our government is wanting to protect our interests, but the way that it is intending to go about it, the haste with which this is being pushed through parliament and the lack of disclosure and clarity under full and transparent dialogue that are considered due legal and democratic process." It is my hope that this Bill undergoes due process. This is not simply about whether Health Canada is a reasonable person. If you have watched the documentary titled "The Corporation", you would understand that any corporate citizen deeming to be a reasonable person is also capable of 'psychotic behaviour'. This legislation is an egregious departure from due process of law and in a free society, that is not acceptable. Shawn Buckley's short, but revealing, testimonial is a start. For instance, many believe that Natural Health Products should be regulated under a separate body since they are in fact food and not drugs, not under Health Canada, not Monsanto's corporate patent lies, nor the WHO Codex Alimentarius under the UN. I would also point out that this is the third attempt of our Harper government to railroad this bill into power (Bill C-51/52/6) with similar disregard for individual rights and freedoms under a wide brush, mostly sweeping what is truly important under the political carpet. It has already undergone major contention and is still in the state of forming. My question here is "Who does this serve?" Not me as a Canadian citizen. If you are interested in further information as to opposition of this bill for many reasons, please go to:
Posted On Nov 25 07:06PM
So far looks like a whitewash or rubber stamp. State control is not acceptable, won't be accepted by the public, period. Rule of Law. Take it to review a.s.a.p.
Posted On Nov 25 06:04PM