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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
 
Meeting No. 24
 
Thursday, June 4, 2009
 

The Standing Committee on Health met at 3:30 p.m. this day, in Room 269, West Block, the Chair, Joy Smith, presiding.

 

Members of the Committee present: Hon. Carolyn Bennett, Patrick Brown, Colin Carrie, Patricia Davidson, Nicolas Dufour, Kirsty Duncan, Cathy McLeod, Joyce Murray, Joy Smith, Tim Uppal and Judy Wasylycia-Leis.

 

Acting Members present: France Bonsant for Luc Malo.

 

In attendance: Library of Parliament: Sonya Norris, Analyst; Marlisa Tiedemann, Analyst; Karin Phillips, Analyst. House of Commons: Marc Toupin, Legislative Clerk.

 

Witnesses: Department of Health: Paul Glover, Assistant Deputy Minister, Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch; Robert Ianiro, Director, Consumer Product Safety; Charles Ethier, Director General, Consumer Product Safety Directorate; Diane Labelle, General Counsel, Legal Services Unit.

 
Pursuant to the Order of Reference of Thursday, April 30, 2009, the Committee resumed consideration of Bill C-6, An Act respecting the safety of consumer products.
 

The witnesses made statements and answered questions.

 

The Committee commenced its clause-by-clause study of the Bill.

 

Pursuant to Standing Order 75(1), consideration of the Preamble and Clause 1 is postponed.

The Chair called Clause 2.

 

Clause 2 carried.

 

Clause 3 carried.

 

On Clause 4,

Judy Wasylycia-Leis moved, — That Bill C-6, in Clause 4, be amended by deleting lines 3 to 5 on page 5.

 

The question was put on the amendment of Judy Wasylycia-Leis and it was negatived.

 
Colin Carrie moved, — That Bill C-6, in Clause 4, be amended by adding after line 5 on page 5 the following:

“(3) For greater certainty, this Act does not apply to natural health products as defined in subsection 1(1) of the Natural Health Products Regulations made under the Food and Drugs Act.”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Colin Carrie and it was agreed to.

 

By unanimous consent, Clause 4 was allowed to stand.

 

Clause 5 carried.

 

Clause 6 carried.

 

By unanimous consent, Clauses 7, 8, 14 and 30 were stood.

 

Clause 9 carried.

 

Clause 10 carried.

 

Clause 11 carried.

 

Clause 12 carried.

 
On Clause 13,
 
On motion of Colin Carrie, it was agreed, — That Bill C-6, in Clause 13, be amended by adding after line 20 on page 7 the following:

“(1.1) The person shall keep the documents until the expiry of six years after the end of the year to which they relate or for any other period that may be prescribed.”

 

Clause 13, as amended, carried.

 

Clause 15 carried.

 

Clause 16 carried.

 

On Clause 17,

Nicolas Dufour moved, — That Bill C-6, in Clause 17, be amended

(a) by replacing line 25 on page 9 with the following:

“17. (1) The Minister may, without the consent of”

(b) by replacing line 28 on page 9 with the following:

“person beforehand, disclose confidential business informa-”

(c) by adding after line 31 on page 9 the following:

“(2) If the Minister discloses confidential business information under subsection (1), he or she shall, not later than the next business day following the disclosure, notify the person to whose business or affairs the information relates.

(3) In this section, "business day" means a day other than a Saturday or a holiday.”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Nicolas Dufour and it was agreed to.

 
On motion of Nicolas Dufour, it was agreed, — That Bill C-6, in Clause 17, be amended by replacing line 31 on page 9 with the following:

“or the environment, if the disclosure of the information is essential to address the danger.”

 

Clause 17, as amended, carried.

 

On New Clause 17.1,

 
On motion of Nicolas Dufour, it was agreed, — That Bill C-6 be amended by adding after line 31 on page 9 the following new clause:

“17.1 For greater certainty, the Minister may disclose to the public information about a danger to human health or safety that a consumer product poses.”

 

On Clause 18,

Nicolas Dufour moved, — That Bill C-6, in Clause 18, be amended by replacing line 32 on page 9 with the following:

“18. (1) The Minister shall decide on the number of inspectors sufficient for the purpose of the administration and enforcement of this Act and the regulations.

(2) The Minister may designate an”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Nicolas Dufour and it was agreed to.

 

Clause 18, as amended, carried.

 

On Clause 19,

Colin Carrie moved, — That Bill C-6, in Clause 19, be amended by replacing, in the English version, line 5 on page 10 with the following:

“hinder or make a false or misleading”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Colin Carrie and it was agreed to.

 

Clause 19, as amended, carried.

 

Clause 20 carried.

 

Clause 21 carried.

 

Clause 22 carried.

 

Clause 23 carried.

 

Clause 24 carried.

 

Clause 25 carried.

 

Clause 26 carried.

 

By unanimous consent, Clauses 27 to 29 inclusive carried severally.

 

By unanimous consent, Clauses 31 to 36 inclusive carried severally.

 

On New Clause 36.1,

 
On motion of Judy Wasylycia-Leis, it was agreed, — That Bill C-6 be amended by adding after line 33 on page 19 the following new clause:

“36.1 (1) Before a regulation is made under subsection 36(1)(a), (b) or (c), the Minister shall lay the proposed regulation before each House of Parliament.

(2) A proposed regulation that is laid before Parliament shall be referred to the appropriate committee of each House, as determined by the rules of that House, and the committee may review the proposed regulation and report its findings to that House.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2), the appropriate committee of the House of Commons shall be the Standing Committee on Health or, in the event that there is not a Standing Committee on Health, the appropriate committee of the House.

(4) A regulation may not be made before the earliest of

(a) 30 sitting days after the proposed regulation is laid before Parliament,

(b) 90 calendar days after the proposed regulation is laid before Parliament, and

(c) the day after each appropriate committee has reported its findings with respect to the proposed regulation.

(5) The Minister shall take into account any report of the committee of either House. If a regulation does not incorporate a recommendation of the committee of either House, the Minister shall lay before that House a statement of the reasons for not incorporating it.

(6) A proposed regulation that has been laid before Parliament need not again be so laid prior to the making of the regulation, whether it has been altered or not.

36.2 (1) A regulation may be made without being laid before either House of Parliament if the Minister is of the opinion that

(a) the changes made by the regulation to an existing regulation are so immaterial or insubstantial that section 36.1 should not apply in the circumstances; or

(b) the regulation must be made immediately in order to protect the health or safety of any person.

(2) If a regulation is made without being laid before Parliament, the Minister shall lay before each House of Parliament a statement of the Minister's reasons.”

 

Clause 37 carried.

 

By unanimous consent, Clauses 38 to 52 inclusive carried severally.

 

On Clause 53,

Colin Carrie moved, — That Bill C-6, in Clause 53, be amended by replacing lines 15 to 17 on page 28 with the following:

“(5) The Minister is to consider only written evidence and written submissions in determining whether a person committed a violation or whether a penalty was established in accordance with the regulations.”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Colin Carrie and it was agreed to.

 

Clause 53, as amended, carried.

 

By unanimous consent, Clauses 54 to 60 inclusive carried severally.

 

On Clause 61,

 
On motion of Colin Carrie, it was agreed, — That Bill C-6, in Clause 61, be amended by replacing, in the English version, line 22 on page 30 with the following:

“has committed the violation”

 

Clause 61, as amended, carried.

 

By unanimous consent, Clauses 62 to 72 inclusive carried severally.

 

The Committee reverted to Clause 4 previously stood.

 
Judy Wasylycia-Leis moved, — That Bill C-6, in Clause 4, be amended by adding after line 5 on page 5 the following:

“(3) Subsection (2) is repealed on January 1, 2011.”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Judy Wasylycia-Leis and it was negatived.

 

Clause 4, as amended, carried.

 

The Committee reverted to Clause 7 previously stood.

 
Carolyn Bennett moved, — That Bill C-6, in Clause 7, be amended

(a) by replacing line 16 on page 5 with the following:

“(a) is a danger to human health or safety, either from direct exposure to the product or from exposure to a harmful substance released from the product into the environment;”

(b) by adding after line 27 on page 5 the following:

“(2) For greater certainty, factors to be considered under paragraph (1)(a) in determining whether a danger to human health or safety exists include, but are not limited to,

(a) the potential release of a harmful substance from a consumer product during use or after disposal;

(b) the potential harm from chronic exposure to such a substance;

(c) the potential for harm to vulnerable populations, including children and infants; and

(d) the potential for cumulative exposure to a harmful substance, or a by-product of that substance, contained in a product.

(3) When evaluating the factors referred to in subsection (2), the manufacturer or importer shall take into account peer-reviewed scientific studies and assessments.”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Carolyn Bennett and it was negatived.

 

Clause 7 carried.

 

By unanimous consent, the Committee reverted to new Clause 8.1.

 
Joyce Murray moved, — That Bill C-6 be amended by adding after line 5 on page 6 the following new clause:

“8.1 (1) On or before July 1, 2010, the Minister shall publish a List of Hazardous Substances. The List shall include all substances that are

(a) identified as agents or groups of agents in Groups 1, 2A or 2B by the International Agency for Research on Cancer;

(b) substances listed in Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 that have been determined to be inherently toxic or toxic to human health by the Minister; or

(c) carcinogens or reproductive toxins according to scientific assessments conducted by the Government of Canada or other jurisdictions.

(2) The Minister shall review the List of Hazardous Substances every 12 months to ensure that it reflects the best available scientific evidence, using a precautionary approach with regard to the inclusion of new chemicals on the List.

(3) After two years have elapsed from the date on which a substance is included on the List of Hazardous Substances, no person shall knowingly advertise, manufacture, import or sell a child’s toy or child care article that contains a substance on the List.

(4) A child’s toy or child care article shall be considered to contain a substance on the List if the degree of concentration of that substance in the toy or article is so great that it would be reasonable to conclude that the substance was added to the product in the manufacturing or packaging process.

(5) The Minister may, in respect of a child’s toy or child care article, grant an exemption to the prohibition in subsection (3) if he or she can demonstrate that the substance contained in the toy or article does not pose a danger to human health or safety, taking into consideration human exposure to the substance from other sources.

(6) The Minister may, in respect of a child’s toy or child care article, grant a temporary exemption to the prohibition in subsection (3), for a maximum period of two years, if there is no available alternative to the toy or article that does not contain a substance found on the List of Hazardous Substances and the Minister can demonstrate that

(a) granting the exemption would have a beneficial effect on human health; or

(b) severe economic hardship would result from the prohibition being applied in respect of that toy or article.

(7) An exemption granted under subsection (6)

(a) applies only as long as the product meets the conditions set out in that subsection; and

(b) may be renewed for a maximum period of two years, provided that the conditions set out in that subsection are met at the time of the renewal.

(8) If the Minister grants an exemption under this section, he or she shall, within 60 days of granting the exemption, publish the reasons for doing so in the Canada Gazette.”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Joyce Murray and it was negatived.

 

The Committee reverted to Clause 8 previously stood.

 

Clause 8 carried.

 

The Committee reverted to Clause 14 previously stood.

 
On motion of Colin Carrie, it was agreed, — That Bill C-6, in Clause 14, be amended by replacing line 45 on page 8 with the following:

“— within 10 days after the day on which”

 
Carolyn Bennett moved, — That Bill C-6, in Clause 14, be amended by adding after line 3 on page 9 the following:

“(4) If a person provides information to the Minister regarding an incident that may be a danger to human health or safety, the Minister shall, within five days of receiving that information, provide public notice of the incident, including the nature of the effects that may reasonably be expected to result from the incident and the marketed names of all products that, to the Minister’s knowledge, could be involved in the incident.”

 

The question was put on the amendment of Carolyn Bennett and it was negatived.

 

Clause 14, as amended, carried.

 

The Committee reverted to Clause 30 previously stood.

 
Carolyn Bennett moved, — That Bill C-6, in Clause 30, be amended by adding after line 16 on page 14 the following:

“(3) Before an order under subsection (1) comes into effect, it shall be reviewed and approved by an advisory committee established under subsection 14(1) of the Public Health Agency of Canada Act.

(4) The advisory committee shall, in the prescribed manner, make public any conclusions it arrives at in the course of its review under subsection (3), to the extent that such disclosure is not inconsistent with sections 15 to 17.”

Debate arose thereon.

 

A point of order was raised regarding the procedural admissibility of the proposed motion.

 

By unanimous consent, the amendment was withdrawn.

 

Clause 30 carried.

 
By unanimous consent, Judy Wasylycia-Leis moved, — That Bill C-6 be amended by adding after line 12 on page 31 the following new clause:

“67.1 The Minister shall, within one year after the day on which this Act comes into force, and in every year after that, cause to be laid before Parliament a report

(a) detailing the government’s progress in establishing a labelling system to identify, at the point of purchase, consumer products that have been identified as containing hazardous substances that pose a danger to human health or safety; and

(b) outlining the government’s progress in eliminating hazardous substances that pose a danger to human health or safety from all consumer products, including a projected date by which all hazardous substances that pose a danger to human health or safety will be completely eliminated from consumer products.”

 

The question was put on the amendment of Judy Wasylycia-Leis and it was negatived.

 

On Schedule 1,

Judy Wasylycia-Leis moved, — That Bill C-6, in Schedule 1, be amended by adding after section 20 on page 33 the following:

“21. Tobacco products within the meaning of section 2 of the Tobacco Act, except in respect of their ignition propensity.”

 

The question was put on the amendment of Judy Wasylycia-Leis and it was negatived.

 
Judy Wasylycia-Leis moved, — That Bill C-6, in Schedule 1, be amended by adding after item 20 on page 33 the following:

“21. Tobacco products within the meaning of section 2 of the Tobacco Act, or brands or sub-brands of tobacco products, except in respect of their ignition propensity, that were available to consumers in Canada on January 29, 2009.”

 

The question was put on the amendment of Judy Wasylycia-Leis and it was negatived.

 

Schedule 1 carried.

 

Schedule 2 carried.

 

The Preamble carried.

 

The Short Title carried.

 

The Title carried.

 

The Bill, as amended, carried.

 

ORDERED, — That the Chair report the Bill, as amended, to the House.

 

ORDERED, — That Bill C-6, as amended, be reprinted for the use of the House at report stage.

 

At 5:27 p.m., the Committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.

 



Georges Etoka
Clerk of the Committee

 
 
2009/06/09 2:04 p.m.