Since our last update on July 3, 2018, as of today, the Charter of Health Freedom petition has 101,407 signatures making it the third largest single Federal paper petition, pending delivery, in the last 70 years!
This new total represents another 4,560 signatures gathered by dozens of natural health product stores, practitioners and health freedom advocates. Every additional petition page filled with signatures shows the efforts of those who share insights with their networks of people about the need for the Charter of Health Freedom. We know there are many retailers, practitioners and citizens with active petition stations still collecting signatures and will be sending those to NHPPA over the coming weeks and months that will further increase this number. Your actions truly matter!
How does the Charter of Health Freedom petition compare to other Canadian Federal paper petitions?
CANADA’S LARGEST FEDERAL PAPER PETITIONS
The largest federal paper petition in Canadian history, that we know of, filed with the Canadian Clerk of Petitions stands at 630,542 signatures. Delivered by The Body Shop Canada on May 28, 2018, this petition called for a ban on the sale and manufacture of animal-tested cosmetic products. It changed a law!
At 625,510 signatures, now the second largest paper petition, on record, presented to the House of Commons in Ottawa in the last 70 years, was for the creation of the Canadian Bill of Rights (February 9, 1949). And that was without franchises, social media or email.
While those petitions garnered hundreds of thousands of signatures, petitions with fewer signatures have also made legislation changes possible because they represent Canadians’ beliefs and what the people want:
- 85,421 signatures, presented in the House of Commons on June 21, 2011, called for the extension of medical benefits through the Employment Insurance Program
- 92,572 signatures, presented in the House of Commons on February 19, 2007, was a series of petitions against the cruelty of animals
- 96,065 signatures, presented in the House of Commons on April 27, 1999, was a series of related petitions against child pornography
Although the presentation of petitions has been a feature of the Canadian House of Commons, the Clerk of Petitions in Ottawa, let us know that it wasn’t until sometime in the 1990’s that they started to keep track of numbers. In 1994 the process of petitioning was been tabled and reviewed. The Standing Committee of Procedure and House Affairs began to examine measures to achieve more direct participation by citizens, including debates on petitions.
In December 2015, the Canadian Parliament began accepting e-petitions.
E-PETITION VS PAPER PETITION UPDATE
Under the new 2015 system, e-petitions that garner at least 500 signatures and are sponsored by an MP will be tabled in Parliament. E-Petitions are only open for signature collection for a period of 120 days and, once tabled in Parliament, will receive a response from the government within 45 days. E-petitions are exciting and new, and they create an opportunity to have an issue presented to Parliament in a relatively short period of time.
However, they cannot be combined with or replace an already pre-existing paper petition.
It would be an extraordinary amount of work for the Clerk of Petitions or the Privy Council to cross reference the signatures gathered on the paper petition with any signatures collected online. NHPPA would have to start a brand new Charter of Health Freedom e-Petition, from scratch, and it would have to go through the validation and acceptance process. Our existing petition for the Charter of Health Freedom must therefore remain a paper petition.
CANADA’S LARGEST FEDERAL E-PETITIONS
- 130,452 signatures, Canada’s largest e-petition to date, presented in the House of Commons on March 23, 2017, called for an end to Canada’s “First Past the Post” electoral system
- 86,082 signatures, the second largest e-petition to date, presented in the House of Commons on September 19, 2018 proposed the repeal of Bill C-71, An Act to amend certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearms
- 69,742 signatures, the third largest e-petition to date, presented in the House of Commons on October 6, 2016 asked that Parliament recognize that extremist individuals do not represent the religion of Islam, and in condemning all forms of Islamophobia
TWO WAYS YOU CAN HELP MAKE A DIFFERENCE
1) Collect Petition Signatures. At the NHPPA, we want everyone to have the opportunity to add their names to this national petition demanding the freedom to choose natural health products and the right to pursue vibrant health. If you want to have your say about your freedom of choice in natural health, physically collect signatures and send them to NHPPA.
Download a printable version of the Charter of Health Freedom petition. Ask everyone you know – your family, friends, colleagues, classmates and customers – to sign the petition.
Natural Health Product Retailers and Practitioners can download our Store and Clinic Support Tools with Petition station essentials to help educate your clients and patients on the Charter of Health Freedom and today’s new risks of losing access to NHPs.
Send completed petition pages by mail to:
Natural Health Products Protection Association
5070 Fountain Street, North
Breslau, ON N0B 1M0
2) Contact your local MP either by letter or, even better, in person. Make a point to download a printable copy of the Charter of Health Freedom itself and send or take it to your Member of Parliament. Be persistent! Follow up!
Download and read the entire Charter of Health Freedom
Watch Shawn Buckley’s interactive video series that explains in plain language each section in the Charter so that you fully understand it’s purpose and how it protects all stakeholders before discussing with your MP.
Review our Visiting Your MP Action Kit which gives you essential tools you need to have a meaningful visit with your MP.