Since our last update on February 11, 2017, and as of today, the Charter of Health Freedom petition has 96,497 signatures finally making it the largest single Federal paper petition, pending delivery, in the last 20 years!
The largest federal petition in Canadian history stands at 625,510 signatures presented to the House of Commons on February 9, 1949 for the creation of the Canadian Bill of Rights. While there hasn’t been a Federal petition signature count that has come close to the 1949 Bill of Rights petition, petitions with far less signatures have helped move legislation.
How does the Charter’s petition compare to other Canadian Federal paper petitions?
CANADA’S LARGEST FEDERAL PAPER PETITIONS
- At 85,421 signatures, the largest single paper petition to be presented to the House of Commons in Ottawa in the last 6 years was for the extension of medical benefits through the Employment Insurance Program (June 21 2011)
- At 92,572 signatures, the largest paper petition in the last 10 years was a series of petitions against the cruelty of animals (February 19 2007)
- At 96,065 signatures, the largest paper petition in the last 20 years was a series of related petitions against Child Pornography (April 27 1999)
The presentation of petitions has been a feature of the Canadian House of Commons since the time of Confederation. But a lot has changed since 1867. The process of petitioning has been tabled and reviewed in the House of Commons since 1994. The Standing Committee of Procedure and House Affairs began to examine measures to achieve more direct participation by citizens, including debates on petitions.
It was only 25 years ago that the House of Commons began keeping track of delivered petitions.
E-PETITION VS PAPER PETITION UPDATE
In December 2015, the Canadian Parliament began accepting e-petitions. Under the new 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 petition 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, calling for an end to Canada’s “First Past the Post” electoral system.
- 69,742 signatures, the second largest e-petition to date, presented in the House of Commons on October 6, 2016 asking that Parliament recognize that extremist individuals do not represent the religion of Islam.
- 54,107 signatures, the third largest e-petition to date, proposing an amendment to the Constitution Act surrounding Sharia Law. This petition is still active and remains open for signatures until July 5, 2017.
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.
Send completed petitions 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 guide, so that you fully understand the Charter before discussing it with your MP.
Find our Visiting Your MP Action Kit which gives you the tools you need to have a meaningful visit with your local MP.