Alarm Bells In Health Policy


Discussion Paper by Shawn Buckley

Published May 2024

In the 2023 Budget (Bill C-47), Health Canada snuck in key changes to the Food and Drugs Act that will further restrict our ability to access natural health products. In the 2024 Budget (Bill C-69), Health Canada was at it again.

The 2024 Budget Bill—which became law on June 20, 2024—included amendments that grant Health Canada unprecedented regulatory authority over off-label uses of drugs and natural health products, significantly affecting medical professionals’ and natural health practitioners’ ability to provide effective healthcare, and our ability as members of the public to access these vital treatment options.

Just like in 2023, Health Canada slipped these substantial revisions to the Food and Drugs Act into a Budget Bill, bypassing scrutiny from the Standing Committee on Health. Instead, as with all Budget Bills, this Bill was reviewed by the Standing Committee on Finance, who lack expertise in matters of Food and Drug law and human health.

It’s unacceptable for non-budgetary changes to be buried within budget bills.

Action Needed Now

This is a MUST READ document for all Canadian manufacturers, distributors, those who use natural health products, visit natural health practitioners, and those who value their freedom of choice in healthcare.

Get Involved In The Pushback

Once you’ve read the Discussion Paper and educated yourself on Health Canada’s latest tactics that are aimed at restricting your health freedom, we ask that you get involved.

We’ve put together all the resources you need to communicate with your MP and help get these changes repealed from Bill C-69!

Excerpts From The Discussion Paper

  • Taking this key treatment tool from doctors and other health care practitioners who are the experts on treating us and keeping us alive is going to have dramatic negative health consequences. This is a life-and-death change.

  • Health Canada is giving itself the power to exempt food and drugs from key and vital safety provisions… and giving itself the power to completely undermine the basic safety provisions of the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations.

  • It is a major change for Health Canada to interfere with the rights of health care practitioners to recommend drugs and natural health products for off-label use. This is an area of provincial jurisdiction. There is no regulatory gap needing to be filled by Health Canada. There is no problem to be fixed.

  • Health Canada has no expertise in making health decisions for patients. Off-label use is a health decision made by health care professionals concerning an individual patient’s unique circumstances. These decisions are made as professional judgements to obtain the best health outcomes. Interfering with this will lead to poor health outcomes and further centralize the control of health policy with the federal government. There is no rational explanation for giving Health Canada the power to interfere with off-label use.

  • Health Canada is deliberately circumventing the Standing Committee on Health again—this should concern you.