Highlights from Bill C-368 Second Reading April 29, 2024

The mission to protect natural health products (NHPs) in Canada took another step forward with the second reading of Bill C-368 in the House of Commons. This bill aims to repeal Sections 500-504 of Bill C-47, which imposes $5 million per day fines on the natural health product industry. During an hour-long debate, members of parliament (MPs) discussed the merit of the bill, its potential impact, and the crucial importance of supporting the NHP sector.

In his opening remarks, Conservative MP Blaine Calkins delivered a compelling 10-minute speech highlighting the critical importance of the bill. He emphasized how the NHP industry keeps people out of the healthcare system, reduces overall costs, and contributes significantly to the economy, generating $3 billion annually and collecting $150 million in GST revenue. His arguments received support from the NDP’s Peter Julian, who also underscored the necessity of a distinct regulatory framework for the NHP industry, and from Bloc Québécois MP Luc Thériault, who emphasized Canadians’ right to choice.

In a pivotal move, both the NDP and Bloc Québécois pledged their party’s support for the bill.

The Liberal Party’s stance, however, remained opposed, with Liberal MP Majid Jowhari both confirming high levels of correspondence from his constituents on this issue and echoing the standard party talking points while expressing concern for NHP regulations.

Key points brought forward during the debate included the impact of Health Canada’s new regulations on the NHP industry’s small businesses, which employ 54,000 Canadians. Conservative MP Brad Vis noted that these changes threaten to reduce the number of businesses operating in Canada and drive them across the border to the US while also restricting product availability and innovation. Further concerns were raised regarding the Auditor General’s report, which many MPs criticized for its biased targeting of problematic products to skew results.

Our Work Isn’t Done Yet! Keep Up The Momentum.


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