NHPPA at Whole Life Expo 2011 Toronto Dec 29/11


Shawn and the Ontario members of NHPPA’s team were on hand to chat at this November’s Whole Life Expo in Toronto, Ontario.

This was a year of ‘firsts’ for us in many ways and we had a truly inspiring weekend meeting so many of you. It was the first consumer health show where the public was largely already savvy to the issues and stopped by to learn the greater complexities of our initiatives. A high percentage of those who visited our booth let us know how grateful they were for our work and how we deliver the message.

Everyone stopped by to pick up more material in order to continue seeding public push back to have it grow to critical mass. For this, we thank every one of you.

NHPPA’s Information Officer Carolyn Steele, President Shawn Buckley and Campaign Director/Executive Coordinator Julia Rickert at the NHPPA booth

This was also our first year with a full booth. All of our materials and staff-on-hand were made possible only by the donations NHPPA receives from industry and public. It made a huge difference to be able to capture the public’s attention and be able to display visual aids as well as our wealth of information materials. We even had space for the line-ups that formed to sign the Charter of Health Freedom Petition.

A Police raid shield with handcuffed natural health products, and bear, drew attention to our booth

Carolyn Steele had prepared to answer the question: “Why have you handcuffed that lovely bear?” We had the opportunity to share the very real examples of Health Canada’s attacks on legitimate businesses and to explain our fears for the future of the industry.

Click here to hear Shawn speak about the Warm Buddy bear story.

Another first for us was that the vast majority of our visitors were already angry, anxious and thirsty for information. This truly is the year of critical mass. In the past we have spoken with many people who saw no immediate threat to themselves, their families or their freedoms, but now it seems that everyone knows someone whose health or livelihood (or both) is suffering…as products are stripped from store shelves.

We received just over 400 new unique signatures at the show, bringing us to 82,000 as at December 5 2011

This is the first year we have been inundated with people asking: “What can I do?”

In addition to adding many hundreds of signatures to the Charter of Health Freedom Petition, many of you took petition sheets away for family, friends and your local health food store. NHPPA will be launching a campaign for petition signatures in 2012. Our goal is 3 million but we need not wait to get that before we seek a Member of Parliament to present the petition to The House of Commons.

Another frequent question was: “Why doesn’t my local store have a petition?”

Our answer, unfortunately, is that many stores are just reluctant to join the fight. Some of the industry seems to have moved directly from complacent to anxious.  With the probability of a visit from Health Canada just around the corner, nobody wants to rock the boat. We asked our visitors to try taking a petition along themselves, perhaps stores would reconsider after a plea from a regular customer.

Click here to download a petition copy.

Click here to find out why the NHPPA is asking for a print (not on-line) petition.

Shawn Buckley and law student/legal research assistant Geneviève Eliany at the NHPPA booth

Shawn was on hand for the entire weekend to hold discussions and answer questions with both industry stakeholders and the public. Geneviève, who did some of our initial legal research for the NHPPA Legal Challenge, visited us to discuss new developments. As a result of our conversations the NHPPA has forged fruitful new links, identified possible parties to the NHPPA’s legal challenge to declare the NHP Regulations unconstitutional, and met with several enthusiastic volunteers to help move our work forward.

Click here to learn more about NHPPA’s Legal Challenge.

Shawn’s updated lecture on the current situation, called “Occupy Your Body”, took place on Sunday afternoon and was as well-attended as ever. Everyone seems hungrier this year, for information, advice, strategies and support. It is no surprise that our longest line-up at the NHPPA booth came as his lecture drew to a close.

Shawn began by confronting the audience with a challenging question, alarming in its implications: “Why do you, personally, love slavery?”

Using examples from recent Health Canada actions, legal decisions and the media he demonstrated the many ways in which “we’re losing our freedoms and most of us are doing nothing about it.” He quoted Thomas Jefferson, “if we allow our government to tell us which food to eat or what medicines to take, we are subjecting ourselves to the worst form of tyranny.”

He added, “We are allowing it. Logically, then, we are allowing the government to subject us to the very worst form of tyranny. We’re not going on hunger strikes, we’re not writing letters, we’re not calling, we’re not protesting. We’re not deciding to do anything, most of us.”

Alluding to the worldwide ‘occupy’ movements of 2011, the call to action of this lecture was: “we need to occupy our own bodies. We can win this if we will wake up. We can occupy our bodies if we become super active. If we think we  can make a difference without it costing us, then we’re fooling ourselves.”

Helke Ferrie of KOS Publishing and writer of Vitality Magazine’s lead article with Julia Rickert at the NHPPA booth


Sincere thanks are due to Julia Woodford and the Whole Life Expo management team, for placing us next to Helke Ferrie’s Kos Publishing booth; and to Helke herself for enabling us to continue conversations across to her areas of expertise.


The recommendations for books, flyers and leaflets flew across both booths all weekend. In fact, we completely ran out of printed material.



The Citizens Commission on Human Rights Executive Director and NHPPA friend, Benjamin Middleton with Shawn Buckley at the NHPPA booth

We were delighted to see Benjamin and would like to thank him for visiting with us and lending us his knowledge and experience. Every expert we meet supplies more expertise for us to absorb, distill and pass on to you.

Carolyn Steele continues to communicate the absurdity of the NHP Regulations

Did you make it to the Expo? It was a vibrant and exciting event, full of practitioners, merchandise, food, laughter, healing and many, many visitors. Thanks to all of you who stopped by to chat with us, ask and answer questions, sign the petition, collect information and insist that your friends came over to do likewise. If you missed out, and you are anywhere near Toronto, we’ll be at the same venue, the Metro Convention Centre, April 20, 21 and 22 2012 for the Total Health Show. We’d love to see you there!