An Act to amend the Tobacco Act and the Non-smokers’ Health Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts

This bill was last introduced in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session, which ended in September 2019.

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is now law.

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

Part 1 of this enactment amends the Tobacco Act. In order to respond to the report of the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Health entitled Vaping: Toward a Regulatory Framework for E-Cigarettes, it amends the Act to regulate the manufacture, sale, labelling and promotion of vaping products and changes the title of the Act accordingly. It also amends certain provisions of the Act relating to tobacco products, including with respect to product standards, disclosure of product information, product sale, sending and delivery and product promotion. The schedule to the Act is amended to add menthol and cloves as prohibited additives in all tobacco products. As well, it adds new provisions to the Act, including in respect of inspection and seizure.

Part 1 also makes consequential amendments to the Food and Drugs Act and the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act.

Part 2 of this enactment amends the Non-smokers’ Health Act to regulate the use of vaping products in the federal workplace and on certain modes of transportation.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Cigar PackagingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

October 15th, 2018 / 3:20 p.m.
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Liberal

Angelo Iacono Liberal Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to rise in the House to present a petition signed by cigar aficionados in Alfred-Pellan.

These people purchase cigars to smoke them, but also to offer them as gifts. They are therefore concerned about the impact of neutral packaging for cigars, as provided for in Bill S-5.

Thus the citizens in my riding call upon the government to exempt premium cigars from the proposed tobacco products regulations.

Accessible Canada ActGovernment Orders

September 19th, 2018 / 4:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to speak to Bill C-81, an act to ensure a barrier-free Canada.

I want to say at the outset that I am pleased to see that the minister has brought forward this bill. I have absolutely no doubt about her sincerity in trying to improve the lives of people with disabilities. I too am aligned in that direction. I have listened carefully to the debate we have had so far talking about how to get people with disabilities the same rights and responsibilities as other citizens, how to make sure they are able to live independently and how to make sure they are free from violence. I am aligned in all those things. I think I have heard that all the parties in the House are aligned in how we improve the lives of people with disabilities, and what we can we do with this bill to make sure it is effective.

When it comes to deciding to tackle an issue, with my engineering perspective I will ask what it is we are trying to do. I think it is trying to get people to be able to live independently, to have the same rights and responsibilities as others and to be free from violence. What is the plan to make that happen? What mechanisms will we put in place in order to make sure the money or the incentives flow so the behaviours of people will take root?

In my speech, I am going to talk a bit about what has happened in the past and what the Conservatives did. Then I will talk a little about the Liberal record. Then I will talk about the situation in my own riding, some ideas about possible solutions and some concerns I have with the legislation as it is written today.

I know things were going on to help improve accessibility when the Conservatives were in power. Although I was not here myself, I saw all the announcements and improvements happening in my own riding of Sarnia—Lambton, where multiple millions of dollars were spent to upgrade different buildings to ensure they were accessible for people in wheelchairs and to put different aids in place to help people with disabilities. I note that was going on.

At the same time, we have heard other members in the House talk about the Conservative Party's introduction of the registered disability savings plan in 2008. This plan is quite a rich plan. I looked at the details of it when we were addressing an issue that I will talk about later. However, this is a plan where a disabled person can put in up to $5,000 a year and the government will match it threefold. That program has been going on for almost 10 years. Although it has not come to the point where people are collecting from the program, it is a very well thought out way of ensuring people with disabilities will have the wherewithal to retire in dignity.

I see that and see the efforts of the member for Carleton, who brought forward a very intelligent bill aimed at addressing the problem people with disabilities have when they want to go work and their benefits are clawed back. In some cases, the money they are getting from other disability programs is clawed back. I was really disappointed in the extreme that every Liberal in the place rejected that private member's bill. That bill would have been such a help to people with disabilities. We talked as well about the member for Calgary Shepard bringing forward a private member's bill on rare diseases, which was also rejected. I just heard a member from the NDP talking about her bill being rejected.

This is where one really has to question people's motives. When people say one thing and do another, they are likely to be called hypocrites. When I look at the Liberals, I see there is a lot of talking about helping people with disabilities, but then we look at the record of what has happened since the election in 2015. The first member who had the portfolio to do something here on accessibility, or helping the disabled, was the member for Calgary Centre. It was in the mandate letter, yet nothing was done. That member is also a person who has lived experience as a person with disabilities, but nothing was done. It was not a priority.

It was then passed along to the member for Etobicoke North. However, I do sympathize with her. She is the Minister of Science and has a lot of very important things to do which, of course, I, as a fellow science person, cannot criticize. Again, nothing really came forward.

Then when I looked at the bill to see what was in it, I thought that perhaps there would be a lot of infrastructure money. We know there are a lot of buildings that are not accessible and they need a lot of money in order to repair them so they will be accessible. In some cases, those could be incentives. There is a number of ways that could be done, but nothing in the bill talks about that.

In fact, the bill has sort of an element of what the minister's powers would be. It has an element of a standards organization that can talk about what the right thing to do would be. There are mechanisms in the bill to complain. There are mechanisms in it to inspect. However, there are no action words. There is really no doing of anything. It is going to be consulting and spending a few more years to try to figure out what we should do, when we already know some of the things we should do. Some of the things we should do involves investing the same kind of infrastructure money that was previously done under the Conservatives.

I have heard the government speak about the $180 billion of infrastructure money that it will invest over the next number of years. In fact, the Liberals got elected on a promise to spend very small deficits in order to put infrastructure in place. That was going to create jobs and drive the economy and repair our roads and bridges, etc. None of that ever happened. My point is that there was a lot of infrastructure money that was planned to be spent. Even though the government has had difficulty getting that accomplished, as I think it has only spent about 40% of what it planned, it has still racked up way more deficit but not on the intended things.

There is an opportunity for the government to do something immediately with respect to infrastructure to improve accessibility. Those are things where the building codes exist today. The specifications exist today. The standards exist today. No work needs to be done to consult anybody on that or have new standard organizations to do it. This already exists. All it really needs is political will to put that money in place.

Instead, the government has basically a different political will, if we look at where the billions of dollars that the government is spending is going: $4.2 billion on foreign aid; $2.65 billion on climate change support for foreign countries like China and India; $5 billion for the Syrian refugees; $1 billion for the asylum seekers; and multiple billions of other things that are spread around the world but not for Canadians and not for the disabled. When we look at where time, energy and money is put, that determines what our values are or what our priorities are.

It has been three years before seeing any kind of legislation and the legislation does not have any strong actions in it. It is more of “we'll put structures in place to consult”. I really question whether there is enough political will to achieve good outcomes here.

As I mentioned, I have some good examples from my riding that I can share. I know that the previous member of Parliament, Pat Davidson, was very active. She really cared about improving accessibility. Elevators were put in multiple buildings. We had accessibility all over the county of Lambton. As well, we have upgraded many of the schools to be accessible.

The Sarnia Arena is going under remediation. I was there for an event this past weekend and all of the entrances and front sidewalks, etc. have been improved for accessibility and all of the standards have been met.

Not everything is wonderful in my riding. We have a situation in Port Lambton where the post office, which is a Crown corporation and is under the legislation being proposed, is not accessible. It has been there for a long period of time and was grandfathered, but it is not accessible. We are having a municipal election and people are going to have to go to Canada Post to vote. In Port Lambton that is pretty much all there is. However, it is not accessible. People have known about it for a long time. My office has called and nagged and has been told that they will get to it. However, no one has got to it.

Here is an example where the solution is known. It just needs to get done and it needs to get done in a hurry. Again, where is the will to force these solutions to happen?

I have a tremendously great example of a fellow named Dan Edwards in my riding. Unfortunately, he had an accident which rendered him unable to walk and left him in a wheelchair. He has been super inspirational in the riding. He does fundraising for mental health efforts and different things.

This is one of the things he did. We have a fundraiser in Sarnia—Lambton called the Dream Home. It is a fundraiser for the hospital. He decided to get together with the architect who was going to build the latest Dream Home for a lottery to raise money for the hospital and decided to make it a visitable home. A visitable home is a home where any person in a wheelchair would be fully able to access everything, from cooking to the entrances. Everything is ground floor. It is very well done.

I had the opportunity to tour the home and see what he and architect had designed together. He shared with me a lot of information about the very many plans like this. It is quite possible. We have these solutions that we could put in place to allow people to live independently. That would be great. Again, money and political will is some of what is required here.

The other piece of advice I would give with respect to solutions and rolling out the infrastructure money is to ensure that it is well-distributed. Of the $180 billion that was announced over 10 years, only $2 billion of that was earmarked for rural communities. When we look at improving accessibility, I think we will find that there is even more need in the rural communities. In many cases, they have grandfathered their buildings. There are more older buildings, and they have not been made accessible. As well, there is less of a population base to bring in the revenue to do these things of their own volition. That needs to be considered.

With respect to some concerns about the legislation, $290 million has been proposed. I heard discussion earlier about 5,000 new public servants. I was not clear if that was 5,000 public servants with disabilities who would be hired while attrition happened, so over time, or whether that was 5,000 additional public service employees. Of course, I would be opposed to increasing the size of government.

Another concern I have with the bill has to do with leaving things for the regulations. As a parliamentarian, and a detailed-oriented one, I do not like to leave things to chance. I have seen before, under some of the legislation that the Liberals have brought forward, where it is all left to regulation.

With Bill S-5, for example, the Liberals decided, from the plain packaging and the vaping, they were going to leave a lot of it to the regulations. We were approving a bill, and as the point was made, that we really did not know what the final outcomes would be. We were going to leave it to the regulation.

In the example of Bill S-5, the Liberals want to go to a plain package. The dimensions of the plain package are produced by machines that are obsolete, that are no longer owned by anybody who is legitimately in the business. The Liberals have given businesses six months to convert.

They would have to redesign the old, obsolete machines and get them built somewhere, and that is certainly an 18-month deal, or they would have to be shut down altogether in order to achieve this plain packaging goal, or let them use the existing size. That is an example of where when things are left to regulations, they do not always get done the way that we might want. That is why parliamentary oversight is important.

Bill C-45, the cannabis legislation, is another example where the Liberals decided to leave a lot of the details to the regulation. The problem is that the regulations did not come out quickly enough to address all the unanswered questions that were still out there. Now we are left with a situation where we will legalize on October 17, and there is still a huge number of things that are not addressed in the regulations. Again, there is no parliamentary oversight to talk about them.

This point came up again on Bill S-228 with the regulation that we most recently talked about, which is the one that prohibits the marketing of unhealthy foods to children. Instead of defining what the healthy foods are, the comment was that it would be left to the regulations.

As parliamentarians, we have a right to know what that list will be and have some opportunity to object or give input if we do not agree. By leaving it to the regulations, we would be passing a blank bill that says we would be doing something. We have no idea what the something is and we have no input on the something, but we are expected to vote in favour of it. I have an issue with that.

When it comes to accessibility, we have been much too slow in moving forward and addressing these things. For example, there are a lot of the grandfathered buildings. My mother is 84 and walks with a rollator. There are a lot of places she cannot go because of staircases or it is too narrow to get through. Something needs to be done there and I look forward to seeing what solutions will be brought forward are.

I will talk a little about some of the things the government could do that would make people have more faith in its wanting to help disabled people.

Members may remember when I was here on a Friday, asking a question about the disability tax credit. Through that whole event, we found out that where 80% of people with type 2 diabetes were previously approved, all of a sudden 80% were disapproved. We raised the concern, and the Liberal government insisted that nothing had changed. Of course, as the scandal went on, it came out that indeed things had changed. There were instructions given to interpret the criteria differently, and it went very broad. It affected not just people with diabetes but people with other disabilities, such as autism and mental disorders like bipolar. It took months and months to get justice for those people. This is what undermines people's faith that the government is sincere in its efforts to improve things for people with disabilities.

I will give members another example. For people with multiple sclerosis, it can be very difficult, because people are not always be at the same degree of wellness. It is sort of intermittent where there may be periods where they cannot work and other times they may be fine.

However, the current EI rules are not flexible enough to allow a person who has MS to be on EI and work intermittently, the same total benefits as someone who takes it consecutively would get. I raised this issue with the Minister of Labour. There is an easy fix there. If 670 hours of eligibility are required and there is a certain amount of hours that people get in benefits, then allow the intermittency. Those are the kinds of things we can do for people who have disabilities to be able to live independently, to work and to engage. We need to do that.

I did take the point that was made earlier that no disability lens was used for the legislation. When we do legislation, we do it with a gender-based lens. Therefore, it is very appropriate here to take that recommendation from the member and put a disability lens in place.

I also do not like the powers to exempt in the bill. I find that when we allow exemptions and have cabinet decide, we get into trouble. We saw this with the carbon tax. The government had the power to exempt and it decided to exempt the largest emitters up to 90% of their emissions. There is an example where having the power to exempt is really not what we want.

In summary, I absolutely want to see persons with disabilities have the independence they need and have the help they need. However, it has to happen faster. I call on the government today to start putting money into infrastructure for accessibility and do the solutions that we already know about, while we craft improvements to the bill.

Child Health Protection ActPrivate Members' Business

September 17th, 2018 / 11:20 a.m.
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Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I hope that you had a good summer. I certainly did.

I am pleased to rise today to speak to Bill S-228, an act to amend the Food and Drugs Act by prohibiting food and beverage marketing directed at children.

I would like to begin by thanking many individuals and groups for their ongoing efforts on this bill. First, I would like to thank Senator Nancy Greene Raine, now retired, for her years of service and her ongoing commitment to the health and well-being of Canadians, particularly the health of children. I would also like to thank members from all parties and the many witnesses for their passion and expertise.

Basically, Bill S-228 seeks to prohibit food and beverage marketing directed at persons under the age of 13. The bill's introduction in the House is rather timely because its objective can be found in the Minister of Health's mandate letter. Although this bill is well intentioned and seeks to combat childhood obesity, many stakeholders and witnesses expressed their concerns about the scope of the bill and its potential unintended consequences.

Similar legislation already exists in Quebec, which is often cited as an example. Quebec passed legislation in 1980 to ban advertising aimed at children aged 13 and under. To be clear, while it is true that Quebec has one of the lowest obesity rates in Canada, that is not necessarily a consequence of the ban on advertising targeting young people.

At a committee meeting, I asked witnesses from Quebec's Weight Coalition whether the obesity rate went down after Quebec passed the legislation. One witness replied as follows:

The Quebec act, which dates from 1980, was not passed to reduce obesity, but for ethical reasons and because of the vulnerability issues involving all forms of advertising. In terms of data on obesity, we were unfortunately unable to measure them in the past.

This comparison was repeated over and over again during consideration of the bill. However, someone who is rarely quoted is Ronald Lund, who appeared before the committee and told us that Quebec's obesity rate is quite similar to that of the rest of the country.

He said, “In fact, in terms of how fast it exploded and where it is today, the rates of obesity and overweight[edness] in Quebec are basically not statistically different from the rest of Canada.”

I think it is off the website now, but one can still find the link on Quebec's Ministry of Health's own website. It talks about the great increase since 1978 and adds that the good news is that rates there are not significantly different from those in the rest of Canada. Despite a homegrown test, the obesity rates in Quebec are not dramatically different.

Therefore, when we approach Bill S-228 and talk about the legislation, I am just not sure that it is going to work, though I am firmly behind its premise that we want to reduce obesity in children, as we know that childhood obesity is a predeterminate of very chronic disease as they get older.

Certainly, I think there are some problems with the bill, and I am going to address several of those.

First, there was an allusion to the definition of healthy food not being nailed down. At committee we talked about making the definition potentially the same as for front-of-pack labelling, where things high in salt, sugar, or saturated fats would be considered unhealthy. However, that could not be agreed upon, and there is currently no agreement about the definition.

The Liberal government is content to leave that to the regulations, but I think we can see the same problem with regulations that Health Canada is having when considering the Canada food guide and front-of-pack labelling. For example, there are situations where apple strudel would be considered healthy but cheese would not be. Therefore, I really think that not having a definition of healthy food is a weakness in this proposed legislation.

Second, if we are trying to make sure that children under the age of 13 are not exposed to the advertising of whatever we determine unhealthy food to be, the enforcement of that is going to be extremely difficult. For example, as per the conversations we had, does that mean television ads after nine o'clock at night could potentially be allowed to advertise some of these things? The problem is that there are parents who are not parenting well or are allowing their children to stay up past nine o'clock, and so we cannot really be sure at any point in time that we would not be targeting that audience. What about signs? What about billboards? I mean, there would not really be an opportunity to enforce this without a huge number of people basically policing all forms of media.

We know that things put in place by the Liberal government have not been well enforced and we expect to see further ones. For example, with the forthcoming marijuana legislation, clearly there was an effort made to restrict advertising to make sure that it did not appear to be cool to smoke marijuana. However, the government did nothing with enforcement with regard to the huge number of T-shirts and other paraphernalia that exist. The Senate brought an amendments, which were not accepted. Again, there is no enforcement. With respect to Bill S-5, the proposed tobacco legislation, we know that enforcement activity is needed when people who are not authorized to produce and distribute are doing it. However, the 60% cigarette contraband rate in Ontario, for example, and I think 30% or 40% across the country, shows a lack of enforcement. Therefore, I really think that this proposed piece of legislation would definitely have difficulty with enforcement.

Also, do we really need to have the government telling us what we can and cannot eat? I am all about personal freedom and individual accountability. When I was growing up, we had all the sugared cereals. We had Tony the Tiger, Froot Loops, Lucky Charms, Alpha-Bits, and I consumed all of those, along with toast dipped in maple syrup. My mother made us bologna sandwiches. However, I can tell members that there was not a lot of obesity, because we were all outside running around and playing. Therefore, if the government really wants to address obesity, I think the call to action should be to get young people active again. When I was growing up, there was a federal program in place called ParticipACTION, which was designed to get people out and running around. I certainly think that would be more effective in achieving results.

Members can see from my earlier testimony that many people from Quebec are saying that the rates there are not different from those in the rest of Canada. Therefore, this legislation is not going to have the impact we would want it to have.

As well, the senator who introduced this proposed legislation is a multiple Olympic champion. She was fit, and even in her senior years she was driving fitness activities here on the Hill. However, I would point out that she did choose in her career to advertise Mars bars, and I do not think anyone thought it was a problem for an athlete to do that. However, she had the personal freedom to choose that, and now she wants to remove that personal freedom from other athletes who may choose to do that. I certainly am able to exercise, eat occasionally at McDonald's, and eat chips from time to time. It is a balance. I think it is a question of moderation.

Therefore, for all of the reasons I have cited, including the difficulties in enforcing the proposed legislation, the fact that I do not believe the legislation would work, and the government's interference where I believe there should be personal freedom, individual accountability, and good parenting, I will not be supporting this legislation.

World No Tobacco DayStatements By Members

May 31st, 2018 / 2:10 p.m.
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Liberal

Linda Lapointe Liberal Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to celebrate World No Tobacco Day.

As we know, tobacco is the leading preventable cause of disease and premature death in Canada.

That is why our government is committed to passing Bill S-5 to protect the health of Canadians, especially youth.

I am proud to see that it received royal assent last week.

With budget 2018, our government is renewing and enhancing the federal tobacco control strategy by investing over $80 million.

In addition to helping Canadians stop smoking, this investment will support prevention efforts and reduce contraband tobacco. The goal is to get more Canadians to quit and reduce smoking deaths.

May 23rd, 2018 / 3:15 p.m.
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Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I have the honour to inform the House that a communication has been received, as follows:

Rideau Hall

Ottawa

May 23, 2018

Mr. Speaker,

I have the honour to inform you that the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, signified royal assent by written declaration to the bills listed in the schedule to this letter on the 23rd day of May, 2018, at 14:12 p.m.

Yours sincerely,

Assunta Di Lorenzo

The bills assented to were Bill S-5, An Act to amend the Tobacco Act and the Non-smokers’ Health Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts—Chapter 9, and Bill C-49, An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act and other Acts respecting transportation and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts—Chapter 10.

May 1st, 2018 / 3:45 p.m.
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Rob Cunningham Senior Policy Analyst, Canadian Cancer Society

Thank you very much, Chair.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to testify today.

The focus of my testimony will be part 2 of the bill, clauses 47 to 67, implementing a $1-per-carton increase in tobacco taxes and modifying the inflation indexing for tobacco taxes from every five years to every year. We applaud these measures and urge all committee members to support these provisions. Tobacco products remain the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Canada, killing 45,000 Canadians annually and causing about 30% of all cancer deaths.

We also strongly support the federal budget provisions that provide increased investment in the federal tobacco control strategy. This is essential as part of the efforts to meet the objective of reducing tobacco use to under 5% by 2035. There are still more than five million Canadians who smoke. There are teenagers starting to smoke every month. We have made considerable progress, but enormous work remains.

The budget measures regarding tobacco taxes and funding of the strategy are complemented by Bill S-5, adopted at third reading by the House of Commons last week, and by pending regulations for plain and standardized packaging. Plain packaging, a key measure to protect youth and curb the package as a means of promotion, has already been adopted by eight countries.

Increasing tobacco taxes is the most effective strategy to reduce tobacco use, especially among youth who have less disposable income. They're more price sensitive. That tobacco taxes decrease consumption is recognized by the World Bank, the World Health Organization, a vast number of studies in Canada and worldwide, provincial and territorial governments across Canada, and successive federal governments. Tobacco tax increases are a win-win, benefiting both public health and public revenue. The budget projects increased revenue of $375 million in this fiscal year alone as a result of the tobacco tax changes.

Inflation indexing of the tobacco tax was initiated in the 2014 federal budget, with indexing to occur every five years. The first inflation adjustment was to have occurred in 2019. Indexation ensures that tobacco tax rates are in effect kept the same on an after-inflation basis. In its pre-budget submission, Imperial Tobacco Canada recommended annual indexation instead of every five years as part of its recommendations to this committee.

Federal tobacco taxes are better than provincial tobacco taxes from a contraband perspective, because they apply on reserves. There's no difference between on-reserve and off-reserve tax rates. The level of contraband on which federal tobacco taxes are not paid is far lower than the contraband level on which provincial tobacco taxes are not paid.

I would invite committee members to turn to the background material that was circulated to you. The first graph shows comparative provincial and territorial tobacco tax rates. We see that Ontario and Quebec have the lowest tax rates in Canada but the highest contraband. That's counterintuitive to what we hear from the tobacco industry. They say higher tobacco taxes increase contraband. We see that in western Canada they have far higher rates of tobacco taxes but much lower levels of contraband.

Why is contraband higher in Ontario and Quebec? It's proximity to the illegal factories and sources of supply, but we can see that higher tobacco taxes have been sustained in the west and the Atlantic.

The next graph shows the trend in federal and provincial tobacco tax revenue. We see that even with reduced smoking rates, tobacco tax revenue continues to increase despite the lower smoking prevalence. In fiscal year 2017, the amount of $8.4 billion was collected, with even more of an increase if GST, HST, and PST on tobacco products were factored in.

The next graph shows the long-term trend in smoking prevalence in Canada. In 1965 it was 50% for Canadians aged 15 plus. In 2016 that was down to 17%. Over recent years we've seen a continuing decline. That's very positive, but it's also relevant when we see that tobacco tax revenue continues to increase. So tobacco taxes do benefit public revenue.

The next graph shows trends among teenagers, the 15- to 19-year-olds. We see a continuing decline in smoking prevalence among youth. That's very good. Tobacco taxes and other measures have contributed to that, but we want to keep driving this down further. The recently announced measures will help do that.

We thank the federal government for the new tobacco control measures that have been brought forward, and we appreciate the support from all parties. We look forward to continuing progress.

Thank you.

An Act to amend the Tobacco Act and the Non-smokers’ Health Act and to make consequential amendments to other ActsGovernment Orders

April 27th, 2018 / 1:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Madam Speaker, the member for South Okanagan—West Kootenay certainly seems to be well informed on this issue and may have personal knowledge of issues or concerns. What I would suggest to him is that Canada already has that regime. We have the Competition Bureau and the Competition Act, which regulate misleading advertising. This was actually my area of specialty when I was a lawyer. I reviewed advertising claims, from online to television. If advertising has any health-related aspect, there needs to be substantiation behind it. There needs to be science. Certain health claims are also regulated and have to be pre-screened by Advertising Standards Canada before they go on television.

If any Canadians have concerns about a claim being made that they think is misleading and is enticing people to make a purchase or maybe even try something out, they can bring that issue to the Competition Bureau. We have that regime in place.

What Bill S-5 would allow is a much more orderly process when it comes to packaging and to the promotion of the liquids involved in an emerging vaping industry. As I said, we need public health education and regulation. We can also recognize that these products are less harmful than tobacco products, but Canadians need to know that they might be 99% less harmful, but there are potential risks involved.

I think the public information and regulation in the bill is fair. I would have liked a separate bill, because this is a new and emerging device, but at the very least, Canadians can be assured that there would be more effective regulation as a result of Bill S-5.

An Act to amend the Tobacco Act and the Non-smokers’ Health Act and to make consequential amendments to other ActsGovernment Orders

April 27th, 2018 / 1 p.m.
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Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Madam Speaker, on a Friday afternoon, as we are winding down a week, the humour of the member for Fleetwood—Port Kells did not bristle; it was welcomed. I was a very proud toothbrush lawyer, toothpaste lawyer, and a whole bunch of things when I was with P&G.

The best thing we can do is to give the public information and education about the products they use. The Conservatives generally agree that the individual, particularly once they are an adult, can make choices and can make choices responsibly, but they have to do this by having the proper information.

When it comes to the issue of vaping, having certain ingredients listed, certain claims about any positive health benefit or any positive benefit of stopping smoking, those claims need to be substantiated by science and reviewed if they are a health type of claim.

When it comes to tobacco, the health and science is clear, and has been clear for two generations now. Bill S-5's thrust is the plain packaging. While there are a number of other issues in there, which we have all spoken about today, the evidence is clear. For countries that have adopted plain packaging, it has had an added impact.

Under the Conservative government, Canadians hit an all-time low in overall levels of smoking in Canada, but the bill has elements in it that can get that number even lower. People who choose to smoke, whether regularly or occasionally, have to be informed so they know the choices and they can make informed decisions on their own.

An Act to amend the Tobacco Act and the Non-smokers’ Health Act and to make consequential amendments to other ActsGovernment Orders

April 27th, 2018 / 12:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to speak to Bill S-5, a bill first introduced in the Senate.

I am good friends with my friend from Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook. My wife's family lives in Fall River.

I did note, with interest, one of his responses, in which he said that the government was an evidence-based government and that it made decisions based on evidence. It appears that does not apply to the cannabis bill. Its rush to legalize, to keep the Prime Minister's very ill-conceived promise, has been contrary to evidence provided by the Canadian Medical Association, pediatricians, and so forth.

My speech will be based entirely on evidence. That needs to be brought here. I would also like to speak for a moment on how members of Parliament do their jobs, both in their constituency and in Ottawa. We do not talk about it enough. We know that Ottawa is full of government relations representatives, lobbyists, consultants, communications people, and we hear from people and groups on bills and legislation, which is important. We have to be informed. In many cases, we will call them to committee as well to give expert evidence and testimony.

I want to thank a constituent in my riding who brought very thoughtful and informed advocacy to me on Bill S-5. His name is Craig Farrow. He is a store owner in Bowmanville, and has been an owner of a store that sells vaping products. That is one of the elements contained in Bill S-5. Craig met with me and gave a very detailed presentation on how, when it came to smoking cessation, vaping products had helped up to a million Canadians leave smoking. In fact, in Craig's own experience of guiding and informing people in Bowmanville, he told me that in the five years his store had been open, he had helped 4,000 people transition from smoking to that e-cigarette or that vaping product.

Why this is important is that studies have shown, including a number of them in the United Kingdom, that vaping, and the nicotine included in the vaping fumes, is 95% less harmful than the tobacco delivery of nicotine. When we talk about the bill, we have to recognize there are some smoking cessation benefits to some of the products that will be regulated under Bill S-5. I want to thank Craig Farrow and store owners like him across the country who met with MPs, whether in Ottawa or in their ridings, and made the case that they should not be included.

The challenge is that they are included in Bill S-5. What I would have preferred to see was a separate bill on measures to prevent smoking, because I think we all support that. I would have preferred the marijuana and cannabis discussion to be a little more fulsome in Ottawa. Then, vaping, which is totally different, but worthy of regulation and attention, should have been treated differently. However, they are not.

I will speak about why I and my Conservative colleagues support Bill S-5. We are disappointed the government has tried to bring a lot of things in with it. It is a bill that amends the Tobacco Act, the Non-Smokers Health Act, and consequential amendments. It is kind of another example of a Liberal-promoted omnibus bill.

There are good elements in the bill that evidence has shown has led people to stop smoking. We have known for decades now that smoking can have numerous health impacts, including cancer. That is why governments, since 1980s, have tried to make measures to curb smoking, particularly with young people.

Bill S-5 has, as its centerpiece, the plain packaging issue, when it comes to tobacco sales, promotion, and advertising. Plain packaging measures have shown a marked increase, in jurisdictions that have adopted it, to prevent people from smoking.

We can look at the jurisdictions, which I looked did, of Australia, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand, our closest allies, I am well known for advocating working even closer with those allies under a program called CANZUK. Those countries have already implemented plain packaging and have had tremendous results.

The post-implementation review in Australia of its plain packaging legislation has estimated already, within the span of 18 months to two years, that almost 110,000 people have stopped smoking as a result that legislative measure.

In the United Kingdom, David Cameron's Conservative government brought forward similar legislation. It is estimated that this plain packaging move will take 300,000 people away from smoking, reducing the health impacts, the cost to society, and the toll on families.

In New Zealand, John Key's government also brought in similar legislation.

Therefore, with this part of Bill S-5, we are very in line with what our closest friends and allies have done. Unlike the Liberals who talk about evidence-based decision-making, I am trying to review the benefits that some of our friends have already had. We can review their evidence, especially the post-implementation review in Australia, to show this will have a benefit. Even though there are a lot of things in Bill S-5, plain packaging is the centrepiece.

I would also like to mention why the Conservatives support Bill S-5, despite its omnibus nature.

Since the government of Brian Mulroney in 1988, and the tobacco products act it brought in with Bill C-51 at the time, there has been a non-partisan approach to smoking cessation legislation in the House. I am glad, despite some of the issues and despite the Liberals voting down our worthwhile amendments at committee, that we are still advocating and supporting them on this. We see the benefit, much like governments since 1988 saw with the legislation from the Brian Mulroney Progressive Conservative government. Subsequent changes were made by Liberal governments. Now we are trying to bring that same non-partisan approach to a public health issue on how we can get more young people to stop smoking or not get into it at all.

I would also like to thank the great advocacy work of physicians of the Heart and Stroke Foundation and a number of other great groups that have been at the forefront of some of these smoking cessation pieces of legislation. As I said at the outset of my remarks, we are trying to be non-partisan here, but I am very partisan. I would like to see the same approach in listening to physicians, health care professionals, and families in many cases to stop the rush with respect to some of the measures on the Prime Minister's pledge on marijuana. I guess I can hold out hope that showing all-party support on a bill like this perhaps will have the Liberals revisit their approach to public health policy.

The final part in my speech goes back Craig Farrow, store keepers, and e-cigarette or vaping shop owners who have concerns about Bill S-5. There needs to be regulation in that space as well.

Before coming to Parliament, I was a lawyer for Procter & Gamble. At times, I was a toothbrush lawyer. In fact, some of its electric toothbrushes were medical devices, so they were already regulated. Therefore, the vaporizers that heat up the liquid and produce the vape are medical devices. It is a class II medical device. To be eligible for sale in Canada, a part of that industry are already being regulated. They need a device licence and an establishment licence for the facility that creates the vaporizing product. Why? Because these items Canadians use on their body or in their body. Therefore, we have to have faith that they are properly regulated, that they are safe and fit for use. That is why there is already regulation. I would like to see the same regulation applied to the sale, promotion, and labelling of products involved in vaping.

Certainly, when I met with Craig and a lot of the owners, they already do not list products with candy-sounding names and things like that. However, it is important for us to have regulation in place to ensure that it is consistent and to ensure there is not an outlier that would allow children to be enticed into it. While, studies show that it is better for people and can be an aid in getting people off smoking tobacco, there are health impacts, and people deserve to know that. It is also a $27 billion industry globally now, and it is growing. Therefore, it is appropriate for the Government of Canada to regulate it.

As I said at the outset, I would have preferred separate legislation as opposed to an omnibus-type bill approach here, but nonetheless the smoking cessation measures within the bill are positive.

I think the vaping industry will also take positives from the bill. Vaporizing in general will be used already by cannabis manufacturers. They are already getting their device licences approved for the delivery of a vaporized cannabis once the Prime Minister's cannabis regime is in place. What the vaping stores can look to is that in the future not just ingredients like nicotine can be part of devices. There is the potential, with proper regulation, for some types of over-the-counter or low level health benefit products to be part of delivery by vaporizer. If we bring regulation certainty to this area of public health, it will actually help Craig and his industry in the future.

It has been my pleasure to speak for a few minutes on this and to once again show that responsible shop owners and industry associations, by bringing their issues forward, are helping make public debate better. They are helping us improve legislation. They are also improving our overall awareness of the risks, but also the positives, when it comes to smoking cessation, of new products like e-cigarettes and those sorts of things.

Parliament is meant to talk about the good and about the bad. In areas where we can get young people off smoking, it is important to have all-party support like we have had with Bill S-5.

An Act to amend the Tobacco Act and the Non-smokers’ Health Act and to make consequential amendments to other ActsGovernment Orders

April 27th, 2018 / 12:25 p.m.
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Liberal

Darrell Samson Liberal Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, NS

Madam Speaker, I am always very happy to stand in the House to represent the people of my riding of Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook. I describe the riding as a half-circle around the two big cities of Halifax and Dartmouth.

The riding has a very large population of veterans and military members. I am extremely proud to represent those individuals. Those veterans and military members make up 23% of the population, which is the highest in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia has the highest number of veterans and military members per capita in the country. Members can well understand why I am very proud to represent those individuals.

There is also a very large number of seniors in the riding. When I visit the various seniors groups, the work they do is quite impressive. Not only do they do all kinds of great things when it comes to volunteering, but they also have all kinds of events and activities taking place daily in their communities to support seniors. That is important.

There are fishing communities, like Eastern Passage. There are urban and rural communities. There is a good mix in my riding. I always want to underline those key issues and concerns.

I am pleased to speak to Bill S-5, a very important bill that came through the Senate. The bill would amend the Tobacco Act and the Non-smokers’ Health Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts.

It is important to note that we have done some really good work on prevention when it comes to tobacco. In the last number of years, we have seen a decrease in the numbers of smokers in Canada, from 22% to 13%. That is because of the various strategies we have used, including the markings and packaging, which I will talk about as well. However, we need to go further.

When we start to talk about vaping products, I have to be honest I do not have a lot of experience in this area. I have asked myself questions on many occasions, when driving or walking down the street and I see people using these vaping products. I have asked myself if these products include nicotine or tobacco. Sometimes I smell an odour like when someone is smoking a pipe. This allowed me to a little research to learn more about this product.

This bill focuses on two major areas. The first is a new framework for unregulated products. As I have said, the product is out there, but there are no regulation on it. We need to put some regulations on that.

The other aspect of the bill that I want to speak to is the plain packaging, because that is crucial. I believe we are heading in the right direction. When I hear “plain packaging”, I think about branding. So many things in the country and in the world if branded and marketed the right way will influence people to purchase it or try it.

Branding is so important. I think about James Curleigh who spoke last week about Levi's and the main strategies used to brand a product and make people want to purchase and use that product. That is why plain packaging is crucial. We have to take away the influence branding has. That is extremely important.

I believe we are the 10th country looking at changing branding and moving to plain packaging.

When we say “plain packaging”, the colour is gone, which is good. It is not as attractive. Perhaps the shape has changed and that may stop people from purchasing and using the product. It is not as flashy, but we can still put the necessary warnings on the packaging to show the other products it may contain.

The consultation that took place on the bill allowed 58,000 Canadians to speak about packaging, how they felt about plain packaging, and if they believed this was what we should be doing. A large majority of people supported it. I am extremely happy about that. I just shared with the members what branding and marketing could do. Therefore, if we take that away, we reverse the table on it, and we then head in the right direction. However, the consultation was crucial.

The next step is to put a committee together to work on setting the rules and regulations. Once that is set, then we will go back out and consult again. It is important to ensure we are in partnership as we move forward on this important bill.

I will now touch on vaping products. Again, my experience is limited in this area, but vaping has been going on for eight or nine years. As members know, once a new product comes online and the industry gets involved, it will continue to find ways to make the product more attractive, different, and we will see all kinds of versions out there.

This is where we need to ensure we are regulating, and there are two areas we will look at to to this. The product could fall under the Food and Drugs Act, which would mean for therapeutic use only. If it does not meet the therapeutic criteria, it would automatically fall under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act. Therefore, we have two areas where it could be regulated.

The objective here is to ensure that young people do not have access to this product. We will set the limit at 18 years. The other reason we want to act on this vaping product is that adults already use e-cigarettes. I agree that information is still unclear and we do not have all the scientific evidence, but some facts clearly show that this product is much less harmful than cigarettes themselves. As a result, this strategy to establish regulations may allow people who smoke to use this product, and then to eliminate this type of product entirely. This is another strategy.

The other thing we need to really look at is the whole issue of public health. We know how much money we spend on health. Provincial governments and the federal government spend a lot of money on health. There are waiting lists for our hospitals. This is very important. If this can help reduce the pressure on our public health system, we should consider it as another success.

Let us look at some of the key provisions in the bill. The first, as I mentioned, is the age limit of 18 years or older, which is an important factor.

The second one is what we call machine dispensers. We have come a long way with machine dispensers. I do not remember, but some people who are older than I am have told me that they existed for beer at one time, way back when. We could get beer the same way we get pop. That was available. Then we had them for cigarettes, of course, but we will make sure that they are not permitted for vaping products as well. We are starting in a much further area or space than we did with other products that were also very damaging.

Other provisions have to do with mailing and delivery if people order online. We know that ordering online is a big thing now. I know my kids order a lot of things online. It has become another method for people to purchase products without having to wander around in malls and spend their day in different shops.

That is one way of purchasing a product, but when products are sent and delivered, it will be crucial to ensure that the person who is receiving the product at the delivery point is older than 18 years. Therefore, when people are purchasing, they may have to have a Visa in their name. I do not have all of the specifics, but when it is being delivered to the homes of people, we must make sure that the person who is receiving the product is over 18 years old. That is crucial.

Another restriction is with respect to promotion. When it is being promoted, companies would be able to use some promotion strategies because the risk is less. However, there are some limitations in that area as well that are crucial.

Another area that is also important is prohibiting flavours that are attractive to kids, such as candy flavours, and I would like to share something that speaks to that. While we do not propose to limit the flavouring ingredients that may be added, we do not want to see those flavours identified or promoted as things that are appealing to kids. It will not be permissible to offer e-juice, cotton candy, popcorn, candy cane, or other flavours that appeal to kids.

As we can see, those are some of the strategies that the industry could come forward with that could cause great problems.

With respect to the second category and the Consumer Product Safety Act, of course vaping products that do not have therapeutic claims would fall under this category and all of the regulations that come with it for tobacco, etc. It will also require the industry, if there are any malfunctions, fires, or explosions associated with the product itself, to report them to Health Canada so that Health Canada can also recall the product.

As members can see, we are definitely heading in the right direction. This is much better than what was out there, because there were no controls. These regulations will help us.

In conclusion, together these measures will help protect the health and safety of all Canadians, including the people who choose to use vaping products.

Bill S-5 is a critical piece of our government's tobacco control agenda and will help address one of the most challenging and enduring public health problems. Bill S-5 strikes a balance between the harms of vapour products that may entice youth and others to develop a narcotic addiction and the potential public health benefits that could arise from reducing tobacco-related deaths and diseases.

I urge all colleagues in this House to support the bill at second reading and to move it quickly to committee.

An Act to amend the Tobacco Act and the Non-smokers’ Health Act and to make consequential amendments to other ActsGovernment Orders

April 27th, 2018 / 12:20 p.m.
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NDP

Brigitte Sansoucy NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. I spent a couple of decades working closely with high schools in my region, so I know how important it is to support prevention programs in our schools. In my riding, Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, an organization called Jeunes en santé is doing amazing work in youth health promotion. It is helping schools and organizations teach healthy life habits. Unfortunately, funding for organizations like Jeunes en santé tends to be precarious. We have to support organizations that work on the front lines.

My colleague mentioned stakeholders. Stakeholders played a major role in drafting Bill S-5, which will soon become law; they indicated what kind of amendments were needed. They were the ones who insisted that social media advertising targeting young people should be prohibited. The federal government must ensure that our laws protect people who are targeted and who are more likely to start using tobacco. We have to listen to front-line stakeholders. In my speech, I mentioned organizations such as the Coalition québécoise pour le contrôle du tabac, Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada, the Canadian Medical Association, and the Canadian Public Health Association. Every one of those organizations is prepared to show us the way and tell us what needs to be done.

An Act to amend the Tobacco Act and the Non-smokers’ Health Act and to make consequential amendments to other ActsGovernment Orders

April 27th, 2018 / 12:10 p.m.
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NDP

Brigitte Sansoucy NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Madam Speaker, to conclude my speech I will recap what I said before question period.

In a bill like Bill S-5, it is important to strike a balance between protecting non-smokers and helping smokers to quit smoking. It is important to develop prevention tools and invest in preventing people from smoking in the first place. If a person starts smoking, then one day they will want to quit, and we know how hard that can be. We have to invest in prevention to ensure that we have everything we need to make people aware of the risks of using tobacco.

I also mentioned the importance of targeting groups that are more likely to smoke. Again, 40% of first nations people smoke, as do 37% of people who are divorced or separated. Young people are also a target group. Often people start smoking when they are teenagers. I would add that troubled youth are particularly targeted. What is more, people with mental health issues, whether it be a minor depression or a more serious problem, represent 20% of the Canadian public who will be affected at some point, and some statistics point to an even higher rate.

Therefore, it is important to focus on these groups and to help the organizations that support these people in particular. We should help organizations such as Satellite, in Saint-Hyacinthe, and Horizon Soleil, in Acton Vale, which work on prevention with elementary school children, their parents, and teachers so that they know how to handle a situation where they might start consuming. Earlier, I spoke about Maison l'Alcôve, a well-regarded organization that does excellent work when it comes to treating all addictions. It treats its clients in the enchanting surroundings of an old monastery, which is ideal for treating addictions.

I am also thinking of several organizations that are affected. I was the long-time director of a community housing organization, Auberge du coeur Le Baluchon. We provided housing for troubled youth, and most of them were users and also smokers. They were only allowed to smoke outside the house, and so the balcony became their meeting place. This organization's mission is not to help prevent smoking, but that is still a concern.

I am also thinking of all the mental health organizations. I worked for the Contact Richelieu-Yamaska crisis centre, where most of the people with mental health issues were also smokers. Then there is MADH, Maison alternative de développement humain, and Centre psychosocial Richelieu-Yamaska, which do the same kind of work.

As the federal government we are responsible for providing the funding to promote healthy living to Canadians. Whether we are talking about nutrition or physical exercise, a healthy lifestyle can help prevent people from smoking, which is the purpose of Bill S-5.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill S-5, An Act to amend the Tobacco Act and the Non-smokers’ Health Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, be read the third time and passed.

Tobacco and Vaping Products ActGovernment Orders

April 27th, 2018 / 10:40 a.m.
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NDP

Brigitte Sansoucy NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Madam Speaker, the NDP does not think this bill is perfect, but we are going to support it at third reading. It is important to remember that the purpose of this bill is to create a new legislative framework for regulating vaping products and to implement plain and standardized packaging. We have long called for effective, concrete anti-tobacco measures to discourage young people from starting to smoke. The NDP is clearly a leader on this front. We have long called for plain packaging and a regulatory framework for vaping products.

In 2009, the former health critic, the member for Winnipeg North, introduced a bill to close loopholes in the Tobacco Act by tightening requirements for the labelling, packaging, and sale of flavoured tobacco products. In the last election campaign, we promised to introduce anti-smoking measures, increase funding for anti-smoking strategies, implement plain packaging, and ban all flavoured tobaccos. We also talked about the need to initiate a federal review to strengthen Canada's tobacco control legislation and the associated strategy, which expires in 2018.

It is clear that our demands were heard because it is now illegal to use flavourings and additives in tobacco products. It is important to reiterate that smoking is the leading cause of disease and premature death in Canada. The annual health care cost per smoker in Canada is over $3,000, which adds up to $17 billion a year. If passed, this bill could save money by reducing smoking rates in Canada, savings that would benefit the provinces and territories. There is no doubt that tobacco causes serious illnesses and a number of problems that can lead to death. One Canadian dies from a tobacco-related illness every 14 minutes. That is unacceptable. This is why we are supporting this bill and urging the other parties to do the same, in spite of everything.

Anti-smoking groups rightly point out that the longer we wait to pass a bill like this one, the more people will start to smoke and the more people will die from the consequences of tobacco use. Although there are regulations in place, it is difficult to restrict access to e-cigarettes. There is no evidence as of yet indicating that e-cigarettes encourage young people and non-smokers to start consuming nicotine. However, we still lack information on these and other vaping products, since they are new to the market. These products and their different flavours may seem enticing, especially to young people. If this bill is passed, the ban on tobacco sales to persons under the age of 18 will also be extended to vaping products, and it will also be illegal to promote vaping products. In addition, it will be illegal to use tobacco brands or information-based advertising to market vaping products to young people. Labels on these products must carry warnings regarding their nicotine content and the health problems they can cause. These measures are less restrictive than those applied to tobacco, since these products are considered less harmful for now.

Of course, some amendments could have been proposed. One of the downsides to this bill is the fact that vaping product manufacturers will be able to promote their products everywhere, which is bound to attract young teens. When bringing in regulations at the federal level, it is always important to consider provincial and territorial regulations. We have to bear that in mind every time we consider a federal bill.

Vaping products may help reduce tobacco consumption, but it is important to remember that using them does not break the smoking habit. Maison Alcôve, a well-known addiction treatment centre in Saint-Hyacinthe-Bagot, made it clear that the only way a smoker will stop smoking is by breaking those habits, those daily rituals. Smoking an e-cigarette is still smoking. Using vaping products to reduce tobacco consumption has limitations we need to consider.

If this bill passes, manufacturers would be required to submit to Health Canada information on sales and the ingredients in the vaping products, to ensure follow-up.

The 2015 report on vaping released by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health, which did an excellent job, made 14 recommendations, including one to create a legislative framework for vaping products. This bill follows up on these recommendations.

This bill also contains other provisions. Indeed, the Non-smokers' Health Act, which seeks to protect those in federally regulated workplaces, will be amended to ensure that vaping products are subject to the same prohibitions as tobacco products.

Bill S-5 harmonizes compliance and enforcement authorities with those found in other modern statutes, including the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act. These authorities would apply to both vaping and tobacco products. This would allow inspectors to use telewarrants and enter private property in carrying out an inspection, while accompanied by any person qualified to conduct the inspection. They could also require manufacturers to keep records, and stop or move any means of transportation for the purpose of inspection.

I want to emphasize the fact that disadvantaged and marginalized populations are the easiest targets and, unfortunately, they tend to consume more tobacco than the general population. They are more likely to suffer from tobacco-related illnesses. For example, 40% of first nations people smoke, and 37% of people who are divorced or separated smoke. We can no longer allow these groups to be targeted. The end goal is to reduce the gap in health status between general and disadvantaged populations caused by serious tobacco-related diseases.

Youth are also affected by this. We know that young people usually start smoking during adolescence. They are an easy target because they are easily influenced and find the packaging appealing. This bill will make it possible to minimize tobacco use and nicotine addiction among young people. As a result, it will also reduce the percentage of smokers.

Passing this bill would be a step forward in reducing tobacco use and would improve the health of Canadians. We really need regulations and measures like the ones set out in Bill S-5 to successfully reduce tobacco use. However, we also need to make young people aware that they can choose not to use tobacco. We need to get them to think about what they are taking into their bodies and make sure that they know how to say no.

Parents also need to be educated about this, so that they stop trivializing smoking and realize that smoking is dangerous. An organization in my riding called Satellite and one in Acton Vale called Horizon Soleil are tyring to educate younger kids about these issues beginning in elementary school. Education will have a stronger impact and must go hand in hand with passing Bill S-5 in order to effectively reduce the number of smokers in Canada.

I have discussed this bill with some of the stakeholder organizations in my riding, including the ones I just mentioned, Satellite, Horizon Soleil in Acton Vale, and Maison l'Alcôve, which start educating children in elementary school, as well as their teachers and parents, about the harmful effects of using tobacco and the importance of not using it in the teen years, and especially not in elementary school.

We really need to have a strict law, because young people are drawn to these products, with their colourful packaging and different flavours. We need to make sure that they never start smoking. We all know people in our lives who want to stop using tobacco. We know how hard it is. We need to focus on prevention so that they do not start using tobacco.

As I was saying in my speech, I have spoken with stakeholders and the director of Maison l'Alcôve, a very reputable addiction prevention centre in my riding. Every day they encounter people who are trying to quit smoking. They were saying how hard it is to address this problem because that involves breaking daily habits.

It is important to acknowledge the work of national organizations in support of our legislative amendments to this bill. These organizations, including many medical and anti-smoking organizations, asked us to go even further.

Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada, the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Public Health Association, and the Association pour la santé publique du Québec, are some of the organizations that come to mind. Since I am from Quebec, I would point out the Coalition québécoise pour le contrôle du tabac, which does exemplary work on smoking prevention and awareness.

As I was saying earlier in my speech, we have to ensure that people do not ever start smoking. Of course we can work on helping them quit smoking, but I think that at the federal level our main job is to raise awareness. We have to do enough on raising awareness to ensure that smoking for the first time triggers an alarm in a person's mind and prevents them from starting in the first place. It is important. These organizations help us understand the balance between the need to protect non-smokers and the need to provide smokers with help to quit smoking.

For a long time, about a decade, the NDP put pressure on the Conservative government. It is now pressuring the Liberal government with bills. My colleague from Vancouver Kingsway has done excellent work with the Standing Committee on Health and strives to raise the government's awareness at every meeting. My colleague also works with all the organizations I named. As parliamentarians, it is important to listen to stakeholders. As critic, I am in touch with people on the front lines. Every day, they see the effects of decisions we make here. It is so important to listen to those stakeholders and their recommendations. They are eagerly awaiting this bill. We have to listen to them. These people work with tobacco users and educate people so they do not start smoking. That is what they do every day, and they say this bill is important. That is why it is so important for us to pass it.

The NDP supports this bill. We know it is not perfect and needs improvement, but it is a first step. We will keep pressing the government to do more. We will keep asking for more funding for prevention.

I worked in the health sector for decades, and spent some time working in prevention. In health care, 95% of funds are allocated to curative care. A lot of money is allocated to treatment, and the remaining 5% is allocated to prevention. These groups are telling us to invest more in prevention.

I have four children. With my youngest, I was introduced to energy cubes. Pierre Lavoie teaches us that we would have far fewer people in the hospital if we took care of our health every day, if we ate properly and did physical exercise. Smoking prevention is one of the healthy living habits that we need to instill in kids from a young age.

I think that our role at the federal level is to allocate enough funds to promote prevention and healthy living. Anti-smoking measures are part of these healthy living habits that we must instill in children from a young age. At the federal level, we must allocate enough funds to ensure that discussions on health also address prevention, the importance of taking action before problems arise.

What often happens is that we react to problems, but in supporting this bill, I think we are taking an important step in combatting tobacco use.

Tobacco and Vaping Products ActGovernment Orders

April 27th, 2018 / 10:35 a.m.
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Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Madam Speaker, we did not spend a lot of time talking about contraband marijuana during the Bill S-5 discussion. We talked mainly about the huge problem that we have today with contraband cigarettes.

It is no secret that many of the contraband cigarettes are produced at reserves across the country. It is an enforcement issue, because the reserves have the right to produce cigarettes; the problem is that other people are coming to the reserve and purchasing them. From an enforcement point of view, one has to either arrest everyone as they come out of the smoke shop or not do anything. If there has not been a successful solution on contraband cigarettes, then I doubt that we are going to see any successful solution elsewhere.

Contraband marijuana will be a significant problem. When we were doing the cannabis legislation, indigenous people testified that they will want the right to produce and distribute marijuana, so we may run into the same situation there. If there are no good solutions and none are found on smoking, then I do not think we are going to be successful in the marijuana area either.