Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to finish off my remarks today. Then my colleague will pick up with the other 10 minutes.
In my remaining time, I would like to focus on the comments made by my colleague from Churchill, which are germane to this debate. She talked about the fact that for the most part Canadians, like people in many countries, are awfully confused about what was healthy and what was not healthy. For most of us, it seems that every other day there is a new study from somewhere pointing out that something that was once thought healthy, now is not or vice versa, or counter-arguing a report that came out a few weeks ago. I think many of us in Canada reach the point where we throw our arms in the air and say that we cannot keep track any more. Then we go ahead and follow what we think is common sense.
Common sense for Canadians, and this is the point that my friend from Churchill made, is if something is known scientifically to be harmful to our children in particular, their Parliament, this place, would be responsible enough to ensure that those products are not contained in anything that are lawfully sold on the shelves of stores across this nation. We, in the NDP caucus, believe we have reached that point with trans fatty acids.
The World Health Organization does not give out alarmist messages or lightly say that something should be banned. Yet it has very clearly said that it is important to deal with the public health in a way that is effective for people. That means labelling will not do it. It means it has to be banned. That is why we have taken this stand.
We long ago passed the point where we were not sure of the science, so we would go with a label to be on the safe side. That is not the safe side any more. The safe side says, “Ban it. Do not let our children ingest these foods”. Other countries have now taken this stand.
There is the business side to this. Some of those very corporations and businesses that we might expect to hear say that this is a problem for them, that it will cost jobs or increase costs, all legitimate concerns, have already dealt with it. As has been pointed out, a number of major suppliers of the kinds of the food that have trans fats already have removed them. The entire country of Denmark has banned them. As has been pointed out, McDonald's has outlets there. There are no trans fats in the food at the McDonald's stores in Denmark. If it is good enough for the children of Denmark, does it not behoove us as Canadian parliamentarians to take the same steps to protect our children? That is what this is about. It is about public health. It is about protecting children. It is about doing the right thing.