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PARLIAMENTARY REPORT


CANADA


LEGISLATION INTRODUCED FOR SAFER FOOD


The last few weeks before the 2012 summer recess have seen the introduction of new legislative proposals by the Conservative government of Rt Hon. Stephen Harper, MP, the adoption of legislative proposals that have been before Parliament for years as well as forceful objection from the Opposition parties on the Budget Implementation Bill.


Rt Hon. Stephen Harper, MP


New legislation In 2008, contaminated cold cuts from a Maple Leaf Foods plant caused a listeriosis outbreak causing 22 deaths, and leaving more than 50 people ill in Canada. In the wake of the crisis, the government appointed an independent investigator to examine the events that had led, and the response of the government, to the outbreak, and to formulate recommendations. With the introduction of Bill S-11, the Safe Food for Canadians


pleased to announce that as of today we have addressed all 57 recommendations made by the independent investigator.” Bill S-11 would modernize the legislative and regulatory system for food commodities. It consolidates the Fish Inspection Act, the Canada Agricultural Products Act, the Meat Inspection Act, and the food provisions of the Consumer Packaging and Labeling Act. It also aligns inspection and enforcement powers across all food commodities. Maximum fines provided by these Acts would be increased from $250,000 to $5,000,000. Another government


Hon. Gerry Ritz, MP


Act, on 7 June 2012, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Hon. Gerry Ritz, MP, stated: “I’m


216 | The Parliamentarian | 2012: Issue Three


legislative proposal introduced shortly before the 2012 summer recess was Bill C-43, the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act. This proposal is aimed at facilitating the removal of dangerous foreign criminals from Canadian soil, and making it harder for foreigners who pose a risk to enter the country. On 20 June 2012, the day the Bill was


presented, Hon. Jason Kenney, MP, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, stated: “These measures are tough but fair. We want an immigration system that is open to genuine visitors, while at the same time prevents the entry of foreign criminals and denies them the ability to endlessly abuse our generosity.” Bill C-42, the Enhancing


Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Accountability Act, was


Hon. Jason Kenney, MP


also introduced late this June. This proposal would modernize the RCMP disciplinary process by establishing, among other things, an independent Civilian Review and Complaints Commission to investigate complaints made against the RCMP. The Minister of Public Safety, Hon. Vic Toews, MP, said: “The RCMP is recognized around the world as a symbol of who we are as Canadians, and what we value: professionalism, honesty, integrity and compassion. However,


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