By MP Damien Kurek
Battle River — Crowfoot
Over the past number of months, I have received thousands of postcards, letters, phone calls, messages, and emails regarding changes that are being made to regulations for natural health products (NHPs) made and sold in Canada.
This issue affects an untold number of Canadians, as the vast majority of our population uses NHPs of some sort. Things affected include products like vitamins, essential oils, supplements, and other health products. Folks I have spoken with in the sector, and people concerned about access to products, agree that we need regulations and importation rules that give confidence to consumers and prohibit practices that might put people at risk. But what is confusing is that no one is sure why these wide-sweeping changes are being proposed.
Health Canada, supported by the Liberal Minister, has decided that these products need to be further regulated.
New regulations being placed on health supplements are extremely burdensome, to the point that some supplement makers say that the Canadian market is simply too small for it to be worth the investment. These unnecessary new regulations put Canadian businesses at a disadvantage. Canadians will lose access to the health supplements that they choose to use because of red tape and bureaucratic gatekeeping, rather than health impact. This new red tape is about giving more power to Ottawa and the big pharmaceutical lobbyists, not protecting Canadians. And what’s troubling is many cases, a Canadian looking for these products may now be forced to buy from a foreign supplier that may not be as safe.
Like so many, my family and I will be affected. NHPs are recognized to provide a beneficial role in contributing to our health and wellness.
The previous Conservative Government was proud to have worked with the natural health product industry to ensure that Canadians had both confidence and choice. I can assure you that we will continue to support and advocate against these changes to protect access for Canadians to their choice of natural health products and complementary treatments.
Let me be clear: existing regulations on NHPs are strong, and Canada is recognized around the world for our existing regulations. It’s bewildering that Liberals are pursuing these changes that would limit access to these products, especially when contrasted with their proposed policies like legalizing hard drugs like fentanyl and cocaine.
Commonsense Conservatives will ensure Canadian businesses are competitive and that Canadians’ access to safe supplements is protected.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this column, you are encouraged to write Damien at 4945-50th Street, Camrose, Alberta, T4V 1P9, call 780-608-4600, text 403-575-5625, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also stay up to date with Damien by following him on social media @dckurek. If you are in need of assistance regarding a Federal Government program or need assistance and don’t know where to turn, feel free to reach out to MP Kurek’s office.