Protecting Canadians has been a priority for our Government. Canadians and their families expect and deserve to feel safe about the products they purchase and consume. This is why our Government recently announced the Food and Safety Action Plan that will make Canadians safer by legislating tougher federal Government regulations of food, health, and consumer products.
In recent years, there has been sharp increase in the number of product recalls involving unsafe toys, food, and drugs in countries such as China. Our Government is therefore responding to this concern by proposing legislation this year that will transform the Government’s approach to regulating product safety. For the first time in Canada, instead of merely reacting to problems, the regulations will be designed to prevent them from happening. We will do this by providing better safety information to consumers and guidance to industries on building safety throughout their supply chains.
Our plan also aims at targeting the highest risks. Our Government would require companies to provide results of safety tests upon request and use this information to keep a vigilant eye on products posing the greatest risk to health and safety. Furthermore, our plan seeks new tools to help us respond to problems as rapidly as possible. This means we would seek to enact new legislation to allow faster action than ever before to protect the public when a problem occurs.
More specifically, new measures under the plan will also include: mandatory product recalls when companies fail to act on legitimate safety concerns; making importers responsible for the safety of goods they bring into Canada; and increasing maximum fines under the Food and Drug Act from $5,000 up to current international standards.
The Government will begin liaising with consumer and industry stakeholders on how best to proceed with the plan in the new year.
The Food and Product Safety Action Plan delivers on our Government’s commitment to building a stronger, safer, better Canada. It will benefit all Canadians and will improve our safety and health, while rewarding responsible industry players. In addition, it will strengthen Canada’s reputation abroad as a leader in product safety standards that are second to none.