Crazy Canadians bills!

Since its summertime and Stephen Harper is flipping burgers in the 905 and most of us are stuck in our offices, I thought I’d kill some time by checking out some of the private members bills left in limbo over the summer. Don’t worry, I’ve picked out only the truly imaginative ones.

Like this one!

Bill C-419
“An Act to establish and maintain a national Breast Implant Registry”
by: Judy Wasylycia-Leis (NDP)

Summary: This enactment requires the Minister of Health to establish and maintain a national Breast Implant Registry. The Registry will contain information relating to persons who have undergone breast implant surgery, including surgery to explant a breast implant, along with a description of the implant and other prescribed information. The information in the Registry will be available only to the Registrar for the purpose of notifying those persons of a risk to their health.

I can see the rationale for this law, of course. Breast implants in the past have been hazardous and a registry is thought to help identify those at risk. However, it’s more than likely that breast implant recipients will have this data in their medical records. As we’ve learned too, national registries are also costly, a health registry would be touchy with provincial jurisdiction and there are other “products” out there that cause harm too. A friend of mine purchased a Ford Focus the first year that it was released. The modest car was recalled about four times that year. I don’t suppose that we should also have a Ford Focus national registry?

Verdict: This one is pure bureaucracy and would create yet another place for the government to lose a truckload of money.

Moving right along we come to perhaps our country’s number one national priority: beer.

Bill C-206
“An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (warning labels regarding the consumption of alcohol)”
by: Paul Szabo (Liberal)

Summary: The purpose of this enactment is to require alcoholic beverages to bear a warning regarding the effects of alcohol on the ability to operate vehicles and machinery and on the health of the consumer, and the possibility of birth defects when consumed during pregnancy.

Thankfully, we can rely on the Canadian government to protect us from ourselves. Although, I doubt anyone will learn about the hazards of alcohol from a beer bottle. Usually warning labels are put on products to protect the manufacturer from litigation in the event of stupidity (see: McDonalds coffee = hot). Government mandated labels though? We have them on cigarettes, why not beer? Then again, perhaps we should warn people that they might get fat if they eat potato chips. Perhaps I yearn for a common sense society…

Verdict: Not the best of ideas. Cigarettes perhaps have labels now because at one time they were considered to be healthy (it’s true). However, everyone knows that alcohol causes stupidity. I would support voluntary labelling but not government mandated labelling.

As a bonus, I’ve included quite a nutty bill that was just defeated this past May. It concerns patents on medicine

Bill C-274 (defeated)
“An Act to amend the Patent Act”
Brian Masse (NDP)

Summary: This enactment excludes medicines from the scope of the regulation-making power set out in subsection 55.2(4) of the Patent Act. It makes other amendments to that Act to reduce the extent of patent protection for medicines.

The rationale behind this bill is simple: drugs heal people but drugs are protected by patents. Patents make drugs too expensive so let’s get rid of patents on drugs!

NDP, you say? You’d be correct.

Drug companies invest $500 million to $1 Billion on each new product they develop from blackboard to clinical trials to putting it on the shelves at Shoppers Drug Mart. Why would a company spend so much money developing new drugs if a generic manufacturer could just rip-off their product? They certainly would not and they’d leave Canada tomorrow (with thousands of jobs too). Furthermore, all existing patents on medicines would be no more. The party of Tommy Douglas must be off their meds! This bill is quite ill-conceived.

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