Consumer safety bill passes Parliament
New law gives government the power to order product recalls
Canada's new Consumer Product Safety Act has passed Parliament and will be coming into force in the next few months.
The new law replaces the 40-year-old Hazardous Goods Act, which was widely criticized for being out of date and ineffective.
One of the major improvements is that the new act will allow the federal government to order the recall of unsafe goods. Under the old act, the government could only request a voluntary recall from a manufacturer or distributor.
The new act also requires industry to report serious incidents or deaths related to consumer products, and to provide government with timely information about product safety issues.
Manufacturers or importers can also be ordered to provide the government with product testing results or studies.
"I am delighted that both the House of Commons and the Senate have recognized the need to update our product safety legislation," said health minister Leona Aglukkaq.
"The Canada Consumer Product Safety Act will give the government important new tools to deliver stronger, more effective protection for Canadian consumers and their families."
The government will be informing industry on implementation dates and informing companies about their new obligations under the act.
This year, under the old Hazardous Products Act the government posted over 300 voluntary recall notices, a third of them for children's products.
The new legislation gets a thumbs-up from Safe Kids Canada.
"We've been advocating for a comprehensive overhaul of the old product safety legislation for several years now," said Safe Kids director Pamela Fuselli.
"We are very pleased and confident that the measures in this new Consumer Product Safety Act will improve product safety for all Canadians and help prevent unintentional injuries, especially for our children."