New Consumer Protection Legislation by Cyndee Todgham Cherniak


In April of this year, Bill C-52, "respecting the safety of consumer products," was tabled in the House of Commons by the Minister of Health. This proposed legislation protects consumers by addressing or preventing dangers to human health or safety that are posed by consumer products in Canada (whether manufactured domestically or imported into Canada).

Canadian manufacturers, importers of consumer products into Canada, retailers in Canada and/or advertisers that communicate to consumers in Canada must, however, fully appreciate the limitations that are being legislated and their new obligations. The potential for severe penalties is intended to ensure that persons dealing with Canadian consumers take the health and safety of Canadian consumers seriously. The negative effects of a public accusation of harming consumers can destroy the reputation of a manufacturer, importer and/or retailer. This proposed legislation increases the risk of manufacturers, importers, retailers, sellers and advertisers that fail to:

*adopt a compliance mentality;

*conduct proper due diligence;

*implement risk management policies and procedures; and

*maintain proper books, records and reporting procedures.

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