• Charter of Health Freedom
  • Charter of Health Freedom
  • Charter of Health Freedom
  • Charter of Health Freedom
  • Charter of Health Freedom
  • Charter of Health Freedom
  • Charter of Health Freedom
  • Charter of Health Freedom
  • Charter of Health Freedom
  • Charter of Health Freedom
  • Charter of Health Freedom
  • Charter of Health Freedom
  • Charter of Health Freedom
  • Charter of Health Freedom
  • Charter of Health Freedom
  • Charter of Health Freedom
  • Charter of Health Freedom
  • Charter of Health Freedom
  • Charter of Health Freedom
Interactive Charter

Below is an interactive version of the Charter of Health Freedom.

Click on any video thumbnail on the right to view a video description of that section.

Charter of Health Freedom

Drafted by Shawn Buckley, Esq. For the NHPPA on September 4, 2008.

Whereas section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees every person’s right to life, liberty, and the security of the person. This includes the right to make fundamental health decisions;

Whereas the Common Law recognizes that every person has sovereignty over their own bodies;

Whereas it is a fundamental right for individuals to be able to choose how to prevent illness or how to address illness or injury in their own bodies;

Whereas there can be no health freedom if the State makes treatment options illegal;

Whereas the Government of Canada through Health Canada has been restricting access to treatment options through over-regulation;

Whereas there is a danger to removing treatments Canadians rely upon for their health;

Whereas under the Constitution of Canada the provinces are given exclusive jurisdiction over health. The Government of Canada's regulation over health is based on its criminal law power which is limited to regulating fraud, adulteration, and substances carrying such a significant health risk as to be considered "criminal";

Whereas Canadians are competent and able to make their own health decisions without State interference;

Whereas Canadians want the freedom to decide how they will prevent illness or how they will address illness or injury in their own bodies;

Whereas the First Nations People have the sovereign right to practice their traditional medicine;

Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:


 

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SHORT TITLE

1altThis Act may be cited as the Canadian Charter of Health Freedom.

RECOGNITION AND DECLARATION OF HEALTH RIGHTS AND
FREEDOMS

altIt is hereby recognized and declared that in Canada there have existed and
shall continue to exist the following rights and fundamental freedoms, namely:

alt(a)  the right to life, liberty, and the security of the person and the right not to
alt be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of
alt fundamental justice;

alt(b)  the right to sovereignty over one's body;

alt(c)  the right to make personal health decisions without the interference of the
alt State. This right includes, but is not limited to, the right to make decisions
alt concerning:

altalt(i)  altmaintaining health and wellness;

altalt(ii)  altpreventing illness;

altalt(iii) alttreating illness or injury, and

altalt(iv) altdiagnosing illness or injury;

alt(d)  the right to have access to any treatment unless there is substantial and
alt compelling evidence:

altalt(i)  altthe treatment poses a significant health risk, and

altalt(ii) alt that interfering with access to the treatment will not create a more
altaltsignificant health risk than is posed by the treatment itself, and

alt(e) the right to refuse any treatment.


 

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RECOGNITION AND DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES

3 altThe following principles apply to this Act:

alt(a)  everyone is deemed to be competent to be able to make personal
alt health decisions unless there is substantial and compelling evidence
alt to the contrary;

alt(b)  the best source of information concerning the effect of a treatment on
alt a person is the person himself or herself, and

alt(c)  traditional and historic methods for gathering, manufacturing,
alt preparing, preserving, performing, packaging, or storing a treatment
alt are to be protected and privileged.


 

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PURPOSES

4.altThe purposes of this Act are to protect and to promote health freedom by
protecting and promoting access to treatment options such as natural health 
products, treatment devices, traditional medicine, and other health practices.


 

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CONSTRUCTION OF LAW

5.alt(1) Every law of Canada shall, unless it is expressly declared by an Act of
the Parliament of Canada that it shall operate notwithstanding the Canadian 
Charter of Health Freedom, be so construed and applied as not to abrogate, abridge, 
or infringe or to authorize the abrogation, abridgment, or infringement of any of 
the rights, freedoms, or principles herein recognized and declared.

alt (2) This Act shall be liberally construed so as to protect and promote the
rights, freedoms, and principles herein recognized and declared.

alt (3) Every provision of this Act applies, unless a contrary intention appears,
to every enactment, whether enacted before or after the commencement of this
Act.

alt (4) Every treaty, agreement, or memorandum of understanding entered into
by the Government of Canada shall, unless it is expressly declared by an Act of the
Parliament of Canada that it shall operate notwithstanding the Canadian Charter of
Health Freedom, be so construed and applied as not to abrogate, abridge, or infringe or to authorize the abrogation, abridgment, or infringement of any of the rights, freedoms, or principles herein recognized and declared.


 

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REGULATION OF NATURAL HEALTH PRODUCTS, TREATMENT
DEVICES, TRADITIONAL MEDICINE, AND OTHER HEALTH
PRACTICES

6.alt (1) Natural health products, treatment devices, traditional medicine, and
other health practices shall be regulated exclusively by this Act and regulations
made pursuant to this Act.


 

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INTERPRETATION

7.altThe following definitions apply in this Act:

alt "action" means any:

alt (a)  altdecision or recommendation made;
alt (b)  altact done or omitted, or
alt (c)  altprocedure used;

alt "department" includes:

alt (a)  altany ministry of the Government of Canada;
alt (b)  alta person, corporation, commission, board, bureau, or authority who
altaltaltis or the majority of the members of which are, or the majority of the
altaltaltmembers of the board of management or board of directors of which
altaltaltare:
altaltalt(i)  alt appointed by an Act, minister, or the Governor General in
altalt alt altCouncil;
altaltalt(ii)  altin the discharge of their duties, public officers or servants of
altalt alt altthe Government of Canada, or
altaltalt(iii) altresponsible to the Government of Canada;

alt "court" means the Federal Court of Canada or the Superior Court of a
alt province;

alt "Minister" means the Minister of Wellness;

alt "natural health product" means any of the following that is manufactured,
alt sold, or represented as a treatment:

alt (a)   alta plant or plant material, an alga, a bacterium, a fungus, or a non-
altaltalthuman animal material;
alt (b)  altan extract or isolate of a substance described in paragraph (a), the
altaltaltprimary molecular structure of which is identical to that which it had
altaltaltprior to its extraction or isolation;
alt (c)   alta vitamin;
alt (d)   altan amino acid;
alt (e)   altan essential fatty acid;
alt (f)   alt a synthetic duplicate of a substance described in paragraphs (a) to (e);
alt (g)   alta mineral;
alt (h)   alta probiotic;
alt (i)    alta homeopathic medicine;
alt (j)    alta naturopathic medicine, or
alt (k)   altany product whose medicinal ingredients consist entirely of things
altaltaltreferred to in any of the paragraphs (a) to (h);

alt "other health practices" means any treatment except:

alt (a)   altany article, instrument, apparatus, or contrivance including any
altaltaltcomponent, part, or accessory, that is not a treatment device, or
alt (b)  altany substance that is not a natural health product or a traditional
altaltaltmedicine;

alt "traditional medicine" means health practices, approaches, knowledge, and
alt beliefs incorporating plant, animal, and mineral based medicines, spiritual
alt therapies, manual techniques, and exercises, applied singularly or in
alt combination to treat, diagnose, and prevent illnesses or maintain wellbeing,
alt and without restricting the generality of the foregoing, includes
alt traditional:
alt (a)   altFirst Nations medicine;
alt (b)   altInuit medicine;
alt (c)   altMetis medicine;
alt (d)   altChinese medicine;
alt (e)   altAyurvedic medicine;
alt (f)    altherbal medicine;
alt (g)   altUnani medicine;
alt (h)   altShiddha medicine, and
alt (i)    altTibetan medicine;

alt "treatment" means any remedy, procedure, or technique for:
alt (a)  altthe maintenance of health and wellness;
alt (b)  altpreventing illness;
alt (c)  altcuring or alleviating illness or injury, or
alt (d)  altdiagnosing illness or injury;

alt "treatment device" means any article, instrument, apparatus, contrivance, or
alt medical device including any component, part, or accessory, manufactured,
alt sold, or represented as a treatment, that:
alt (a)  altdoes not come into contact with the surface of the eye;
alt (b)  altdoes not penetrate the body, either through a body orifice or through
altaltaltthe body surface with the following exceptions:
alt (i)   alt temporary penetration of the oral or nasal cavities as far as the
altaltaltpharynx;
alt (ii)  alt temporary penetration of the ear canal up to the eardrum;
alt (iii) alt temporary penetration of the sphincter, or
alt (iv)  altacupuncture needles;
alt (c)  altdoes not come into contact with injured skin;
alt (d)  altis not implanted into the body, and
alt (e)  altdoes not emit ionizing radiation.


 

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PRESUMPTION OF SAFETY

8.alt (1) All natural health products, treatment devices, traditional medicines,
and other health practices are presumed to be safe.

alt (2)The presumption of safety in subsection (1) can only be rebutted by
substantial and compelling evidence that a natural health product, treatment
device, traditional medicine, or other health practice poses a significant health
risk.


 

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MINISTRY OF WELLNESS

9. alt (1) The Ministry of Wellness is established to protect and to promote health
freedom by protecting and promoting access to treatment options such as natural
health products, treatment devices, traditional medicine, and other health
practices.

(2)alt The Ministry of Wellness has exclusive jurisdiction to administer this
Act and regulations.

(3) altThe Ministry of Wellness is to be separate and apart from the
Department of Health.

(4) altThe Minister is not to be the same person as the Minister of Health.

(5)alt The Ministry of Wellness is prohibited from regulating:

(a) altany article, instrument, apparatus, contrivance, or medical device
including any component, part, or accessory, that is not a treatment
device, and

(b)alt any substance that is not a natural health product or a traditional
medicine.

 


 

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PROTECTION AGAINST FRAUD

10.alt No person shall label, package, treat, process, sell, or advertise a natural
health product, treatment device, traditional medicine, or other health practice in a
manner that is false, misleading, or deceptive regarding its character, value,
quantity, composition, merit, safety, or origin.

PROTECTION AGAINST ADULTERATION

11.alt No person shall manufacture, prepare, preserve, perform, package, or store
for sale a natural health product, treatment device, traditional medicine, or other
health practice under unsanitary conditions.

12. altNo person shall sell any natural health product, treatment device,
traditional medicine, or other health practice that:

alt (a)   was manufactured, prepared, preserved, packaged, or stored under
altalt unsanitary conditions; or
alt (b)   is adulterated.

PROTECTION AGAINST SIGNIFICANT HEALTH RISKS

13. alt(1)    Subject to subsection (2), when the Minister has substantial and
compelling evidence:

alt (a)    a treatment poses a significant health risk, and
alt (b)    that interfering with access to the treatment will not create a more
altalt significant health risk than is posed by the treatment itself,

alt the Minister may apply to a court for an order under this section.

alt (2) When applying for an order, the Minister shall seek the least restrictive
order necessary to address any significant health risk.

alt (3)  Subject to subsections (4) and (5) and section 14, if on the application of
the Minister, a court is satisfied there is substantial and compelling evidence:

alt (a)     a treatment poses a significant health risk, and
alt (b)     that interfering with access to the treatment will not create a more
altalt significant health risk than is posed by the treatment itself,
altalt the court may, to address any significant health risk:
alt (c)     order any person to comply with this Act or regulations;
alt (d)     order any person to provide any information necessary to address the
altalt health risk;
alt (e)     order any person to take reasonable measures to address the health
altalt risk;
alt (f)       issue an injunction ordering any person from refraining to do
alt altanything as may be necessary to address the health risk.
alt (4) A court may not make an ex parte order under subsection (3) unless:
alt (a)      it was impractical for the Minister to give notice of the application,
altalt and
alt (b)      there are compelling reasons to grant an ex parte order.
alt (5) Any ex parte order made under subsection (3) expires on the earliest of:
alt (a)      twelve days;
alt (b)      the earliest day on which the Minister's application under subsection
alt (1) could be heard after satisfying the notice requirements prescribed
by the court's rules, or
alt (c)      when all parties attend in court to speak to the application.

alt (6) If on the application of the Minister a court is not satisfied there is
substantial and compelling evidence:

alt (a)      a treatment poses a significant health risk, and
alt (b)      that interfering with access to the treatment will not create a more
significant health risk than is posed by the treatment itself,

the court:

alt (c)      shall order the Minister to pay to all opposing parties the actual costs
altalt incurred by the opposing parties in the court proceeding;
alt (d)      may order the Minister to pay punitive costs to a party, and
alt (e)      may order the Minister to pay damages to a party.

LEAST RESTRICTIVE INTERFERENCE

14. alt(1) A court shall not make an order which would result in the removal of a
natural health product, treatment device, traditional medicine, or other health
practice from the public or from any person unless there is substantial and
compelling evidence:

alt (a)      the treatment poses a significant health risk, and
alt (b)      that interfering with access to the treatment will not create a more
alt significant health risk than is posed by the treatment itself.

alt (2) A court shall not make an order which would result in the removal of a
natural health product, treatment device, traditional medicine, or other health
practice from the public or from any person if there are less restrictive means to
address any significant health risk.

alt (3) A court shall not make an order which would result in the removal of a
natural health product, treatment device, traditional medicine, or other health
practice from the public or from any person due to the treatment's non-compliance
with this Act or the regulations unless there is substantial and compelling
evidence:

alt (a)     the treatment poses a significant health risk, and
alt (b)     that interfering with access to the treatment will not create a more
altalt significant health risk than is posed by the treatment itself.


 

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EXAMINATION AND SAMPLING

15. alt(1) The Minister may designate any person knowledgeable concerning
natural health products, treatment devices, traditional medicine, or other health
practices as an examiner for the purpose of the enforcement of this Act.

(2)alt An examiner shall be given a certificate in a form established by the
Minister attesting to the examiner's designation and, on entering any place
pursuant to subsection 16(1), an examiner shall produce the certificate to the
person in charge of that place.

(3) alt Examiners may only examine treatments that they are competent to
evaluate the safety of.

16.alt (1) Subject to subsections (2), (5), (6) and (7), an examiner may at any
reasonable time enter any place where the examiner believes on reasonable
grounds any article to which this Act or the regulations apply is manufactured,
prepared, preserved, packaged, or stored, and may:

alt (a)      examine any such article and take samples thereof, and examine
altalt anything that the examiner believes on reasonable grounds is used or
altalt capable of being used for that manufacture, preparation,
altalt preservation, packaging, or storing;

alt (b)      open and examine any receptacle or package that the examiner
altalt believes on reasonable grounds contains any article to which this Act
altalt or the regulations apply, and

alt (c)      examine and make copies of, or extracts from, any books,
altalt documents, or other records found in any place referred to in this
altalt subsection that the examiner believes on reasonable grounds contains
altalt any information relevant to the enforcement of this Act with respect
altalt to any article to which this Act or the regulations apply.

alt (2) Where any place mentioned in subsection (1) is a dwelling-house or an
outbuilding of a dwelling-house, an examiner may not enter that dwelling-house
or outbuilding without the consent of the occupant except under the authority of a
warrant issued under subsection (3).

alt (3)     Where on ex parte application a justice of the peace is satisfied by
altalt information on oath:

alt (a)      that the conditions for entry described in subsection (1) exist in
altalt relation to a dwelling-house or outbuilding;
alt (b)      that entry to the dwelling-house or outbuilding is necessary for any
altalt purpose relating to the administration or enforcement of this Act, and
alt (c)      that entry to the dwelling-house or outbuilding has been refused,

the justice of the peace may issue a warrant authorizing the examiner named
therein to enter the dwelling-house or outbuilding subject to such conditions as
may be specified in the warrant.

alt (4) In executing a warrant issued under subsection (3), the examiner named
therein shall not use force unless the examiner is accompanied by a peace officer
and the use of force has been specifically authorized in the warrant.
alt (5) Examiners may only take such samples as are reasonably necessary for
testing to determine compliance with this Act and regulations.

alt (6) Examiners must pay the person possessing the samples the fair market
value of all samples taken by the examiner.

alt (7) When taking a sample an examiner shall inform the person possessing
the sample of the examiner's intention to submit the sample or a part thereof to an
analyst for analysis or examination, and in the presence of the person possessing
the sample:

alt (a)      where division of the sample would not interfere with analysis or
altalt examination:

altalt (i)altdivide the quantity into three parts;
altalt (ii)altidentify the three parts as the owner's portion, the examiner's
altaltaltaltportion, and the duplicate sample;
altalt (iii)         seal each part in such a manner that it cannot be opened
altaltaltaltwithout breaking the seal, and
altalt (iv)         deliver the part identified as the owner's portion to the person
altaltaltaltfrom whom the sample was obtained and forward the sample
altaltaltaltand the duplicate sample to an analyst for analysis or
altaltaltaltexamination, or

alt (b)     where division of the sample would interfere with analysis or
altalt examination:

altalt (i)alt identify the entire quantity as the sample;
altalt (ii)altseal the sample in such a manner that it cannot be opened
altaltaltaltwithout breaking the seal, and
altalt (iii)altforward the sample to an analyst for analysis or examination.

alt (8) The Minister cannot rely upon the analysis or examination of a sample
which was not taken in compliance with subsection (7).

alt (9) A court cannot rely upon the analysis or examination of a sample which
was not taken in compliance with subsection (7).

alt (10) With the exception of the part identified as the owner's portion in
subsection (7), samples taken and paid for in accordance with this section become
the property of her Majesty.


 

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ASSISTANCE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EXAMINATIONS

17.alt (1) Subject to subsections (3) and (4), the owner or person in charge of a
place entered by an examiner pursuant to section 16 and every employee found
therein shall give the examiner all reasonable assistance and furnish any
information the examiner may reasonably require.

alt (2) No person shall obstruct or hinder, or knowingly make any false or
misleading statement either orally or in writing to, an examiner while the
examiner is engaged in duties or functions under this Act or the regulations.

alt (3) Subsection (1) does not apply if the examiner believes an offence has
occurred and is attempting to get evidence concerning the commission of an
offence.

alt (4) Subsection (1) does not override:

(a)  altprivacy laws in force in the province where the administrative
altaltexamination is occuring, or

(b)  altprofessional obligations concerning patient or client privacy.

REGULATIONS

18. alt(1) Subject to subsections (2), (3) and (4), the Governor in Council may
make regulations for carrying the purposes and provisions of this Act into effect,
and without restricting the generality of the foregoing, may make regulations:

alt (a)altto protect and to promote health freedom by protecting and
altaltaltpromoting access to various treatment options;
alt (b)altto protect against fraud;
alt (c)altto protect against adulteration, and
alt (d)altto protect against significant health risks.

alt (2) All regulations made under subsection (1) must be consistent with the
rights, freedoms, principles, and purposes of this Act.

alt (3) No regulation made under subsection (1) can require the irradiation of
natural health products or traditional medicines.

alt (4) Subject to subsection (5), all regulations made under subsection (1) must
be reasonable and practical for small and medium size manufacturers, distributors,
retailers, and practitioners.

alt (5) Notwithstanding subsection (4) regulations which may not be reasonable
and practical for small and medium size manufacturers, distributors, retailers, or
practitioners may be imposed on large manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and
practitioners.

alt (6) In this section small size manufacturers, distributors, retailers, or
practitioners means ones with five or fewer employees.

alt (7) In this section medium size manufacturers, distributors, retailers, or
practitioners means ones with thirty or fewer employees.


 

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REGULATIONS CANNOT RESTRICT HEALTH FREEDOM

19. alt(1) If the purpose or the effect of a regulation is to remove a natural health
product, treatment device, traditional medicine, or other health practice from the
public or from any person, the treatment is exempted from the regulation unless
there is substantial and compelling evidence:

alt (a)altthe treatment poses a significant health risk if the regulation is not
altaltaltcomplied with, and
alt (b)altthat interfering with access to the treatment will not create a more
altaltaltsignificant health risk than is posed by the treatment itself.

alt (2) If the purpose or the effect of a regulation is to place an unreasonable
burden on a practitioner, manufacturer, distributor, or retailer of a treatment, the
practitioner, manufacturer, distributor, or retailer is exempted from the regulation
unless there is substantial and compelling evidence the treatment poses a
significant health risk if the regulation is not complied with.


 

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OFFENSES AND PUNISHMENT

20. alt Every person who contravenes any of the provisions of this Act or of the
regulations is guilty of an offence and liable:

alt (a)alton summary conviction for a first offence to a fine not exceeding two
altaltaltthousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three
altaltaltmonths or to both and, for a subsequent offence, to a fine not
altaltaltexceeding five thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not
altaltaltexceeding six months or to both; and
alt (b)alton conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding fifteen thousand
altaltaltdollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to
altaltaltboth.

21. alt A judge imposing a sentence for a contravention of this Act or regulations
shall ensure that the sentence does not result in the removal of a natural health
product, treatment device, traditional medicine, or other health practice from the
public or from any person unless there is substantial and compelling evidence:

alt (a)altthe treatment poses a significant health risk, and
alt (b)altthat interfering with access to the treatment will not create a more
altaltaltsignificant health risk than is posed by the treatment itself.

22. alt(1) Subject to subsection (2), in a prosecution for the sale of any article in
contravention of this Act or regulations, if the accused proves to the satisfaction of
the court or judge that:

alt (a)altthe accused purchased the article from another person in packaged
altaltaltform and sold it in the same package and in the same condition the
altaltaltarticle was in at the time it was so purchased, and
alt (b)altthat the accused could not with reasonable diligence have ascertained
altaltaltthat the sale of the article would be in contravention of this Act or the
altaltaltregulations,

the accused shall be acquitted.

alt (2) Subsection (1) does not apply in any prosecution unless the accused, at
least ten days before the day fixed for the trial, has given to the prosecutor notice
in writing that the accused intends to avail himself of the provisions of subsection
(1) and has disclosed to the prosecutor the name and address of the person from
whom the accused purchased the article and the date of purchase.

LIABILITY OF THE CROWN AND SERVANTS OF THE CROWN

23. altNothing in this Act is to be construed as shielding the Minister or the
servants and agents of the Minister from criminal or civil liability for any action
taken by them which results in the removal of a natural health product, treatment
device, traditional medicine, or other health practice from the public or from any
person in the absence of substantial and compelling evidence:

alt (a)altthe treatment poses a significant health risk, and
alt (b)altthat interfering with access to the treatment will not create a more
altaltaltsignificant health risk than is posed by the treatment itself.


 

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HEALTH FREEDOM OMBUDSMAN

24.alt (1) The Governor in Council shall, by commission under the Great Seal,
appoint a Health Freedom Ombudsman after consultation with the leader of every
recognized party in the Senate and the House of Commons and approval of the
appointment by resolution of the Senate and the House of Commons.

alt (2) The Health Freedom Ombudsman holds office during good behaviour
for a term of 7 years but may be removed for cause by the Governor in Council on
address of the Senate and the House of Commons.

alt (3) Once having served as the Health Freedom Ombudsman, a person is not
eligible for re-appointment to that office.

alt (4) The Health Freedom Ombudsman shall be paid a salary equal to the
salary of a Judge of the Federal Court of Canada.

alt (5) The provisions of the Public Service Superannuation Act, other than those
relating to tenure of office, apply to the Health Freedom Ombudsman except that
a person appointed as Health Freedom Ombudsman from outside the public
service may, by notice in writing given to the President of the Treasury Board not
more than sixty days after the date of appointment as Health Freedom
Ombudsman, elect to participate in the pension plan provided for in the Diplomatic
Service (Special) Superannuation Act in which case the provisions of that Act, other
than those relating to tenure of office, apply and the provisions of the Public Service
Superannuation Act do not apply.

POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE HEALTH FREEDOM OMBUDSMAN

25. alt(1) The Health Freedom Ombudsman on a complaint, or on the
Ombudsman's own initiative, may investigate any action by a department or by
any person acting under the authority of any law of Canada to determine whether
the action violates any of the rights, freedoms, or principles herein recognized and
declared.

alt (2) The powers and duties conferred on the Health Freedom Ombudsman
may be exercised and performed despite a provision in an Act to the effect that:

alt (a)alta decision, recommendation, or act is final;
alt (b)altno appeal lies in respect of it, or
alt (c)alta proceeding or decision of the department whose decision,
altaltaltrecommendation, or act it is must not be challenged, reviewed,
altaltaltquashed, or called into question.

alt (3) Parliament or any of its committees may at any time refer a matter to the
Health Freedom Ombudsman for investigation and report.

alt (4)altThe Health Freedom Ombudsman must:
alt (a)altinvestigate the matter referred under subsection (3), so far as it is
altaltaltwithin the Ombudsman's jurisdiction and subject to any special
altaltaltdirections, and
alt (b)altreport back as the Ombudsman thinks fit.

alt (5) Sections 37 to 40 do not apply in respect of an investigation or report
made under subsection (4).


26.alt The Health Freedom Ombudsman may investigate actions occurring before
the commencement of this Act.

27.alt If a question arises about the Health Freedom Ombudsman's jurisdiction to
investigate a case or class of cases, the Ombudsman may apply to the Federal
Court for a declaratory order determining the question.

REFUSAL TO INVESTIGATE

28. altThe Health Freedom Ombudsman may refuse to investigate or cease
investigating a complaint if, in the opinion of the Ombudsman, any of the
following apply:

alt (a)altthe complainant or person aggrieved knew or ought to have known
altaltaltof the action to which the complaint refers more than one year before
altaltaltthe complaint was received by the Ombudsman;
alt (b)altthe subject matter of the complaint primarily affects a person other
altaltaltthan the complainant and the complainant does not have sufficient
altaltaltpersonal interest in it;
alt (c)altthe complaint is frivolous, vexatious, not made in good faith, or
altaltaltconcerns a trivial matter;
alt (d)althaving regard to all of the circumstances, further investigation is not
altaltaltnecessary in order to consider the complaint;
alt (e)altin the circumstances, investigation would not benefit the complainant
altaltaltor person aggrieved;
alt (f)altthe Ombudsman cannot contact the complainant or the complainant
altaltaltfails to respond after a reasonable number of attempts by the
altaltaltOmbudsman to contact the complainant;
alt (g)altthe complaint is withdrawn by the complainant, or
alt (h)altthe complaint is settled.

NOTICE BY OMBUDSMAN

29. alt(1) If the Health Freedom Ombudsman investigates an action, the
Ombudsman must notify the department, persons affected, and any other person
the Ombudsman considers appropriate to notify in the circumstances.

alt (2) At any time during or after an investigation the Health Freedom
Ombudsman may consult with a department to attempt to settle the complaint, or
for any other purpose.

alt (3) If before making a decision respecting an action being investigated the
Health Freedom Ombudsman receives a request for consultation from the
department or persons affected, the Ombudsman must consult with the parties
making the request.

POWER TO OBTAIN INFORMATION

30. alt(1) The Health Freedom Ombudsman may receive and obtain information
from persons in the manner the Ombudsman considers appropriate, and in the
Ombudsman's discretion may conduct hearings.

alt (2) Without restricting subsection (1), the Health Freedom Ombudsman
may do one or more of the following:
alt (a)altat any reasonable time enter, remain on, and inspect all of the
altaltaltpremises occupied by a department, talk in private with any person
altaltaltthere, and otherwise investigate matters within the Ombudsman's
altaltaltjurisdiction;
alt (b)altrequire a person to furnish information or produce, at a time and
altaltaltplace the Ombudsman specifies, a document or thing in the person's
altaltaltpossession or control that relates to an investigation, whether or not
altaltaltthat person is a past or present member or employee of a department
altaltaltand whether or not the document or thing is in the control or under
altaltaltthe control of a department;
alt (c)altmake copies of information furnished or a document or thing
altaltaltproduced under this section;
alt (d)altsummon before the Ombudsman and examine on oath any person who the altaltaltOmbudsman believes is able to give information relevant to
altaltaltan investigation, whether or not that person is a complainant or a
altaltaltmember or employee of a department, and for that purpose may
altaltaltadminister an oath;
alt (e)altreceive and accept, on oath or otherwise, evidence the Ombudsman
altaltaltconsiders appropriate, whether or not it would be admissible in a
altaltaltcourt.

alt (3) If the department requests the return of a document or thing obtained
under subsection (2), the Health Freedom Ombudsman must return it to the
department within 48 hours after receiving the request, but the Ombudsman may
again require its production in accordance with this section.

PROTECTION

31.alt A person must not discharge, suspend, expel, intimidate, coerce, evict,
impose any pecuniary or other penalty on, or otherwise discriminate against a
person because that person complains, gives evidence, or otherwise assists in a
complaint, investigation, inquiry, or reporting to or of the Health Freedom
Ombudsman.

OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE REPRESENTATIONS

32. altIf it appears to the Health Freedom Ombudsman that there may be
sufficient grounds for making a report or recommendation under this Act that may
adversely affect a department or person, the Ombudsman must, before deciding
the matter:

alt (a)altinform the department or person of the grounds, and
alt (b)altgive the department or person the opportunity to make
altaltaltrepresentations, either orally or in writing at the discretion of the
altaltaltOmbudsman.

ATTORNEY GENERAL MAY RESTRICT INVESTIGATIVE POWERS

33.alt (1) The Health Freedom Ombudsman must not enter any premises and
must not require any information or answer to be given or any document or thing
to be produced if the Attorney General certifies that entering the premises, giving
the information, answering the question, or producing the document or thing
might:

alt (a)altinterfere with or impede the investigation or detection of an offence;
alt (b)altresult in or involve the disclosure of deliberations of the Privy
altaltaltCouncil, or
alt (c)altresult in or involve the disclosure of proceedings of the Privy Council
altaltaltor a committee of it, relating to matters of a secret or confidential
altaltaltnature, and that the disclosure would be contrary or prejudicial to the
altaltaltpublic interest.

(2) The Ombudsman must report each certificate of the Attorney General to
Parliament not later than in the Ombudsman's next annual report.


APPLICATION OF OTHER LAWS RESPECTING DISCLOSURE

34. alt(1) Subject to section 33, a rule of law that authorizes or requires the
withholding of a document or thing, or the refusal to disclose a matter in answer
to a question, on the ground that the production or disclosure would be injurious
to the public interest does not apply to production of the document or thing or the
disclosure of the matter to the Health Freedom Ombudsman.

alt (2) Subject to section 33 and to subsection (4), a person who is bound by an
enactment to maintain confidentiality in relation to or not to disclose any matter
must not be required to supply any information to or answer any question put by
the Health Freedom Ombudsman in relation to that matter, or to produce to the
Ombudsman any document or thing relating to it, if compliance with that
requirement would be in breach of the obligation of confidentiality or
nondisclosure.

alt (3) Subject to section 33 but despite subsection (2), if a person is bound to
maintain confidentiality in respect of a matter only because of an oath under an
Act of Parliament or a rule of law referred to in subsection (1), the person must
disclose the information, answer questions, and produce documents or things on
the request of the Health Freedom Ombudsman.

alt (4) Subject to section 33, after receiving a complainant's consent in writing,
the Health Freedom Ombudsman may require a person described in subsection (2)
to, and that person must, supply information, answer any question, or produce
any document or thing required by the Ombudsman that relates only to the
complainant.

PRIVILEGED INFORMATION

35. alt(1) Subject to section 34, a person has the same privileges in relation to
giving information, answering questions or producing documents or things to the
Health Freedom Ombudsman as the person would have with respect to a
proceeding in a court.

alt (2) Except on the trial of a person for perjury or for an offence under section
46, evidence given by a person in proceedings before the Health Freedom
Ombudsman and evidence of the existence of the proceedings is inadmissible
against that person in a court or in any other proceeding of a judicial nature.


IF INVESTIGATION IS REFUSED OR DISCONTINUED OR COMPLAINT
IS NOT SUBSTANTIATED

36. alt(1) If the Health Freedom Ombudsman decides:
alt (a)altnot to investigate or further investigate a complaint, or
alt (b)altat the conclusion of an investigation, that the complaint has not been
altaltaltsubstantiated,

the Ombudsman must:

alt (c)altrecord the decision in writing, and
alt (d)altas soon as is reasonable, notify both the complainant and the
altaltaltdepartment of the decision and the reasons for it.

alt (2) The reasons provided under subsection (1)(d) with respect to a decision
referred to in subsection (1)(b) must be in writing.

alt (3) The Health Freedom Ombudsman may indicate with the notification
under subsection (1)(d) any other recourse that may be available to the
complainant.

PROCEDURE AFTER INVESTIGATION

37. alt(1) If, after completing an investigation, the Health Freedom Ombudsman
is of the opinion that the action that was the subject matter of the investigation
was in violation of any of the rights, freedoms, or principles herein recognized and
declared, the Ombudsman must report that opinion and the reasons for it to the
department and may make the recommendation the Ombudsman considers
appropriate.

alt (2) Without restricting subsection (1), the Health Freedom Ombudsman
may recommend that:

alt (a)altan action be referred to the appropriate department for further
consideration;
alt (b)altan action be remedied, rectified, cancelled, or changed;
alt (c)altreasons be given;
alt (d)alta practice, procedure, or course of conduct be altered;
alt (e)altan enactment or other rule of law be reconsidered, or
alt (f)altany other steps be taken.

AUTHORITY TO NOTIFY HEALTH FREEDOM OMBUDSMAN OF
STEPS TAKEN

38.alt (1) If a recommendation is made under section 37, the Health Freedom
Ombudsman may request the department:

alt (a)altto notify the Ombudsman within a specified time of the steps that
altaltalthave been or are proposed to be taken to give effect to the
altaltaltrecommendation, or
alt (b)altif no steps have been or are proposed to be taken, the reasons for not
altaltaltfollowing the recommendation.

alt (2) If, after considering a response made by a department under subsection
(1), the Health Freedom Ombudsman believes it advisable to modify or further
modify the recommendation, the Ombudsman must notify the department of the
recommendation as modified and may request that the department notify the
Ombudsman:

alt (a)altof the steps that have been or are proposed to be taken to give effect
altaltaltto the modified recommendation, or
alt (b)altif no steps have been or are proposed to be taken, of the reasons for
altaltaltnot following the modified recommendation.

REPORT OF OMBUDSMAN IF NO SUITABLE ACTION TAKEN

39. alt(1) If within a reasonable time after a request has been made under section
38 no steps are taken that the Health Freedom Ombudsman believes adequate or
appropriate, the Ombudsman, after considering any reasons given by the
department, shall submit a report of the matter to the Governor General in
Council and, after that, shall make a report to Parliament respecting the matter as
the Ombudsman considers appropriate.
alt (2) The Health Freedom Ombudsman must attach to a report under
subsection (1) a copy of the Ombudsman's recommendation and any response
made to it under section 38, but the Ombudsman must delete from the
recommendation and from the response any material that would unreasonably
invade any person's privacy, and may delete material revealing the identity of a
member, officer, or employee of a department.

COMPLAINANT TO BE INFORMED

40. alt(1) If the Health Freedom Ombudsman makes a recommendation under
section 37 or 38 and no steps that the Ombudsman believes adequate or
appropriate are taken within a reasonable time, the Ombudsman:

alt (a)altmust inform the complainant of the recommendation, and
alt (b)altmay make additional comments the Ombudsman considers
altaltaltappropriate.

alt (2) The Health Freedom Ombudsman must in every case inform the
complainant within a reasonable time of the result of the investigation.

NO HEARING AS OF RIGHT

41. altA person is not entitled as of right to a hearing before the Health Freedom
Ombudsman except as provided in this Act.

HEALTH FREEDOM OMBUDSMAN NOT SUBJECT TO REVIEW

42. altProceedings of the Health Freedom Ombudsman must not be challenged,
reviewed, or called into question by a court, except on the ground of lack or excess
of jurisdiction.

PROCEEDINGS PRIVILEGED

43. alt(1) Proceedings do not lie against the Health Freedom Ombudsman or
against a person acting under the authority of the Ombudsman for anything done
in good faith, reported, or said in the course of the exercise or purported exercise
of duties under this Act.

alt (2) For the purposes of any Act or law respecting libel or slander:

alt (a)altanything said, all information supplied and all documents and things
altaltaltproduced in the course of an inquiry or proceeding before the Health
altaltaltFreedom Ombudsman under this Act are privileged to the same
altaltaltextent as if the inquiry or proceeding were a proceeding in a court,
altaltaltand
alt (b)alta report made by the Health Freedom Ombudsman and a fair and
altaltaltaccurate account of the report in a newspaper, periodical publication,
altaltaltor broadcast is privileged to the same extent as if the report of the
altaltaltOmbudsman were the order of a court.

ANNUAL AND SPECIAL REPORTS

44. alt(1) The Health Freedom Ombudsman must report annually on the affairs of
the Ombudsman's office to the Speaker of Parliament.

alt (2) The Speaker must lay the report before Parliament as soon as possible.

alt (3) If the Health Freedom Ombudsman considers it to be in the public
interest or in the interest of a person or department, the Ombudsman may make a
special report to Parliament or comment publicly about a matter relating generally
to the exercise of the Ombudsman's duties under this Act or to a particular case
investigated by the Ombudsman.

CONFIDENTIALITY

45. alt(1) Before beginning to perform the duties of the office, the Health Freedom
Ombudsman must take an oath:

alt (a)altto faithfully and impartially exercise the powers and perform the
altaltaltduties of the office, and
alt (b)altnot to divulge any information received under this Act, except if
altaltaltpermitted by this Act.

alt (2) A person on the staff of the Health Freedom Ombudsman must, before
beginning to perform duties, take an oath before the Ombudsman not to divulge
any information received under this Act except if permitted by this Act.

alt (3) For the purposes of subsection (2) the Health Freedom Ombudsman is a
commissioner for taking oaths.

alt (4) The Health Freedom Ombudsman and every person on the staff of the
Ombudsman must, subject to this Act, maintain confidentiality in respect of all
matters that come to their knowledge in performing their duties under this Act.

alt (5) The Health Freedom Ombudsman or a person holding an office or
appointment under the Ombudsman must not give or be compelled to give
evidence in a court or in proceedings of a judicial nature in respect of anything
coming to his or her knowledge in the exercise of duties under this Act, except:

alt (a)altto enforce the Ombudsman's powers of investigation;
alt (b)altto enforce compliance with sections 24 to 46, or
alt (c)altwith respect to a trial of a person for perjury.

alt (6) An investigation under this Act must be conducted in private unless the
Health Freedom Ombudsman considers that there are special circumstances in
which public knowledge is essential in order to further the investigation.

alt (7) Despite this section, the Health Freedom Ombudsman may disclose or
authorize a member of his or her staff to disclose a matter that, in the opinion of
the Ombudsman, is necessary to:

alt (a)altfurther an investigation;
alt (b)altprosecute an offence under this Act, or
alt (c)altestablish grounds for conclusions and recommendations made in a
altaltaltreport under this Act.

OFFENSES CONCERNING THE HEALTH FREEDOM OMBUDSMAN

46. altA person commits an offence who does any of the following:
alt (a)altwithout lawful justification or excuse, intentionally obstructs,
altaltalthinders, or resists the Health Freedom Ombudsman in the exercise of
altaltalta power conferred or a duty imposed under this Act;
alt (b)altwithout lawful justification or excuse, refuses or intentionally fails to
altaltaltcomply with a lawful requirement of the Health Freedom
altaltaltOmbudsman under this Act;
alt (c)altintentionally makes a false statement to or misleads or attempts to
altaltaltmislead the Health Freedom Ombudsman in the exercise of a power
altaltaltconferred or a duty imposed under this Act;
alt (d)altviolates an oath taken under this Act, or
alt (e)altcontravenes section 31.

OTHER REMEDIES

47.altThe provisions of this Act concerning the Health Freedom Ombudsman are
in addition to the provisions of any other enactment or rule of law under which:

alt (a)alta remedy, right of appeal, or objection is provided, or
alt (b)alta procedure is provided for inquiry into or investigation of an action,
altaltaltand nothing in this Act limits or affects that remedy, right of appeal, objection, or
altaltaltprocedure.

CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS

48. altSubparagraph 3(2)(c) of the Statutory Instruments Act is repealed and replaced
by:

alt "(c)  it does not trespass unduly on existing rights and freedoms and is not,
alt in any case, inconsistent with the purposes and provisions of the Charter of
alt Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Bill of Rights, and the Charter of Health
alt Freedom, and".


 

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