Senator Greene Raine’s Child Health Protection Act passes House of Commons Committee

North Thompson Star/Journal

  • May. 4, 2018 12:00 a.m.

North Thompson Star/Journal

On May 1, 2018 Senator Nancy Greene Raine’s Child Health Protection Act, Bill S-228, was amended by the House of Commons Health Committee and returned to the House of Commons for 3rd reading.

The Child Health Protection Act prohibits the marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to children. The necessity for such a bill came from the study done by the Senate Committee on Social Affairs on the rising rates of obesity in Canada. Raine is a member of the committee. The study found that rates of obesity have tripled in Canada since 1980 and that now one out of three children between the ages of 5 and 17 are either overweight or obese.

“I know that there are many causes of obesity but as our Senate Committee study concluded, the marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to children has a very negative impact on our most vulnerable age group,” stated Raine.

The Committee made the following amendments to the bill:

The definition of children was amended to mean under 13 instead of under 17. The effect of this amendment is that the marketing of unhealthy food is only prohibited to children under 13.

Parliament has five years to study the effect of this legislation to determine whether there is an increase in the advertising of unhealthy food directed at 13 to 16 year olds.

The purpose of this amendment is to make sure that the exemption of advertising to 13-16 year olds would not be exploited and result in an increased advertising to this group.

Raine is supportive of the amendments. “The goal of the bill: child health protection by prohibiting the marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to children has not changed”, stated Raine.

If the House of Commons votes to adopt the amended bill, it will go to the Senate for approval after which it would receive Royal Assent.

Barriere Star Journal