MP-Report

Plain language labelling

Our Kelowna-Lake Country riding recently had the pleasure of hosting my colleague Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, who came to Kelowna to announce funding for nine innovative projects that will help children, youth and their families achieve and maintain healthier weights and healthier lifestyles in their communities. One of the nine projects announced is Healthy Weights for Children led by The Bridge Youth & Family Services Society.

I have shared many of your letters and e-mails with the Minister and her staff about food safety, natural health products and the safety of prescription drugs and I’m glad some of you had the chance to talk to her in person while she was here.

Our mental health roundtable was particularly good.

Under Minister Aglukkaq, Health Canadaplays an important role not only in preventing and reducing risks to individual health and the overall environment, but also in promoting healthier lifestyles.

It protects Canadians and facilitates the provision of products vital to the health and well-being of our citizens by regulating and approving the use of thousands of products, including consumer goods, foods, medical devices, natural health products, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and toxic substances.

A recent announcement by the Minister is a good case in point.

Millions of Canadians rely on their prescription medications to help maintain and improve their health.

Nearly two-thirds of those Canadians who are aged 65 and older take five or more types of prescriptions and given our aging population, the number of Canadians who rely on prescription medications will only grow.

Unfortunately, the complicated language on drug labels means that there is a greater risk of taking these prescriptions incorrectly, the consequences of which can be quite harmful. It’s estimated that as many as one in nine emergency room visits are the related to drug adverse effects and that 68% of those cases are preventable.

As a part of our Government’s ongoing commitment to protecting the health and safety of Canadian families, we’re helping promote the safe use of prescription drugs by launching the Plain Language Labelling Initiative.

This initiative reflects conversations I’ve had with one of my sons-in-law who is a pharmacist. In his view simplifying drug labelling could prevent a lot of adverse drug events.

The Plain Language Labelling Initiative will eliminate the technical and confusing language that many drug labels have. It will accomplish this by helping ensure that all important drug information is located in an easy to find location—such as a “Drug Facts” table—and is in easy to understand language.

Putting drug labels and packaging in plain language will help health professionals, patients and consumers easily find out how to use the drug, how often to take it, and when it should and should not be taken.

The Plain Language Labelling Initiative represents just one of the ways our Conservative Government is helping protect the health of Canadians and their families. Since 2006, we’ve strengthened regulations on lead in children’s toys, banned Bisphenol A in baby bottles and empowered Health Canada to issue mandatory recalls for unsafe products. In addition, we also increased the penalties for companies who violate these mandatory recalls, helping ensure that companies who break the law are made to pay the consequences.

Our Government also unveiled the Safe Food for Canadians Action Plan. The Action Plan was introduced to help raise the level of food and consumer protection in Canada by modernizing our safety regime.

Canada's safety system is already one of the best in the world; however, for those businesses that behave irresponsibly, we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to prevent problems in the first place, target the highest risk products, and respond quickly if problems do happen.

I would like to thank Minister Aglukkaq for taking the time to visit us here in the beautiful sunny Okanagan. I look forward to working with her in her new role as the Minister of the Environment which was announced during the Cabinet shuffle earlier this week.

Thanks to the efforts of Health Canada, we can all have confidence in the rules surrounding prescription drugs, consumer products and food safety.

For those of you who would like to learn more about Health Canada, a wealth of helpful information,from how to barbecue safely to the most up to date safety alerts can be found at the department’s website at www.hc-sc.gc.ca .

I hope you all continue to have a healthy and safe summer. Remember to be wise and wear your sunscreen and a hat!

 

Ron Cannan is the Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country and welcomes your feedback at [email protected]. Information on local announcements and federal government programs can be found at www.cannan.ca.



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About the Author

The Honourable Ron Cannan was first elected as Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country in January, 2006. He was subsequently elected in the 2008 and 2011 federal elections. He is a member of the Conservative Caucus.

On September 13th, 2012 Ron was summoned to be a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and will provide advice to the Government as a member of the Priorities and Planning Sub-Committee on Government Administration.

Ron successfully uses his experience and knowledge as a long-time Kelowna City Councillor and regional government representative to be an effective and enthusiastic champion for his riding and his constituents.

His greatest satisfaction comes from helping local organizations and citizens obtain the support they require from Ottawa. 

He is also dedicated to doing what it takes to ensure that the growing and vibrant communities in his riding continue to thrive and prosper.

He is proud of the partnership and cooperation between federal, provincial and municipal governments which have resulted in significant infrastructure projects including upgrades to Highway 97, expansion of the Kelowna International Airport, a new horticulture strategy for fruit growers, obtaining a full service passport office for Kelowna and addressing critical economic issues such as labour skills shortages.

He works closely with the local Chambers of Commerce and once a year arranges meetings for the Chamber with Cabinet Ministers and senior policy staff in Ottawa to move forward important local issues such as crime prevention and labour skills shortages.

He is also an ardent champion for important community initiatives including homelessness, mental health, women’s resources, and support of arts and culture.

On Parliament Hill, Ron has been a member of the Standing Committee on International Trade since 2006 supporting initiatives which will broaden the economic opportunities for local businesses and businesses Canada-wide.

In previous parliamentary sessions Ron has been a member of the Standing Committee for Government Operations and Estimates, Veteran’s Affairs, Human Resources and Social Development, the Scrutiny of Regulations Committee, and the Standing Committee for Fisheries and Oceans.

Ron is also involved in a variety of inter-parliamentary organizations: he is Vice Chair of the Canada-US Inter-Parliamentary Group, and a member of the Canada-Taiwan Friendship group.

As Chair of the Conservative Wine Caucus, Ron works with his colleagues across the country to promote the wine regions of Canada.  Ron tabled Motion 218(formerly Motion 601) which supports direct to consumer purchasing of Canadian wine. His motion became Bill C-311, sponsored by MP Dan Albas, seconded by Ron, which was passed into law on June 28th, 2012.

Prior to entering politics, Ron developed a diverse business background as a small business owner and had several years experience in marketing and sales management working with corporations including Coca-Cola, Costco and Corus Entertainment.
 

Very active in his community, Ron has been a Director for both the Central Okanagan Regional District and the Central Okanagan Hospital Board. Ron also served on the Okanagan University College Access to Training Advisory Board, the Glenmore Elementary School Parents Advisory Council, and the Kelowna Christian School Fund Raising Committee. He was co-founder of the Okanagan Volunteer Festival. Currently Ron is a member of the Sunrise Rotary Club of Kelowna and, along with his wife Cindy, was the honorary Chair of the 2012 Canadian Cancer Society Daffodil Ball.

Ron lives a family-oriented and active lifestyle with his wife Cindy. He is the proud father of three daughters and grandfather to three grandsons. His hobbies include music and sports.



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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