Health Canada and Grand River Enterprises Six Nations Limited meeting: Bill S-5 – May 15, 2017

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Bill S-5


May 15, 2017


Health Canada (HC)

  • Suzy McDonald
    • Director General, Tobacco Control Directorate (TCD) (Chair)
  • Martin Joyal
    • Director, Office of Policy and Strategic Planning (TCD)
  • Saira David
    • Director, Labelling and Plain Packaging Office (TCD)
  • Denis Choinière
    • Director, Tobacco Products Regulatory Office (TCD)
  • A/Senior Advisor to the Director General (TCD)

Grand River Enterprises (GRE)

  • Raj Rasalingam
    • Government Relations Consultant, Protocol Plus
  • Ken Forler
    • Technical Advisor
  • Tobacco Division (GRE)
  • Rowan Rasalingam
    • Government Relations Consultant, Protocol Plus


The meeting was held at the request of GRE.

The Chair opened the meeting by doing round table introductions.

HC reiterated its international obligation to protect tobacco control policies from the vested interests of the tobacco industry. In addition, in the interest of transparency, the department stated that it would be making a record of the meeting publicly available.

Existing Tobacco Act Measures

The Chair provided an overview of HC’s requirements under the TRR and noted that the department was missing reports from GRE. GRE committed to following up on the status of these reports and to providing a potential solution.

The Chair also requested that HC inspectors be allowed to enter GRE premises for the purposes of conducting inspections as authorized under the Tobacco Act. GRE committed to following up on the status of site access for HC inspectors.

Issues of concern

GRE expressed its concern regarding the potential business impact of changing the definition of a tobacco product to include exports, as proposed in Bill S-5. Specifically, GRE noted concerns regarding plain packaging and flavour additives for products intended for export. GRE requested that the proposed definition be changed to remove the word “exports.”

The Chair indicated HC’s intention to keep the proposed new definition as an important measure for the overall tobacco control framework. However, the Chair also clarified the department’s objective was to protect the health and safety of Canadians and, therefore, that it intended to carve out exports from Bill S-5 measures related to plain packaging through regulations, following Royal Assent of the Bill.

The Chair noted that GRE could also raise this issue with other parties and propose an amendment to the Bill that could be brought forward in the House of Commons. GRE indicated that its intention to do so, with a view of amending the Schedule to the Act so that prohibited additives listed there would not apply to products sold or manufactured for export.

GRE inquired as to whether the proposed new definition of a tobacco product to include exports would have an impact on future regulations. HC indicated that exports would need to be carved out of any additional regulatory measures.

GRE also inquired as to how other federal departments would treat vaping products, and how the vaping industry would be inspected. The Chair indicated that while HC communicate with other departments regarding the proposed vaping regime, each department would be responsible for making decisions relative to their respective mandates. The Chair also noted that HC would be hiring inspectors internally to conduct site inspections, and that other federal departments could also choose to inspect measures that  fall within their respective mandates.


The meeting was then concluded.


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