ON Bill 45 2nd Reading

Posted by The VapeMate Team on 12/3/2014 to Industry

The second reading of Ontario Bill 45 (Making Healthier Choices Act, 2014) began today and we are quite pleased that it did NOT fly through the reading as we actually had expected.

It appears that our efforts are making things happen but that doesn't mean we should stop doing what we are doing.

From the session today, there were significant questions raised by a few of the MPPs, specifically from:

Arthur Potts (Beaches--East York)
Ontario Liberal Party
Member, Standing Committee on Justice Policy
Member, Standing Committee on Public Accounts
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
(Parliament | Twitter | Facebook)

Jim McDonell (Stormont--Dundas--South Glengarry)
Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario
Member, Standing Committee on Government Agencies
Critic, Minister Responsible for Poverty Reduction Strategy
Critic, Children and Youth Services
(Parliament | Twitter)

Bill Walker (Bruce--Grey--Owen Sound)
Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario
Member, Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills
Critic, Community and Social Services
(Parliament | Twitter | Facebook)

The most notable of which was that evidence presented by Minister Bill Walker. Minister Walker appears to simply be a "Show me the reasoning" and "Pros vs. Cons" kind of guy and he held true to that right through Schedule 3, Electronic Cigarette Act, 2014.

Below is a conglomerate presentation of entire debate down to comments specific to the Electronic Cigarette Act, 2014 (Courtesy of Renegade Vapors).

The bill did NOT complete the Second Reading today and is not on the agenda for continued discussion tomorrow. Friday is what is known as constituency day which means the MPPs will be in their offices. It is likely that it will not be continued until Monday, December 8th.

Friday is the time to catch them with a telephone call or a face-to-face meeting.

The rules for engagement are simple:

  • Do not be rude
  • Do not be angry
  • Do not be aggressive
  • State your case in a respectful manner

If you are unsure about who you should contact, you can find your provincial representative information here: Ontario by Postal Code | All Other Provinces

If you send an email, a few news organizations that you might wish to Carbon Copy (CC):

[email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

As a recap, the details of Bill 45 contains three different schedules of legislative items:

  • Schedule 1 - Healthy Menu Choices Act, 2014
  • Schedule 2 - Smoke-Free Ontario Act
  • Schedule 3 - Electronic Cigarettes Act, 2014

After a quick review, Schedule 3 appears to be a replica of existing Tobacco Legislation. At a high level, we have determined that the most significant impact on our industry includes (but is not limited to):

  • No Sales to Under 19 (one agreeable point)
  • No Displays of Electronic Cigarette hardware
  • No Displays of E-Liquid (with or without nicotine)
  • No Listing of flavours
  • No Showing consumers how to use or troubleshoot the devices
  • No Vaping in Vape Shops, thus no Vape Lounges
  • No Ontario Based Online Sales (Questionable but it is Display and Promotion)
  • No Indoor Vape Meets in Public Spaces (Even if private club, a paid venue or rented space)
  • No Vaping in vehicle with persons under 16 years old

Nothing about this Act appears to be evidence or science based but rather a proposal of legislation based on emotion. It actually looks as if the Tobacco legislation was copied and a few words where added or changed. Looking like smoke is not a valid argument to propose legislation. It is completely inappropriate. We encourage anyone to read through the proposed bill, not just the bullet points of the news release, and ask questions.

What is even more confusing is why the Ontario Government is pushing to implement this legislation now when the Standing Committee on Health (HESA) is in the middle of conducting an E-Cigs study per Health Minister directive for the purpose of presenting a proposed federal regulatory framework. They are creating work for themselves that they may not need to do, depending on what comes out at the Federal level.

A couple of positive points that we see within this proposal are:

  • No sales to those under 19 years of age. We have been calling for this since ECTAs foundation and it is already a requirement of our members
  • Being placed within an act separate from the Tobacco Act. Although it appears to be a Template of the Tobacco Act, it is not the tobacco act which will allow changes that will affect only Electronic Cigarettes. We are not subject to the ramifications of Tobacco Act changes.

Either way, we can (and will) not allow this Bill to go unchallenged. There is a procedure that the Ontario Government must abide by in order to implement this bill as law. One of those steps (Review by Committee) requires that they allow for public input and this is where we must ALL take action by actually speaking to the Review Committee. Review by Committee occurs after the Second Reading.

In the meantime, we must use this time to educate the Provincial Representatives to the best of our abilities. We encourage everyone, in EVERY province, to please take the time sit down and speak with, write a letter or send an email to your local provincial representative. Educate them and/or tell your story in your own words as soon as possible.

Contacts of Interest for Bill 45:

Hon Dipika Damerla
Associate Minister, Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
(Parliament | Twitter | Facebook)

Hon Dr. Eric Hoskins
Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
(Parliament | Twitter | Facebook)

Hon Kathleen Wynne
Premier of Ontario
(Parliament | Twitter | Facebook)

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