Cullen pleased Federal Government finally acts to restrict toxic toys

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE JANUARY 18, 2011

Regulatory changes follow bill first introduced by Cullen in 2006

SMITHERS – Children in Canada will soon be safer with the announcement today that Health Canada, acting on recommendations by Skeena Bulkley-Valley MP Nathan Cullen, will restrict toxic phthalates in the manufacture of toys.

The Health Minister today announced that starting in June of this year; six chemicals known as phthalates will be banned from a range of items that are designed or likely to be put in the mouths of children under four.

“It is very satisfying, both as a Parliamentarian, and as a new father, to see the Government finally get it right,” said Cullen. “They have a checkered history on consumer safety – and there still is much to be done.”

Cullen introduced Private Members Bill C-307 in May 2006 calling for a ban on the toxic chemicals known as phthalates in children’s products.

“This issue has always been close to my heart. We put a tremendous amount of work into our bill, consulting experts, negotiating with stakeholders and building support in the House of Commons.” 

Over the next two years, Cullen shepherded the bill through the legislative process winning three unanimous votes in the House of Commons.  The bill’s progress through the Senate was abruptly halted when Prime Minister Stephen Harper shut down parliament to call an October 2008 election.

“It was very frustrating at the time to see our bill killed when it was just one vote away from becoming law,” said Cullen. “And it has been infuriating to watch this Government sit on its heels and do nothing while our children continued to be exposed to toxic toys.”

“It is very rewarding to finally see this come to fruition.”