GROUND WAR | REGULATORY INSIGHTS ON BILL S-5



a golden opportunity that's how regulatory lawyer regime Sharma disguised the landscape facing the baking industry as a result of bill s5 Canada's draft federal vaping regulations greggwatts spoke with Shana back in January just before our exclusive interview with Susie McDonald director-general at Health Canada in our two-part special called adverse impacts we took a deep dive and that some of the more troubling aspects of bill s5 primarily those around advertising and marketing and the contentious provision which prohibits communicating the relative risk of vaping versus smoking we reached out to Sharma because on behalf of his clients he has extensive experience working with Health Canada the Ontario Ministry of Health and other provincial governments on a variety of health care files since then Sharma has provided the baking industry regular counsel on the evolving law and emerging regulatory environment reg Watts caught up with Shana at canada's vape expo in toronto it's early days still it's still winding its way through those columns and they'll be committee work and then and really you know the regulations that'll be the true test of where the detail comes and that's still to come so I think there's a lot of work to do for the industry right now there's a golden opportunity I think in the next year or so is to get up get to Ottawa influence and decision makers give them the rationale for why things need to change in s5 for example the restrictions on health claims and advertising I think that's that's still an issue and that was a big issue when we talked in January correct and I feel it it still is so you know at the end of the day it's early but I think you know the industry has to do some really really hard work roll up their sleeves because there's still opportunities to make changes especially in the regulations because that that will be where the detail is it's a new industry right I mean it's a relatively nascent industry I think there is some naivety in the industry on in terms of how to deal with a regulated industry you know it's politics in Health Canada and a regulator like Health Canada is art and science and and while passion is great I think there needs to be a little bit more than passion and I think the passion in the end will definitely win out and I don't think we should lose that they should lose that as an industry but I think we need to roll up our sleeves as professionals and show Health Canada the regulator's that this is safe that's affected and that were we as an industry they as an industry are ready to be regulated our sentiment reg wash when we had a chance to sit down actually with Susie McDonald as you know just almost right after we talked they also do recognize that it's safer than smoking to a large degree what that degree is they won't put a number on it but it's obviously substantially safer or Health Canada wouldn't be moving at all to allow this if they didn't believe it was safe right right so with all of that in place boy do they already know that so what really does the industry need to do do they need to you know put on the big boy pants and start to play hardball politics is that it or do they need to lose the passion and have more attention to the nuances of it what exactly is it well I mean I think I think there has to be a little bit of you know standing up for the science I mean if we have scientist tree has science and there is some science to support the harm reduction vaping over smoking we need to definitely grow that science and fund more science because Health Canada I think is hedging their bets I think they know and anecdotally more than anecdotally with with real evidence that it is a better strategy than smoking but the political side of it of course is not so easy so so there's a there's a push in a poll between Health Canada and the politicians to make sure that we don't overly anxiously embrace vaping because the public isn't there yet so I think it's complicated we got the sense from a Suzy McDonald doc she's got a boss and those bosses are the politician correct and that's how our system works so I think it's a multi-pronged strategy that the industry has to engage whether they'll how tough one has to be is a delicate art it's a balance and you know the government relations folks the lawyers and all have to have a strategy to make sure that Health Canada understands the politicians understand and frankly grassroots grassroots movement amongst Canadians to show them that there is benefits to vaping over smoking sounds like to me that maybe a national public relations campaign might be in order absolutely absolutely I think that's the only way that politicians are going to look to help Canada and say okay you know what we are okay with with loosening the regulations for for example making health claims about vaping over smoking the industry has good government relations and public relations folks working on this it's a tough job you ain't going to every province you're going to Health Canada your meeting with MPs it's not something that's going to happen overnight but absolutely they need a ground war and that ground war takes time and they have to convince and and you know they have to you have to win hearts and minds of MPs MPPs all over the country before this is going to this is going to go their way do you think Health Canada on the Senators because obviously just went through the whole Senate process were they listening have they heard I think so I mean I think I think the the public statements that Health Canada has made in terms of the harm reduction strategy and not essentially taking the Quebec government approach or the WHL for saying no means it's working means the advocacy campaign means the science and the industry and all of its advocates it's working and then the question is how far will it go and will the regulations be permissive of the things that the industry needs to do which is to get his message out a lot of vapors out there and industry when I've seen that storeowners and stuff like that are unfamiliar with the regulation making part of the process they're unfamiliar on the legislation part but now they are a little more familiar and and it's a bit uneasy for them because they don't understand that the legislation isn't necessarily what's operational correct yeah that's right and in the end the regulations don't have to go through the same long-winded process as the actual legislation does and the regulations are made by experts and expert committees in the in the back rooms where where that's where all the detail is and that's what the day-to-day activity of the vaping industry will will be regulated by whether regulation as a regulation not the actual legislation the legislation is generally just an umbrella it's the law and the details are all in the regulations is there an effort going on right now where the industry is preparing for that next phase to where when it comes time there's here's an example much like when I talk to you when we first risottos we want to find a lateral industry nutriceuticals pharmaceutical something like that where you guys you know are pretty adept at driving the bus are we at that point where the industry is trying to drive the bus with the regulations or going to here's some suggested language for what standard should be here's a suggested language for retail guidelines that kind of my understanding is yes I think we'll efforts are being made at all kinds of levels through lawyers and government relations consultants to make sure that the politicians have suggested language or suggested approaches and and I think it's upon the industry I think the industry has to take this time in the next year so and realize that this is this is it this is a fundamental moment it is an important moment for the industry and what comes out of it at the end will be the result of the work in the next year well I think the industry has to get organized I think they have to have to have codes of conduct they have to have self policing self regulation they have to build build governance structures within the industry and that can only be done when the industry gets together and says we should self police before the regulator tells us what we can and cannot do because in many respects industries that are mature like pharmaceutical industry largely self-police their compliance with these things we've always heard from the industry and rightly so that they are very proud of the self policing that they had already done that's a giant hearing from this if that was just the start that's just the beginning this is just visiting there's a lot of hard work to be done it's about earning trust with government okay that's right

4 Comments

  1. Golden opportunity Canada to do what is right, it should be worldwide!!! Thank you Brent for this information and interview with Sharma!!!

  2. Excellent! Thank you for this Brent.

  3. Gosh, I wonder why not many people watch this channel. This channel is actually pretty good!

  4. First

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