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Streamlined standards a focus for CIPH and MCAC in Ottawa

Patricia Williams

Anti-counterfeiting issues and streamlining of industry standards in North America were front and centre on the agenda when the Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating (CIPH) and the Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada (MCAC) met recently with federal politicians.

CIPH chair John Hammill said, the two organizations support the introduction by the government of the Combatting Counterfeit Products Act and agree that the government should provide customs officials with the authority to target, detain, seize, and destroy counterfeit goods. The legislation also includes new criminal offences for commercial trademark counterfeiting.

In addition, the institute and the mechanical contractors’ association support efforts initiated by the secretariat of the Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council with regards to harmonizing standards and certification requirements.

“MCA Canada and CIPH firmly believe that the council has the potential to harmonize standards and certification requirements for products regulated by federal authorities through the creation of North American consensus standards,” said MCAC chair Brad Diggens.

During their inaugural Day on the Hill, the executive committees of the two organizations met with seven members of Parliament and Senators, including Senate standing committee for legal and constitutional affairs chair Bob Runciman and Senate standing committee on national finance chair Joseph Day.

MCAC president Richard McKeagan said it was “immediately evident” to the MPs and Senators that counterfeit products, imported from other countries, not only cost millions of dollars to the supply chain as well as a significant number of jobs, but that potentially substandard manufacturing poses both a health and safety risk to the public.

The delegation’s second concern regarding the harmonization of standards and certification across Canada and the U.S. was equally well received, McKeagan said.

“It was immediately clear to the MPs and Senators that while Canada and the U.S. have well-developed requirements, our regulatory systems are very similar, which results in unnecessary duplication of testing. This impacts consumers, businesses and both our economies with higher costs and less efficient supply chains.”

The day’s events, including an evening reception, were hosted and sponsored by Manitoba Senator Don Plett, a former mechanical contractor.

CIPH and the mechanical contractors’ association have agreed to make the Day on the Hill an annual event.

The MCAC represents close to 1,000 companies across the country. The CIPH has 260 member firms that manufacture and distribute plumbing and related products.

Follow Patricia Williams on Twittter @Patricia_DCN.

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