Health Canada may consider regulating how snow sport helmets made

Health Canada has begun public consultations on whether ski and snowboard helmets should be required by law to meet new guidelines by the Canadian Standards Association.

Skiers

TORONTO — Health Canada has begun public consultations on whether ski and snowboard helmets should be required by law to meet new guidelines by the Canadian Standards Association.

The federal department announced the consultation process Tuesday after the CSA said it is introducing certification testing next month for manufacturers of snow sport helmets under its new standard.

However, CSA certification is voluntary — ski and snowboard helmet manufacturers do not have to submit their products for scrutiny in order to sell them in Canada.

That could change if Health Canada decides after consultation wraps up June 1 to move ahead with regulation of the industry. One possibility is that mandatory CSA certification could be required under the Hazardous Products Act.

“The department can put in place restrictions that allow only helmets meeting certain safety criteria, such as those in CSA standards, to be sold in Canada,” Health Canada spokeswoman Christelle Legault said Tuesday by email.

“Health Canada is considering whether the new standard should be referenced in Canada’s product safety legislation.”

But Legault said the federal government cannot pass a law requiring skiers and snowboarders to wear a helmet while hitting the slopes and pipes. Only provinces, territories and municipalities have the jurisdiction to enact such legislation.

Despite the lack of definitive action, CSA vice-president John Walter views Health Canada’s announcement as a positive sign.

“I think this is a very serious indication from Health Canada that they understand the value of this standard and they understand the need to consider the adoption into regulation,” he said.

“If that happens, you couldn’t sell any other (helmet) in Canada except one that met this standard.”

But Liberal MP Hedy Fry, who has tabled a private member’s bill calling for non-CSA approved snow sport helmets to be banned under the Hazardous Products Act, accused the Conservative government of dragging its feet on the issue.

“This government does consultation on everything,” she said from Ottawa. “It’s a simple stalling mechanism to go and do consultation.”

Fry has been urging the government to use a Governor-in-Council order to add recreational ski and snow sport helmets to the list of products already covered by the existing act, which includes hockey helmets and face masks, and lacrosse helmets.

“And with a simple stroke of the pen through government council, the cabinet could agree to add it to the list,” she said. “This is a simple preventive thing. It’s not going to cost the government a penny.”

CSA International will begin offering testing for certification of ski and snowboard helmets in Montreal next month, said Walter, noting that the new Canadian standard exceeds safety requirements under U.S. and European guidelines.

The non-profit organization’s announcement follows the death of actress Natasha Richardson, who sustained a brain injury in a fall at Quebec’s Mont-Tremblant ski resort. She was not wearing a helmet.

Helmets given the CSA stamp of approval would have to meet minimum levels of shock absorption, stability and strength, and provide protection to specified areas of the head most vulnerable to injury. The standard also applies to helmets for tobogganing and sledding.

Just Posted

UPDATED: Economy and health care expected to be hot election topics

Premier Rachel Notley makes announcement on Tuesday morning

Cruel and sadistic: Central Alberta dog rescuers believe there are dog fighting rings in province

With the increased number of stolen dogs, some central Alberta rescuers are… Continue reading

Red Deer hospital expansion recognized in throne speech

Society for Hospital Expansion in Central Alberta calls for more details

Mixed Nuts revue presented Saturday to kick off first Carole Forhan Theatrical Scholarship

Broadway songs, comedy skits are part of the Red Deer Players production

Opinion: Let’s be heard ‘loud and clear’ during provincial election campaign

By David Marsden During the banquet for Sunday’s Boston Bruins alumni game,… Continue reading

Documentary on Colten Boushie case to open Toronto’s Hot Docs festival

TORONTO — A film examining the case of a young Indigenous man… Continue reading

Want to help bees? Plant flowering herbs

Herbs are among the most useful plants in nature. They can tantalize… Continue reading

UN: Gene editing for human reproduction is ‘irresponsible’

GENEVA — A panel convened by the World Health Organization said it… Continue reading

Photos: Three moose spotted in Red Deer Tuesday

Three moose were spotted in Red Deer Tuesday morning. Red Deer resident… Continue reading

Andreescu rockets to No. 24 in WTA Tour rankings after Indian Wells title

Canada’s Bianca Andreescu has rocketed to No. 24 in the WTA Tour… Continue reading

Canadian figure skaters looking to reach new heights at world championships

Nam Nguyen, Alaine Chartrand and Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro all have… Continue reading

Man linked to largest art heist in history freed from prison

HARTFORD, Conn. — A reputed Connecticut mobster who federal authorities believe is… Continue reading

Most Read