GATINEAU, Québec—The Brain Injury Association of Canada (BIAC) calls on Canadians to contact their Member of Parliament and declare their support for Private Members Bill C-289, which would amend the Hazardous Products Act so as to prohibit the advertising, sale, or import into Canada, of recreational snow sport helmets that do not meet a national standard. The amendment is being re-introduced, today, by the Honourable Dr. Hedy Fry (Vancouver Centre), in an attempt to have it passed by Cabinet through an Order-in-Council.

“It would be significant if this is done in time for Canada’s 2010 Olympics,” explains Dr. Fry. The Canadian Medical Association, BIAC, and various organizations which promote preventable injuries, are all in support of this proposed amendment to the law.

“We are very pleased that Bill C-289 has been introduced into the House of Commons,” says BIAC executive director, Harry Zarins. “It’s been almost two years since the bill was originally introduced, and we are hopeful that this time the bill will receive unanimous approval from the House in the next few weeks, and be implemented shortly thereafter.”

In Canada, the annual cost of sport-related head injuries is over $100 million, while the cost of preventable injuries—the leading killer and disabler of young Canadians—is estimated at $14.7 billion. The average daily cost of caring for a brain injury survivor is $2,867.59 (Canadian Institute for Health Information), yet the purchase of a Canadian Standards Association-approved helmet would save lives and money. According to a 2006 report (Economic Burden of Injury in Ontario, published by SmartRisk), every dollar spent on a sport helmet saves the Canadian health care system $29.

Given the burdensome costs of brain and preventable injuries, BIAC hopes Parliament will prioritize Bill C-289 and take a leading role in protecting Canadians, and the economy.

Contributions to the Brain Injury Association of Canada can be made to directly to the Brain Injury Association of Canada (http://braininjurycanada.ca/donate/), or through CanadaHelps (www.canadahelps.org). BIAC is funded by the generosity of donors, as well as sponsors of its national Hawaiian Oyster Odyssey events.

For more information, please contact:
Harry Zarins, Executive Director, Brain Injury Association of Canada, 1-866-977-2493
[email protected]