AuthorSteingard, Jessica
PositionWines labeled as "Products of Israel"

Wines from the West Bank not "Products of Israel"

Kattenburg v Canada (Attorney General), 2019 FC1003

The applicant, Dr. Kattenburg, is described as a wine lover and activist. He filed a complaint with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) that wines from the West Bank and sold in Canada should not be labelled as "Products of Israel". The West Bank is not within the State of Israel.

CFIA administers and enforces various acts and regulations, including the Food and Drugs Act, as it relates to food. Section 5(1) of that Act reads:

No person shall label, package, treat, process, sell or advertise any food in a manner that is false, misleading or deceptive or is likely to create an erroneous impression regarding its character, value, quantity, composition, merit or safety. The CFIA concluded that the wines could be sold as labelled. Dr. Kattenburg appealed the decision to the CFIA's Complaints and Appeals Office (CAO). The "CAO noted that the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement... defines Israeli 'territory' as including areas where Israel's customs laws are applied" (at para 3). Israel's customs laws are applied in the West Bank.

The Federal Court found in favour of Dr. Kattenburg. The Court concluded it was not reasonable for the CAO to allow the wines to be labelled as "Products of Israel" when they in fact come from the West Bank. The Court found the labels to be "false, misleading and deceptive" and to contravene both the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and the Food and Drugs Act.

Accommodation Charges for Long-Term Care Residents are OK

Elder Advocates of Alberta Society v Alberta, 2019 ABCA 342

The Elder Advocates of Alberta Society and a group of plaintiffs launched a class action lawsuit against the Government of Alberta. The plaintiffs claimed that the accommodation charge collected by long-term care facilities (nursing homes or auxiliary hospitals) from residents was increased without statutory authorization. The plaintiffs argued that the increased accommodation charge was higher than the actual costs of accommodation and meals. The result, they argued, was that residents were actually subsidizing health care services which were supposed to be provided free. Among other things, the plaintiffs also claimed discrimination under s. 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The trial judge found that the accommodation charges were within the maximum set by regulation under the Nursing Homes Act. The trial judge also...

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