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     Volume 11, Issue 23, June 23, 2011

                                     Government & Legislative News

 New Canada Consumer Product Safety Act Now in Force

The new Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) is now in force as of Monday, June 20, 2011.  

If this legislation applies to your company and you have yet to designate a “Responsible Person”, defined by Health Canada as a person which as or should have knowledge of the obligations as set forth in the CCPSA and is responsible for reporting an incident deemed to be serious in nature, then you should do so immediately.

Health Canada continues to offer free half-day information sessions on the requirements of this new legislation. Upcoming dates include: Toronto (July 5), Montreal (July 7), Vancouver (July 11), Winnipeg (July 14) and Ottawa (July 15). To register (at least 7 days before the date of the session), go to: You can also send an email to to be added to a waiting list for future Health Canada information sessions including possible webinars.

For details on the duties and procedures for reporting an incident, see:

For information on how to prepare and maintain documents under the CCPSA, see:

For the incident reporting forms, go to:

To subscribe for email updates from Health Canada on the CCPSA, go to:

CHHMA, along with the other eleven trade associations that make up the Canadian Consumer Product Safety Coalition, continues to work with Health Canada on clarifying some of the language and details of this new legislation. We will keep you posted on progress in future newsletters and Government Watch bulletins.

                             Association News

Register for CHHMA Soirée Karting/Go Kart Night  
The CHHMA Soirée Karting/Go Kart Night is taking place on Thursday, September 1st at the Circuit ICAR motorsports complex (, located 20 minutes north of Montreal in Mirabel, Quebec.

The Go Kart racing will take place on an outside 1 km long track designed by 1997 F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve, where karts can reach speeds of up to 65 km/h.

The cost to attend is $100 for CHHMA members, $120 for non-members plus taxes and will include a cold buffet served in the clubhouse (5:00 p.m.) prior to the racing competition which will start at 6:30 p.m. The competition will be a team format so register a team foursome (individuals not registering as a foursome will be assigned to teams). The event is limited to 40 persons, so register soon! 

Click here for a copy of the PDF registration form.

Online registration will be available next week.

CHHMA Scholarship Program Deadline July 15th 
The CHHMA is once again pleased to be able to offer the opportunity for children of employees of our member companies to apply for a scholarship to help offset the cost of post-secondary education. The Association recognizes the importance of education and therefore encourages children of our member companies to attend University or College.

Five to seven scholarships are awarded each year. Successful candidates receive $1,000 CDN per year for the first two years of study leading to a diploma or degree from an accredited community college or university.

The scholarship program is available to the dependents of any current full-time employees of the CHHMA or member companies. The program is only offered to Canadian companies or divisions of companies based in Canada which are members of the CHHMA. The member company must remain a member in good standing in order for the student to qualify for the second year of the scholarship. The student's parent or guardian must be an active full-time employee with at least one year seniority with the CHHMA or member company as of July 15th in the year of application. Applicants must be high school seniors preparing to enter an accredited community college or university in the fall term, and attain a minimum average of 75% in the last year of high school. The decision of the Selection Committee and the CHHMA is final and not open to appeals. The CHHMA reserves the right to withdraw a scholarship should the student's parent(s) or guardian(s) voluntarily leave the employment of the CHHMA or member company, or if employment is terminated for just cause prior to the start of the school year, or if the company terminates its membership in the Association.

Complete details and application forms can be found at or click here for a PDF information sheet:

The CHHMA must receive applications from potential candidates no later than July 15th.

Since 2001, the CHHMA has awarded $108,000 towards scholarships and some 54 young people have benefited from the scholarship program. 

Night at the Races Recap
The 15th Annual CHHMA Night at the Races took place on June 15th at the Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. CHHMA members and invited guests in attendance enjoyed a fun night of thoroughbred racing with colleagues and friends from the industry. The “Favourites” dining room offered wonderful food and a great view of the races from every table. The CHHMA in-house betting competition came down to the wire but in the end, Robert Pizzola from Kidde Canada Inc. finished in first place with Spiros Figueira from Applica Canada and Janet McLean from Bissell Canada in 2nd and 3rd. We thank Magtar Sales Inc., a great supporter of the event, who donated $400 in gas cards to be used as prizes.

Click here to see further photos from the event.

Mark your calendar for June 13th, 2012!

                             Member News

Jarden Branded Consumables Canada Wins New Product Award  
Jarden Branded Consumables Canada (JBC Canada) is pleased to announce that the company was selected as winner of the Best New Product in the General Merchandising Category at the Grand Prix Awards event hosted by CTV and the Retail Council of Canada on June 15th.

The Grand Prix Awards annually recognize innovative products that ‘make their way from the shelves of Canada’s grocery stores and into the homes of Canadian consumers.’

The winning product for the 2010 Grand Prix Best New Innovative Product was the Bernardin Home Canning Starter Kit which was created by the JBC Canada team and developed to engage new canners into this category.

JBC Canada continues to work on exciting new product concepts for future submissions to ensurethat Jarden is recognized as a consumer products leader in Canada.

Economic News

 Retail Sales Weaker Than Expected in April

Statistics Canada said on Tuesday that Canadian retail sales grew by a weaker than expected 0.3% in April from March to $37.4 billion and were flat, excluding the auto sector, providing further evidence of a slow down in the second quarter. Analysts had expected a 0.5% gain for April. Sales were up 3.6% versus April 2010. Sales rose 0.2% in volume terms for the month. March figures were revised downward to a 0.1% drop in retail sales instead of flat sales as previously reported.

Sales rose in 6 of 11 subsectors with the largest contribution coming from motor vehicle and auto parts dealers, which reported a 1.7% increase in sales in April. Sales at furniture and home furnishing stores rose 3.2% (+2.0% from April 2010), more than offsetting the decline in March. Furniture stores accounted for most of the gain, rising 3.9%. Gasoline station retail sales rose for a third consecutive month, up 0.5% (+20.6% vs 2010) in April and was the ninth increase in ten months. Sales at food and beverage stores advanced 0.2% from March (+1.3% vs 2010). Health and personal care store sales were up 0.2% (-1.4% vs 2010).

Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers registered the largest sales decline in April, falling 2.8% from March and 11.0% from April 2010. Sales were impacted by the higher than normal precipitation across the country. Sales at general merchandise stores were down 0.3% (+2.4% vs 2010), after increasing for three consecutive months. Sales at electronics and appliance stores decreased 1.2% in April (+1.0% vs 2010), following a 2.2% rise in March. Sales in this subsector have been relatively flat since the third quarter of 2010. Sporting goods, hobby, book and music store sales fell 1.2% (flat vs 2010), a fifth consecutive monthly decrease.

Retail sales rose in five provinces in April from March with Alberta (+1.6%) posting the largest increase. Sales in B.C. increased 1.3% and rose 0.4% in Ontario. Quebec recorded the largest sales dollar decline (-0.4%), the third decrease in four months. 

 Composite Leading Index Rises 1% in May
Statistics Canada reported on Tuesday that the composite leading index rose 1% to 256.7 in May after a 0.9% increase in April. May’s increase equalled the largest advance of this year. Nine of ten components increased with manufacturing showing the largest jump from April. 
New orders for durable goods increased 9.8% in volume, the largest advance since the recovery began. Much of this can be attributed to a hike in orders related to the aerospace industry. The ratio of shipments to inventories posted a fourth straight increase, as sales rose steadily and inventories levelled off after three straight declines.

The housing index was down 0.6%, its second consecutive monthly loss following five months of gains. A dip in house sales outweighed a rebound in housing starts. Furniture and appliance sales were up 0.7% from April. This was the fourth straight monthly gain and the largest in over a year. Retail spending on other durable goods rebounded 0.2% in May after declining in April. Prior to that, retail sales of other durable goods had increased for eight straight months.

Financial indicators continued to slow as stock market prices in May posted their smallest increase since the fall of 2010, hampered by lower commodity prices. The Toronto stock market was up 0.5% to 13,913 in May over April.

The U.S. leading indicator was up 0.4% from April, continuing a string of 25 straight monthly gains, a sign of strengthening U.S. demand. 

Canadian Household Debt Hits Record High
Statistics Canada data released on Monday showed that Canadians continued to dig themselves further into debt in the first quarter as more people took out mortgages at ultra-low rates. The ratio of household credit market debt, which includes mortgages, consumer credit and loans, to disposable income rose to 147.3% in the first quarter from a revised 146.2% in the previous quarter. The report revealed that consumer credit grew at a slower rate than before as Canadians spent less on durable goods, but mortgage debt increased, “reflecting relatively stable borrowing costs as well as higher resale and renovation activities.”

Household net worth per capita rose to $184,700 in the first quarter of the year from $183,300 in the fourth quarter of 2010 and as a percentage of disposable income was relatively stable at 620%, Statistics Canada said. National net worth rose 0.7% from the previous quarter to $6.37 trillion in the first quarter, still well below pre-recession levels.

Meanwhile, a report last week from the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA-Canada) said that household debt in Canada has hit a record high of $1.5 trillion, leaving certain households in a “dire” situation. Although, Canadians have cut back on consumer spending in the first quarter of 2011, many continue to struggle with their daily living expenses. The report says that if household debt was spread evenly across all Canadians, a family with two children would owe an estimated $176,461, including mortgage costs. The financial situation of certain household groups (single-parent families, retirees, and households with an income of $50,000 and less) is much worse than the average and continues to deteriorate. More than half of indebted Canadians are borrowing money just to meet their day-to-day living expenses.

Rock Lefebvre, CGA-Canada’s vice-president of research and standards says the debt of a typical household is rising and although the government has taken a number of steps in the right direction, household debt remains a disconcerting problem.

A TD Economics recent report has also warned that “following five years of excessive debt accumulation, Canadian households are finally tapped out. A continued cooling in household borrowing is expected to constrain real consumer spending to a 2% pace over the forecast horizon.”

Some key findings from the CGA-Canada research report:

• 57% of indebted respondents said daily living expenses are the main cause for their increasing debt;
• 58% said their household income had remained unchanged or decreased over the past three years, while 86% of those whose income did increase said it did so only modestly;
• The debt-to-income ratio in households reached a record high of 146.9% in the first quarter of 2011, compared to 144% in late 2009;
• About 27% of non-retired Canadians commit no resources whatever to savings, even for retirement;
• Households with an income of $50,000 and under are six times more likely to be financially vulnerable in terms of debt-service ratio;
• The single-parent family is the only category where debt increases with age. These families have two-thirds more debt than couples with no children;
• More Canadians are carrying debt into retirement, with one-third of retired households carrying an average debt of $60,000 and 17% carrying $100,000 or more. 

U.S. Home Resales Decline Further in May
The National Association of Realtors reported on Tuesday that sales of existing homes in the U.S. fell 3.8% in May from April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.81 million, the lowest level of the year. Economists say that’s far below the 6 million annual home sales required in a healthy housing market. Since the housing boom went bust in 2006, sales have fallen in four of the past five years. Analysts expect sales to level off at about 5 million this year, not much higher than the 4.91 million homes sold last year, which was the worst showing in 13 years.

The report said temporary factors held back the market in May including rising gasoline prices and poor weather which hurt house shopping in April and lead to soft figures for actual closings in May. The pace of sales activity is expected to be stronger in the second half of the year, and much stronger than the second half of last year.

However, tougher lending rules, larger down payments, heavy credit card debt and a shortage of desirable starter homes are keeping many would-be buyers away. Even some who do have enough money and good credit are holding off, worried home prices will keep falling.

The number of first-time buyers edged down to 35% of sales in May from 36% in April. Typically, they drive 50% of sales in healthy markets. First-time buyers are critical because they improve their properties and invest in their communities, a combination that raises home values. And their purchases allow sellers to move up to pricier homes.

Investors are filling some of the void by scooping up deeply discounted homes in hard-hit areas such as Phoenix, Las Vegas and Tampa. Investors accounted for 19% of all May sales.

The prices for re-sold homes are a bargain compared to new homes. The median price for a previously occupied home in May was $166,500 (U.S.), down 4.6% from May 2010. The median price of a new home is nearly 31% higher than that of a re-sale, or twice the normal mark up.

The U.S. market continues to be saturated with foreclosures, which is forcing prices down. Sales of homes at risk of foreclosure fell in May, but still accounted for 31% of all sales for the month, down from 37% in April. A record one million homes were lost to foreclosures last year and foreclosure tracker RealtyTrac Inc. expects 1.2 million will be lost this year.

The supply of unsold homes fell slightly in May to 3.72 million homes. At May’s sales pace, it would take 9.3 months to clear those homes, up from 9.0 in April. The situation is actually much worse when you factor in the “shadow inventory” of homes. These are homes that are in the early stages of the foreclosure process but, because of backlogged courts or government probes, have not hit the market for re-sale yet.

Upcoming CHHMA Events For 2011

Soirée Karting/Go Karting Night
Thursday, September 1
Circuit ICAR, Mirabel, Quebec

Industry Memorial Golf Classic
Tuesday, September 27
Blue Springs Golf Club, Acton, Ontario

Industry Cocktail
Tuesday, November 29
Casino de Montreal, Montreal, Quebec

To register for all events visit our website at or call Pam Winter at (416) 282-0022 Ext. 21

CHHMA Cost Savings Links
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"Eye On Our Industry" is published by the CHHMA as an information resource for our members. Member input regarding content and format is welcomed. Please contact Michael Jorgenson by email: or call (416) 282-0022, ext. 34.



Canadian Hardware & Housewares Manufacturers Association | 1335 Morningside Ave., Suite 101, Scarborough, ON M1B 5M4
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