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Health Canada (French: Santé Canada) is the department of the government of Canada with responsibility for national public health.

Health Canada
Santé Canada
Health Canada logo.gif
Department overview
Formed 1996
Type Department responsible for national public health
Jurisdiction Canada
Employees 12,000[1]
Minister responsible

The current Minister of Health is Ginette Petitpas Taylor, a Liberal Member of Parliament appointed to the position by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.


Branches, regions and agenciesEdit

Health Canada has the following branches, regions and agencies:[2]

Ministers and officersEdit


  • Audit & Accountability Bureau
  • Chief Financial Officer Branch
  • Communications and Public Affairs Branch
  • Corporate Services Branch
  • Departmental Secretariat
  • First Nations & Inuit Health Branch
  • Healthy Environments & Consumer Safety Branch
  • Health Products & Food Branch
  • Legal Services
  • Regions and Programs Branch
  • Strategic Policy Branch




  • Laboratory Centre for Disease Control
  • Sir Frederick G Banting Research Centre

Compliance and EnforcementEdit

The Compliance and Enforcement Directorate supports Health Canada's mission to help Canadians maintain and improve their health by enforcing the laws and regulations related to the production, distribution, importation, sale and/or use of consumer products, tobacco, pest control products, drugs, biologics, medical devices and natural health products.

The Directorate conducts inspections and investigations to ensure products are safe, of good quality, and properly labelled and distributed, in order to better protect Canadians from potentially harmful products and consumables.

Compliance and Enforcement Directorate is divided into six distinct programs:

  • Canada Vigilance Program
  • Controlled Substances Program
  • Inspectorate Program
  • Pesticide Control Program
  • Product Safety Program
  • Tobacco Control Program


International collaborationEdit

In December 2016, Health Canada approved the purchase of a new botulism antitoxin called Botulism Antitoxin Heptavalent (BAT) from the American-based company Emergent Biosolutions, a global specialty biopharmaceutical company. The Public Health Agency of Canada has identified botulism as a likely biological terrorist threat.[6]

Related legislationEdit

Acts for which Health Canada has Total or Partial Responsibility[7]

Acts for which Health Canada is Involved or has a Special Interest


An editorial published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal has called for Health Canada to more strictly regulate natural health products. The editorial cited weaknesses in current legislation that allow natural health products to make baseless health claims, to neglect side-effects research prior to products reaching market, and to be sold without being evaluated by Health Canada.[8]

On September 10, 2012 a report on CBC television questioned the safety of drugs sold in North America .[9] The Brandon Sun reported that Health Canada is secretive about inspections about drugs manufactured overseas, leaving the public unsure about the safety of these drugs. [10]

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit