The Regions and Programs Bureau

The Regions and Programs Bureau (RAPB) contributes to improving and maintaining the health of Canadians by effectively delivering Health Canada's regulatory, scientific and laboratory based programs and services across the country. Many of our regional programs are delivered in partnership with Health Canada’s regulatory branches.

Regional and Programs Bureau activities are carried out through offices in the National Capital Region and five regional offices: Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Prairie and British Columbia.

Our core business focuses on four clusters of service:

Compliance and Enforcement

In partnership with Health Canada’s regulatory branches, the Regions and Programs Bureau is responsible for compliance promotion and the enforcement of Health Canada’s Regulations and Acts regarding consumer, pest-control, health, and tobacco products. Employees conduct inspections, investigations, enforcement actions (seizures, recalls, prosecutions, compliance orders, Administrative Monetary Penalties) and promotion activities to oversee the production, distribution, marketing and the use of various products. They also provide information on the quality and safety of products to help citizens make informed decisions, and work with international partners in support of regulatory cooperation.

Compliance and Enforcement programs include: Canada Vigilance, Product Safety, Pesticide Compliance, Tobacco Control, Controlled Substances, and the Inspectorate.

Health Programs

The Regions and Programs Bureau’s Health Programs focus on prevention and risk reduction resulting from exposure to substances, living conditions and work conditions likely to have a detrimental impact on health. Employees provide expert scientific and technical advice, services and support, as well as extensive outreach and engagement. They help identify, understand and manage environmental health risks, promote food safety and nutritional well-being, address public health issues affecting federal organizations and federal public servants, and create greater horizontal linkages between departmental programs and their various stakeholders.

Health Programs include Environmental Health Programs, Regional Food Policy Liaison, Office of Consumer and Public Involvement, and regional delivery of the Public Service Occupational Health Program.

Laboratories

Health Canada’s regional laboratories consist of Drug Analysis Service (DAS) Labs, Food Program Labs, and Inspectorate Labs. This alignment ensures analytical and scientific support to all regions, and the department as a whole. The labs conduct chemical and microbiological analyses in support of Health Canada’s mandate with respect to food, pharmaceuticals, natural health products, and controlled substances. Each lab has been accredited by the Standards Council of Canada, in accordance with the requirements of the International Standards Organization for testing and calibration laboratories (ISO 17025).

The Drugs Analysis Service Lab provides quality scientific and technical services in support of Canadian police forces, the Canada Border Services Agency, some Health Canada divisions and representatives of the criminal justice system. The DAS analyzes seized materials, provides training to law enforcement officers and staff as well as scientific knowledge on illicit drugs and precursor chemicals. It also helps with the investigations and dismantling of clandestine laboratories.

The Food Program Lab provides chemical and microbiological analysis services permitting the identification of the nutritional component of food and the detection of residues of potentially health-damaging chemical substances, natural toxic substances and pathogenic bacteria in food. The results of these analyses contribute to the development of food safety standards, policies and regulations under the Food and Drugs Act.

The Inspectorate Laboratory provides analytical laboratory services in support of inspections, investigations and surveillance activities of the Inspectorate, which assists in delivering Health Canada’s national compliance and enforcement program for products, except food. Chemical and microbiological analyses are carried out on a variety of health products, including pharmaceuticals, natural health products, veterinary drugs and medical devices.

Specialized Health Services

The Specialized Health Services Directorate (SHSD) is in the business of maintaining and improving the health of Canadian Public Servants and visiting dignitaries.

SHSD is the principal occupational health and safety advisor to the Treasury Board Secretariat and provides a wide range of occupational health services to federal public servants through the Public Service Occupational Health Program (PSOHP).

SHSD also offers confidential employee counselling and organizational services to federal public servants through Employee Assistance Services (EAS).

SHSD's Internationally Protected Persons Program develops health plans for Internationally Protected Persons on official visits or while attending international summits hosted by the Government of Canada.

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