2020–21 Departmental Plan: Health Canada

Complete a survey on your experience using this Departmental Results Report.

Download the alternative format
(PDF format, 1.35 MB, 51 pages)

Organization: Health Canada

Published: 2020

From the Minister

The Honourable Patty Hajdu

As Minister of Health, I am committed to helping Canadians maintain and improve their health. I am pleased to present the 2020-21 Departmental Plan for Health Canada, which outlines the Department's priorities for the year ahead and reflects my focus as Minister. The plan is a guide to the work that the Department will undertake on behalf of all Canadians.

Health Canada monitors and responds to health concerns, identified at home and internationally, that affect the health and safety of Canadians. This includes events such as the 2019 novel coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, which originated in Wuhan, China. The Department is working closely with the Public Health Agency of Canada, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, other federal departments and agencies, and provinces and territories to contribute to the global response to this public health crisis. In 2020-21, Health Canada will continue to support a coordinated response to protect the health of Canadians.

Over the course of 2020-21, Health Canada will lead the Government's efforts to strengthen public health care and renew agreements with provinces and territories in four priority areas: ensuring greater access to physicians or primary health teams; establishing national standards for access to mental health care; supporting home care and palliative care; and implementing national universal pharmacare. Ensuring that Canadians have access to the medicines they need has always been a top priority for the Government of Canada, and the Department will continue work to address drug shortages.

Problematic substance use remains a major, ongoing health and social issue that has devastating effects on Canadians from every walk of life and in communities in every region of the country. With the opioid overdose crisis, Canada is experiencing one of the most serious public health crises in a generation. In response, Health Canada is working in partnership with the provinces and territories and community partners to expand community-based services and improve access to evidence-based treatments and harm reduction and prevention programs.

The Department will strengthen action to curb the rapid rise in youth vaping by expanding existing measures that protect Canada's young people from inducements to vape and from nicotine addiction. To that end, we will finalize regulations that restrict the promotion of vaping products, and we will advance new regulatory proposals to address access to, and appeal of, these products. We will support these changes with ongoing compliance and enforcement actions, as well as with public education activities to raise awareness of the health risks associated with vaping.

In partnership with the Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada will also continue work to safeguard the use of currently available antibiotics in response to the serious public health threat of antimicrobial resistance.

The Department continues to work closely with provinces and territories, Indigenous communities, the regulated industry, public health organizations and law enforcement to implement the Cannabis Act, including the newly amended Cannabis Regulations for new cannabis products. This includes ongoing public education efforts to help Canadians understand the health effects of cannabis use, the implications of cannabis on travel and crossing the border, workplace impairment, and the risks and consequences of drug-impaired driving.

The Department will further promote healthy eating by working to develop new restrictions on how food and beverages are marketed to children, and by establishing new front-of-package labelling.

Health Canada will work with other federal departments and agencies on a number of shared areas of responsibility. This includes responding to the September 2019 court ruling regarding the medical assistance in dying framework and supporting the safe and sustainable use of pesticide products.

This plan contains detail on the results Health Canada aims to achieve. I look forward to working closely with provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous partners, key stakeholders and communities across the country to advance priorities that promote and protect the health of Canadians.

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C. M.P.
Minister of Health

Plans at a glance

Health Canada is the federal department responsible for helping Canadians maintain and improve their health. In keeping with the Department's commitment to making this country's population among the healthiest in the world, its main responsibilities are as a regulator, a catalyst for innovation, a funder, and an information provider.

Health Canada also administers the Canada Health Act which embodies national principles to ensure a universal and equitable publicly-funded health care system. In addition to working closely with provincial and territorial governments, the Department also works with partners in the Health Portfolio, other federal departments and agencies, non-governmental organizations, other countries, Indigenous partners and the private sector.

From coast to coast to coast, Health Canada employees - scientists and researchers, inspectors, doctors and nurses, policy analysts and administrative professionals, and many others - are working to help Canadians maintain and improve their health.

Core Responsibilities

Health Canada's Departmental Results Framework outlines two core responsibilities for the Department: Health Care Systems and Health Protection and Promotion. This reporting framework provides the structure for planned activities, which are organized according to these core responsibilities and their corresponding results (summarized on page 56).

Core responsibilities
Core responsibilities
Core responsibilities - Text description

Health Canada's Departmental Results Framework (DRF) outlines two core responsibilities.

  • Core Responsibility 1: Health Care Systems
  • Core Responsibility 2: Health Protection and Promotion

Under the Health Care Systems core responsibility, Health Canada provides national leadership to foster sustainable health care systems that ensure access for Canadians to appropriate and effective health care. This is mainly achieved through partnerships with provincial and territorial governments and support through targeted funding agreements to organizations and key pan-Canadian health partners that are contributing to health system improvements.

Within the Health Protection and Promotion core responsibility, Health Canada works with domestic and international partners to assess, manage and communicate the health and safety risks and benefits associated with health and consumer products, food, chemicals, pesticides, environmental factors, tobacco and vaping products, cannabis, and controlled substances. These risks are managed through rigorous regulatory frameworks and by communicating risks and benefits to Canadians so that they can make informed decisions.

Key Plans

In 2020-21, among the many others detailed in this report, Health Canada plans to achieve the following key results that contribute to the health of Canadians.

Key Plans: Core Responsibility 1: Health Care Systems

Key Plans: Core Responsibility 2: Health Protection and Promotion

Experimentation

Among several activities planned for 2020-21, Health Canada will continue to invest in employee-led innovation and experimentation through its Solutions Fund, in support of the Directive on Experimentation from the Treasury Board Secretariat. The Department will also continue to build employee capacity for experimentation and innovation through activities and initiatives as outlined in its Beyond2020 plan.

Other 2020-21 experimentation initiatives include: the PRODigy project - which creates an online space that equips users with tools and information to streamline the process of submitting incident reports related to consumer products to Health Canada; and Health Canada's participation in the Innovative Solutions Canada initiative - which enables departments and agencies to invite Canadian small businesses to propose solutions for mandate or sector specific challenges.

Sex and Gender-Based Analysis Plus (SGBA+/GBA+)

Launched in 2017, Health Canada's Sex and Gender Action Plan provides a framework that strengthens the integration of sex, gender and diversity considerations (such as age and ethnicity) in externally as well as internally facing work of the Department. The action plan is designed to support the Government of Canada's priority on the advancement of gender equality.

This plan details initiatives for 2020-21 in the areas of: enhanced capacity building - including developing a toolkit that applies a sex and gender lens to mental health; strengthened sex and gender related evidence and expertise - including the funding of two new external research partnerships that focus on applying an SGBA+ lens to the lifecycle management of prescription drugs and medical devices; and addressing health inequalities - including the launch of a regulatory innovation agenda to facilitate the entry of novel health products that can meet the needs of specific sub-populations, such as children, those with rare diseases, and/or Canadians in remote and rural areas.

For more information on Health Canada's plans, priorities and planned results, see the "Core responsibilities: planned results and resources, and key risks" section of this report.

Planned results and resources, and key risks

Core Responsibility 1: Health Care Systems

Core Responsibility 1: Health Care Systems Description

Health Canada provides national leadership to support and encourage sustainable and adaptable health care systems that ensures access for Canadians to appropriate and effective health care services.

Did you know?

To enable Canadians to assess progress on shared health priorities, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) led a process whereby Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers of Health agreed to a set of 12 common indicators for home and community care and mental health and addiction services.

Core Responsibility 1: Health Care Systems Plans

Modern and sustainable health care systems are vital to addressing the health needs of Canadians. Although health care delivery is primarily under provincial and territorial jurisdiction, the federal government has an ongoing role in providing financial support through fiscal transfers to the provinces and territories, maintaining the core principles of the Canada Health Act, and supporting health care innovation and collaboration across the country. Health Canada will contribute to improving the quality and sustainability of health care as the systems continue to evolve in a context of technological and social changes, demographic shifts and fiscal pressures.

The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Health Canada's planned activities under Core Responsibility 1: Health Care Systems directly support Canada's efforts to address the UN 2030 Agenda, particularly the Sustainable Development Goal to:

Departmental Result 1: Canadians have modern and sustainable health care systems

Health Canada works closely with provincial and territorial governments, domestic and international organizations, health care providers and other stakeholders to develop and implement innovative approaches that improve the efficiency and sustainability of Canadian health care systems.

In support of the Department's mandate, Health Canada conducts research, analysis and policy work on such health care systems issues such as: health expenditures and funding; primary care; home care; palliative and end-of-life care; access to sexual and reproductive health services; affordability and accessibility of pharmaceuticals; impacts of health care systems modernization on the health workforce; the opioid crisis in the broader context of problematic substance use (including prevention, treatment, and harm reduction, as well as addressing stigma); mental health and substance use integrated services, access standards, primary care and institutional stigma; quality of care; health care systems and service delivery innovation; and health technology.

Over the course of 2020-21, Health Canada will make important investments to support several organizations that directly contribute to health system improvements. As part of this support, the Department will provide funding for: Canada Health Infoway; the Canadian Institute for Health Information; the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health; the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement; the Canada Brain Research Fund; and the Territorial Health Investment Fund.Footnote 1

Specific highlights of these investments include:

Canada Health Infoway:
Health Canada is advancing digital health innovation by providing Canada Health Infoway with $300 million over five years (2017-18 to 2021-22) in order to: develop a pan-Canadian e-prescribing system and virtual care initiatives; support the continued adoption and use of electronic medical records; help patients to access their own health records electronically; and better link electronic health record systems to improve access by all providers and institutions.
Canadian Institute for Health Information:
The Department will support the Canadian Institute for Health Information by providing $92.7 million in funding in 2020-21 to deliver actionable information that accelerates improvements in health care, health system performance and population health across the continuum of care.
Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health:
Health Canada will help to strengthen the management of drugs and non-drug technologies by providing $26.1 million to the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH). This funding supports CADTH's core business activities (the common drug review, health technology assessments and optimal use projects) and helps facilitate the creation and dissemination of evidence-based information to support decision makers.
Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement:
The Department will help to accelerate the identification, spread and scale of health care innovations by providing $17 million to the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI). CFHI's work focuses on: finding and promoting health care innovators and innovations; driving rapid adoption of proven innovations; enabling improvement-oriented systems; and shaping the future of healthcare. It relies on strong partnerships developed with a broad range of stakeholders to complete its work, including: patients, families and caregivers; health and social service providers; governments; and, many public and private organizations committed to healthcare improvement.
Canada Brain Research Fund:
Health Canada will continue to support brain research discoveries through interdisciplinary collaboration via the Canada Brain Research Fund by matching private and charitable funds raised by the Brain Canada Foundation, up to $160 million by 2022. The Department's contribution includes a Budget 2019 commitment of $40 million over 2 years to Brain Canada to support those affected by neurological injury and disease.
Territorial Health Investment Fund:
Health Canada will continue to support the territories, given the particular challenges they face in providing quality health care across the north due to the high cost and logistical difficulties of delivering specialized health services to small, widely dispersed communities. Budget 2017 invested $108 million over four years, starting in 2017-18, to renew and expand the Territorial Health Investment Fund, with $25.6 million allocated to Yukon, $28.4 million to the Northwest Territories and $54 million to Nunavut.
Did you know?

The Territorial Health Investment Fund supports territorial efforts to innovate and transform their health care systems and helps to ensure northerners have access to the health care they need. Funds are directed to medical travel costs, and to a range of additional priorities identified by each territory. Innovation plays a key role, both in the deployment of health human resources and the application of technological health care infrastructure.

Departmental Result 2: Canadians have access to appropriate and effective health services

The federal government plays an important role in providing financial contributions to provinces and territories to support publicly funded health care services through the Canada Health Transfer (more than $40 billion for 2019-20) - and through targeted funding to support improved access to home and community care, and mental health and substance use services (Budget 2017 $11 billion over ten years).

Through Health Canada, the federal government is also responsible for promoting and defending the core principles of the Canada Health Act - public administration, comprehensiveness, universality, portability and accessibility - and ensuring provincial and territorial health care insurance plans provide reasonable access to health services without financial or other barriers, such as patient charges for insured services.

To ensure that Canadians have access to appropriate and effective health services, Health Canada will focus its 2020-21 efforts on the following priority activity areas: primary care; access to mental health and substance use services and to home and community care; national pharmacare; palliative care; medical assistance in dying (MAID); diagnostic services; thalidomide survivors support; patient safety; combatting cancer; as well as strengthening partnerships and collaborations.

What's new?

Budget 2019 proposed up to $1 billion over two years, starting in 2022-23, with up to $500 million per year ongoing, to help Canadians with rare diseases access the drugs they need. This will support the development of a national strategy for high-cost drugs for rare diseases that will evaluate evidence, improve consistency and access, and negotiate prices.

Primary care:
Health Canada will engage with provinces, territories and stakeholders to explore innovative approaches - including new service delivery models, digital and virtual care solutions - to help ensure that every Canadian has access to a primary care provider or team.
Access to mental health and substance use services and to home and community care:

Following agreement by Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers on a Common Statement of Principles on Shared Health Priorities in 2017, the federal government negotiated and signed bilateral agreements with all 13 provinces and territories, for a 5 year period (2017-18 to 2021-22). These agreements set out details of how each jurisdiction is using federal funding to improve access to home and community care and mental health and substance use services.

Key initiatives for 2020-21 include expanding access to community-based mental health and substance use services for children and youth and enhancing access to palliative care at home. In addition, Health Canada will work with provinces and territories and stakeholders to set national standards for access to mental health services to improve access to the supports Canadians need, when they need it, and continue to make home care and palliative care more available across the country.

National pharmacare:
Over the course of 2020-21, Health Canada will engage with provinces, territories and stakeholders on the implementation of national universal pharmacare, including the establishment of the Canada Drug Agency, a national formulary and a rare disease drug strategy. These efforts will be supported by funding proposed in Budget 2019, including $35 million over 4 years starting in 2019-20 for a transition office, and up to $1 billion over two years, starting in 2022-23, with up to $500 million per year ongoing, for a national strategy for high cost drugs for rare diseases.
Palliative care:
Health Canada will implement the five-year Action Plan on Palliative Care (2019-20 to 2023-24), continuing with activities already underway, and collaboratively developing new projects and initiatives to address access issues and promote system change. The Department will continue to work with Indigenous Services Canada to participate in Indigenous-led engagement with a goal of developing a distinctions-based frameworkFootnote 2 on palliative care, reflecting the specific and unique priorities of First Nations, Inuit and Métis.
Medical assistance in dying:

Health Canada will continue to support implementation of medical assistance in dying (MAID) legislation in collaboration with provinces and territories, as well as meet federal commitments under the law. In 2020-21, activities will include:

  • Collaboration with the Department of Justice in working with provinces and territories to respond to the recent court ruling regarding MAID framework restrictions;
  • Ongoing implementation of the MAID Monitoring Program (data collection about requests for, and provision of MAID across Canada), including release of the first official annual report on MAID using data from the new monitoring regime;
  • Supporting a 2020 parliamentary review of the MAID legislation and the state of palliative care in Canada.
Diagnostic services:
The Department is working closely with provinces and territories to prepare for implementation of the Diagnostic Services Policy, which formalizes the application of the Canada Health Act to diagnostic services. It confirms the longstanding federal position that medically-necessary diagnostic services are insured services, regardless of the venue where the services are delivered. The policy will take full effect from April 1, 2020.
Canadian thalidomide survivors support:

The Canadian Thalidomide Survivors Support Program replaced the previous Thalidomide Survivors Contribution Program in 2019. The purpose and long-term outcome of the program remains unchanged and Health Canada will continue to contribute to meeting the lifetime needs of Canadian thalidomide survivors. The new program provides a fair and comprehensive approach to identifying thalidomide survivors that is based on international best practices.

Patient safety:

Health Canada will contribute $7.6 million to the Canadian Patient Safety Institute's (CPSI) efforts to improve patient safety and quality of care. CPSI provides leadership and coordinates the work necessary to enable a culture of patient safety throughout the Canadian health system. It does so by fostering grassroots initiatives and strategic relationships to make patient safety a system priority and has positioned Canada as a leader on the international stage. CPSI's work is focused on: safety improvement projects that evaluate and implement scalable, evidence-based best practices; using the patient voice in reporting and campaigns to raise awareness; and targeting policy, standards and regulations to influence Canada's health care systems towards safer care.

Combatting cancer:

Budget 2019 earmarked supporting the creation of a network of Canadian cancer centres by providing up to $150 million over 5 years, starting in 2019-20, to the Terry Fox Research Institute.

Budget 2019 also proposed supporting ovarian cancer research by providing $10 million over five years (2019 to 2024) to Ovarian Cancer Canada to address gaps in knowledge about effective prevention, screening, and treatment options.

Did you know?

Health Canada funding will help the Terry Fox Research Institute to establish the national Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network. This network will unite around a shared strategy to advance precision medicine in cancer research. TFRI will seek matching funding through a combination of its own resources and contributions from other non-federal government sources.

Strengthening partnerships and collaborations:

Health Canada will continue to collaborate with the provinces and territories on organ and tissue donation and transplantation in order to: ensure Canadians receive timely and effective access to care; develop a decision-making and accountability framework and data and performance system that promotes a pan-Canadian approach to organ donation and transplantation; and build on existing progress to maximize safety and non-discrimination in blood donation policies.

Budget 2019 proposes spending $36.5 million over 5 years, starting in 2019-20, followed by $5 million per year on-going to develop a Pan-Canadian data and performance system for organ donation and transplantation in collaboration with provincial and territorial partners. In addition, Budget 2019 earmarked $2.4 million over 3 years starting in 2019-20, for research to reduce barriers to the donation of blood plasma and supporting a safe and non-discriminatory approach to donation for men who have sex with men.

In order to support access to appropriate and effective health services for Canadians over 2020-21, the Department will provide funding for: the Substance Use and Addictions Program; the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction; Mental Health Commission of Canada; the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer; the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, the Health Care Policy Contribution Program; Official Languages Health Contribution Program, and the Canadian Thalidomide Survivors Support Program.Footnote 3

These investments will enable provinces and territories to improve access to home and community care, including palliative care, and mental health and substance use services, consistent with the Common Statement of Principles on Shared Health Priorities and the plans outlined in bilateral agreements for each jurisdiction.

In 2020-21 and beyond, Canadians will see how targeted federal funding for home and community care and mental health and substance use services will be invested in each province and territory, and will be able to track progress based on a focused set of common indicators that will be released annually. Health Canada will also undertake to establish national standards for access to mental health services so Canadians can get fast access to the support they need, when they need it.

In addition, investments will help to address the health care needs of specific populations such as those living in Canada's territories and official language minority communities, taking into account findings from the 2017 Evaluation of the Official Languages Health Contribution Program.

Over the course of 2020-21, Health Canada will also make important investments in several additional programs and organizations that directly support access to appropriate and effective health services for Canadians. These are summarised on the following page.

Additional highlights of Health Canada collaboration funding in 2020-21 supporting access to appropriate and effective health services for Canadians:

Key Risk(s) for Core Responsibility 1: Health Care Systems

Risk: Health Canada's ability to effectively uphold the Canada Health Act (CHA) could be put at risk by challenges in administering the Act.

Key examples of Health Canada's planned risk responses:

Implement new policies:
Work with the provinces and territories to prepare for the implementation of the Diagnostic Services Policy.
Work to resolve issues with provinces and territories:
Evaluate provincial and territorial Reimbursement Action Plans to ensure the elimination of patient charges.
Monitor litigation:
Monitor litigation that may impact the CHA, and support federal involvement as required.
Monitor changes in health care delivery:

Monitor changes in health care delivery for their effect on access to insured services. For example:

  • Monitor and assess virtual access to physician services, which has been rapidly growing in Canada and around the world.

Planned results for Core Responsibility 1: Health Care Systems

Departmental Result 1: Canada has modern and sustainable health care systems
Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target Actual Results
National health expenditure as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)Tablenote 1
(Baseline 10.9% of GDP in 2014-15)
Between 10% and 12% March 31, 2021 2016-17: 11.5%
2017-18: 11.3%
2018-19: 11.3%
Real per capita health expenditure (1997)Tablenote 1
(Baseline $4,014 per person in 2014-15)
Between $3,864 and $4,722 March 31, 2021 2016-17: $4,223.90Tablenote 2
2017-18: $4,244.90Tablenote 2
2018-19: $4,293.00Tablenote 2
Drug spending as a percentage of Gross Domestic ProductTablenote 3
(Baseline 1.74% in 2014-15)
between 1% and 2% March 31, 2021 2016-17: 1.82%
2017-18: 1.78%
2018-19: 1.78%Tablenote 3
Percentage of family physicians using electronic medical recordsTablenote 4
(Baseline 73% in 2015)
At least 95% March 31, 2022 2016-17: 73%Tablenote 4
2017-18: 73%Tablenote 4
2018-19: 73%Tablenote 4Tablenote 5

Tablenotes

Tablenote 1

These two complementary indicators demonstrate that national health expenditures grows faster than the economy as a whole, both relative to GDP (1st indicator) and relative in real/constant 1997 dollars; data for these two indicators can be found on the CIHI website; click on "Data tables: Health Spending" on the Quick links table on the right of the screen. For the Real per capita health expenditure, percentage increase is calculated using constant 1997 dollars.

Return to tablenote 1 referrer

Tablenote 2

These numbers have been updated based on annual CIHI revisions to reflect the most current published data.

Return to tablenote 2 referrer

Tablenote 3

Source: Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). This ratio (percentage) demonstrates how much Canada spends on drugs (prescribed and over the counter) relative to the size of the Canadian economy. Both the ratio's numerator (drug spending) and the denominator (GDP) are expressed in Canadian dollars. Previously, the data source was the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, report on pharmaceutical spending - data collected every three years.

Return to tablenote 3 referrer

Tablenote 4

Source: Commonwealth Fund Survey of Physicians (data collected in 2015 which is the most recent data available).

Return to tablenote 4 referrer

Tablenote 5

The 2018-19 survey result is scheduled for release in early 2020. Data from that time period will be reported in 2019-20 Departmental Results Report.

Return to tablenote 5 referrer

Departmental Result 2: Canadians have access to appropriate and effective health services
Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target Actual Results
Percentage of Canadians (aged 15+) with a mental disorder who have expressed that they have an unmet mental health care need
(Baseline 26% in 2012)Result 2: Tablenote 1
At most 15% March 31, 2021 2016-17: 26%Result 2: Tablenote 1
2017-18: 26%Result 2: Tablenote 1
2018-19: 24.3%Result 2: Tablenote 1Result 2: Tablenote 2
Percentage of Canadians (aged 18+) who have expressed that they have an unmet need for access to home care servicesResult 2: Tablenote 8
[Baseline: According to Statistics Canada in 2015-16, 1.6% of Canadians aged 18+ reported that they had not received help, even though they needed it (during the previous 12 months)].
At most 1% March 31, 2027 2016-17: 1.6%Result 2: Tablenote 1
2017-18: 1.6%Result 2: Tablenote 1
2018-19: 1.3%Result 2: Tablenote 3
Percentage of Canada Health Act compliance issues addressed within 24 months of identification
(Baseline 53% in 2016-17)Result 2: Tablenote 4
At least 95% March 31, 2022 2016-17: 53%Result 2: Tablenote 4
2017-18: 94%Result 2: Tablenote 5
2018-19: 94%
Percentage of Canadians (aged 12+) who did not fill a prescription for medicine or skipped doses of medicine because of the cost
(Baseline 7.1% in 2014)
At most 5% March 31, 2022 2016-17: 7.1%Result 2: Tablenote 6
2017-18: 7.1%Result 2: Tablenote 6
2018-19: 5.0%Result 2: Tablenote 7

Tablenotes

Tablenote 1

Source: Statistics Canada - Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), 2012 (data collected between January and December 2012).

Return to tablenote 1 referrer

Tablenote 2

This 2018-19 data is the most recent data available.

Return to tablenote 2 referrer

Tablenote 3

The current data is from the CCHS, 2018, which only reports on this indicator for the age group 18+.

Return to tablenote 3 referrer

Tablenote 4

Source: Canada Health Act Division Database. Datum for 2016-17 reflects the current indicator and methodology.

Return to tablenote 4 referrer

Tablenote 5

Change of methodology - actual results are for the percentage of issues addressed within 24 months as outlined in the 2019-20 Departmental Plan and the Corporate Risk Profile Report.

Return to footnote 5 referrer

Tablenote 6

Source: CCHS, 2014 (data collected between January and December 2014).

Return to footnote 6 referrer

Tablenote 7

Source: CCHS, 2018. The actual result excludes data from the territories.

Return to footnote 7 referrer

Tablenote 8

The age group for this indicator has been modified from 15+ (as indicated in the 2019-20 Departmental Plan) to 18+.

Return to footnote 8 referrer

Planned budgetary financial resources (dollars) for Core Responsibility 1: Health Care Systems

2020-21 budgetary spending
(as indicated in Main Estimates)
2020-21
Planned spending
2021-22
Planned spending
2022-23
Planned spending
1,777,284,741 1,777,284,741 1,978,657,709 1,552,348,195

Note: The increase in planned spending in 2021-22 is mainly due to funding level increases for Strengthening Canada's Home and Community Care and Mental Health and Addiction Services Initiative as well as Canadian Institute for Health Information.

The decrease in planned spending in 2022-23 is mainly due to funding level decreases for Strengthening Canada's Home and Community Care and Mental Health and Addiction Services Initiative, and the expiry of budgetary spending authorities in 2021-22 for Canada Health Infoway. The Department would have to request funding for this initiative for future years.

Planned Human resources (full-time equivalents) for Core Responsibility 1: Health Care Systems

2020-21
Planned full-time equivalents
2021-22
Planned full-time equivalents
2022-23
Planned full-time equivalents
290 290 290

Financial, human resources and performance information for Health Canada's Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Core Responsibility 2: Health Protection and Promotion

Core Responsibility 2: Health Protection and Promotion Description

Health Canada works with domestic and international partners to assess, manage and communicate the health and safety risks and benefits associated with health and consumer products, food, chemicals, pesticides, environmental factors, tobacco and vaping products, cannabis, and controlled substances.

Core Responsibility 2: Health Protection and Promotion Plans

The Department has launched an ambitious regulatory innovation agenda in response to the Treasury Board Secretariat-led targeted regulatory review: Health and Biosciences Sectoral Regulatory Review Roadmap and Agri-food and Aquaculture Roadmap, announced in Budget 2018. Budget 2019 proposed funding of $122.9 million over 5 years, including $100.5 million for Health Canada and $22.4 million for Justice Canada. Several key projects that form this agenda are set to advance over 2020-21:

The regulatory innovation agenda cuts across all three Departmental Results that make up Core Responsibility 2. Its implementation will result in a health product and food regulatory framework that protects the health and safety of Canadians with proportional oversight relative to any associated risks, while encouraging innovation. Ultimately, it will provide Canadians with improved access and information about health products that can positively impact their health and quality of life.

The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Health Canada's planned activities under Core Responsibility 2: Health Protection and Promotion directly support Canada's efforts to address the UN 2030 Agenda, particularly the following Sustainable Development Goals:

Departmental Result 3: Canadians have access to safe, effective and quality health products

Ensuring that Canadians have access to the health products they need - and can rely upon the safety, effectiveness and quality of the products they use - remains a core component of Health Canada's mandate. Over the course of 2020-21, the Department's efforts in this regard will concentrate on the following priority activity areas: access to drugs and devices; addressing antimicrobial resistance; regulatory oversight; as well as promoting access to new and renewed technologies.

Did you know?

In 2019, Health Canada established a new Scientific Advisory Committee on Health Products for Women. This committee includes members representing the patient and healthcare professional communities. It will provide Health Canada with advice on current and emerging issues regarding women's health. Members will examine issues across the life cycle of medical devices and drugs.

Access to drugs and devices:

Under the Regulatory Review of Drugs and Devices initiative, Health Canada will further improve access to therapeutic products that meet healthcare system needs, and increase domestic and global collaboration regarding drug and medical device reviews, including more robust application of real world evidence.

The Department is committed to take action on drug shortages and ensure that Canadians have access to the medicine they need. In partnership with manufacturers, provinces and territories and other stakeholders, it will continue to play a leadership role in addressing critical national drug shortages and invest in efforts towards preventing shortages from happening, where possible.

In 2020-21, Health Canada will continue to create streamlined processes for joint shared and parallel reviews with other international regulatory authorities. Strengthening partnerships in submission reviews aims to help Canadians gain greater access to new health products that meet health care system needs. This includes drugs for rare diseases. The Department will also continue working with health partners to streamline processes and increase efficiencies to bring needed drugs to Canadians.

The Department will propose amendments to the Food and Drug Regulations that create an alternate pathway to authorize human and veterinary drugs that fulfill an unmet medical need for Canadians and animals, and that have already been approved by trusted foreign regulators. This undertaking, the Use of Foreign Decisions pathway, will facilitate access to medically necessary drugs that are not readily available to Canadians. Also, this will create a pathway that will enable access by animal owners and food producers to minor use, minor species veterinary drugs which have not yet come to the Canadian market due to economic considerations.

Health Canada will continue to improve access to generic drugs by creating greater alignment and convergence with the practices of other major regulatory jurisdictions. This initiative aims to provide Canadians with earlier access to a wider range of low cost generic medicines and to align Canada's approach with other international regulatory authorities.

The Department will continue to develop its review capacity in the area of generic drugs and work to bring related regulations and policies up to date. Health Canada will also look to create greater alignment and harmonisation with the practices of other major regulatory agencies. These ongoing initiatives are aimed at providing Canadians with access to a wider range of low cost generic options, align Canada's approach with other international regulatory authorities, and provide a more secure supply of pharmaceutical drug products in shortage situations.

Furthermore, the Department will finalize regulatory amendments to update provisions of the Special Access Program for human drugs and the Emergency Drug Release Program for veterinary drugs, which allows for access to drugs that are not currently authorized for sale in Canada (including those for rare diseases) and improves access to drugs for health care providers treating patients with serious or life-threatening conditions or for a medical emergency.

Addressing antimicrobial resistance:

In support of the Federal Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance and Use in Canada and the Pan-Canadian Framework for Action on Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance and Antimicrobial Use, Health Canada will continue to take action to safeguard the use of currently available antimicrobial drugs for human use and encourage the development of new and innovative human therapeutic products, as well as facilitate access to alternatives to using antimicrobials for animals.

Building on progress to-date, including the removal of growth promotion claims as well as making sure all antibiotics are available only by prescription for animals (similar to humans), the Department will ensure in 2020-21 that all older antimicrobials provide directions that align with prudent use principles - i.e., used only when necessary and only for as long as necessary. More specifically, Health Canada will begin a re-evaluation of medically important antimicrobials to ensure that product labels provide information for veterinarians and animal owners that supports responsible use. The Department will also continue to work with stakeholders to facilitate access to a wider range of low risk veterinary health products for the purposes of maintaining and improving the health of food-producing animals.

To support human healthcare, Heath Canada will update the Pathogens of Interest List to ensure it continues to capture emerging threats requiring new therapeutic and diagnostic options in Canada. In addition, Health Canada will encourage manufacturers to undertake submissions for the authorization in Canada of important new antimicrobials for human use.

Regulatory oversight:

In 2020-21, Health Canada intends to bring forward proposals to: modernize the framework for licensing establishments related to health products and medical devices; and maintain safe access to certain non-prescription drugs and natural health products while removing burdensome regulatory re-testing requirements for certain low-risk products imported from trusted regulatory partner countries.

The Department has also prioritized the need to further strengthen and expand the life-cycle oversight of medical devices and to be more open and transparent with Canadians about regulatory activities and medical device safety information. As such, the Department has integrated its Action Plan on Medical Devices into day-to-day operations, which includes a number of initiatives that are summarized below.

Health Canada 2020-21 initiatives relative to the action plan on medical devices:

In addition, Health Canada will conduct domestic and international inspections of health product licence holders with a focus on higher risk areas. The Department will continue to strengthen compliance and enforcement capacity and implement national training and health and safety programs for inspectors.

Health Canada will also continue to expand oversight to adapt to an increasingly complex and globalized clinical trial environment. This will help ensure patient safety and the integrity of clinical trial data with the goal of protecting Canadians from unsafe practices. Additionally, clinical trials conducted on home soil will provide opportunities for Canadians to have earlier access to cutting edge therapies and allow Canadian clinicians to contribute to the development of novel treatments.

Furthermore, the Department will continue to implement a strengthened and more responsive compliance and enforcement program in support of the regulatory framework governing assisted human reproduction in Canada, resulting in a number of qualitative health and safety benefits. The Assisted Human Reproduction Act and Regulations address a number of regulatory gaps including those related to the risks to human health and safety arising from the use of third-party donor sperm and ova in assisted human reproduction.

Lastly, regarding modernizing regulatory oversight related to food, Health Canada will establish a regulatory framework for human milk fortifiers required by some pre-term infants to meet their nutritional and growth requirements. In addition, the Department will use foreign reviews as appropriate and/or conduct joint risk assessments to support the authorization of certain food products. This will create operational and business efficiencies and allow industry to bring products to market more quickly.

What's new?

With a view towards modernizing the regulatory framework for self-care products, Health Canada will propose improvements to the labelling of natural health products to support their safe use and help Canadians make more informed choices. The Department will also introduce a risk-based approach to regulatory oversight for non-prescription drugs.

Promoting access to new and renewed technologies:

To keep pace with emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and telerobotics, Health Canada has established the Medical Device Digital Health Review Division. In the coming year, the Department is proposing a new regulatory pathway for Advanced Therapeutic Products - a product or class of products representing an emerging or innovative technological, scientific or medical development. This pathway will allow the Department to regulate in a way that does not impede innovation by tailoring requirements based on the unique characteristics of these products, while ensuring the safety of Canadians.

Health Canada will strengthen its capacity to protect Canadians from domestic and imported unsafe health products by contributing to the development and implementation of business intelligence and tools to improve reporting and better inform decision making.

Departmental Result 4: Canadians are protected from unsafe consumer and commercial products and substances

Helping Canadians lead healthier lives and providing protection from unsafe consumer and commercial products and substances will remain an important focus of Health Canada's work. Over the course of 2020-21, the Department's efforts in this regard will concentrate on the following priority activity areas: problematic substance use; regulating cannabis; chemicals management; environmental assessment of drugs; consumer products; workplace hazardous products; and pesticide regulation.

Did you know?

The Department's work to address problematic substance use is guided by the Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy - the Government's commitment to a comprehensive, evidence-based public health approach to substance use. The strategy is delivered by the Minister of Health, in collaboration with 14 other federal departments and agencies, and includes 4 pillars - prevention, treatment, harm reduction and enforcement - which are supported by a strong evidence base.

The Strategy covers a broad range of legal and illegal substances, including alcohol, cannabis, problematic prescription drug use and illegal drug use. It enables the Government to better identify significant health risks and trends associated with substance use, effectively develop and target interventions to prevent and reduce harms and promote treatment and recovery, to monitor and report on impacts, and support overall decision-making related to drug and substance use policy issues.

A comprehensive approach to problematic substance use:

Problematic substance use is a major ongoing health and social issue with devastating effects on Canadians from every walk of life. Issues related to problematic substance use lead to massive societal costs and harms, costing $38.4 billion, or approximately $1,100 spent for every Canadian, in 2014.

Since 2016, the opioid overdose crisis has claimed the lives of almost 14,000 Canadians, making it one of the most serious public health crises in a generation. The scale of this crisis is so severe such that life expectancy in Canada stopped increasing for the first time in more than 40 years. Canada's illegal drug supply has been contaminated with fentanyl and other fentanyl-like drugs (e.g., carfentanil). Fentanyl is a cheap way for drug dealers to make street drugs more potent and it is causing high rates of overdoses and overdose deaths. A few grains can be enough to be fatal.

Concurrently, there are new or emerging drug threats across Canada, particularly related to the use of methamphetamine. Moreover, we must not overlook well-documented harms associated with alcohol and cannabis use, especially for children and youth.

People who use drugs frequently use multiple substances. For example, from 2016 to 2018, the majority of overdoses in Canada involved one or more non-opioid substances, such as alcohol, cocaine or methamphetamine. This reality increases the risk of harms and adds further complexity to the current crisis.

The Government of Canada is deeply concerned about the number of drug-related overdoses and deaths in Canada, and recognizes the serious consequences this crisis is having for individuals and communities across the country. Health Canada has made it a priority to respond with a public health approach that is comprehensive, collaborative, coordinated, and compassionate.

What's new?

While prescription opioids can help Canadians who need them to manage pain, industry marketing can unduly influence health professionals. Health Canada has: called on Canadian manufacturers and distributors of opioids to cease marketing to health care professionals; created a dedicated compliance team to proactively monitor opioid marketing and enforce existing rules; and established an online portal for health care professionals to report improper marketing activities.

Manufacturers must submit all opioid ads to a preclearance agency for review. Ads are restricted to only verbatim statements authorized by Health Canada in the approved product labelling, and must present a balance of benefits and risks.

In 2020-21, the Department will continue to build the evidence base and scale up the most effective programs, such as increasing access to a safer supply of prescription opioids in order to protect people with substance use disorder from the risks of overdose and death. It will fund pilot projects designed to provide pharmaceutical-grade medications as safer alternatives to the contaminated illegal drug supply in Canada (referred to by some stakeholders as "safe supply").

The efficacy of programs that provide prescription-grade opioids as alternatives to illegal street drugs is supported by multiple domestic and international studies. These studies have shown reduced mortality, decreased crime, and improved connections to housing and social supports. Given the contamination of the illegal supply of stimulants (such as cocaine and methamphetamine) with extremely toxic drugs (such as fentanyl and its analogues), targeted investments are needed to expand access to safer alternatives and to provide people with pathways to care.

Health Canada will continue to work closely with other orders of government, Indigenous Peoples, substance use experts, service providers, first responders, law enforcement, people with lived and living experience, and other stakeholders to advance a robust, well-coordinated and effective response to this and other emerging drugs threats.

The Department will continue to work with partners to support community-led initiatives. This involves a range of interventions to strengthen prevention efforts and reduce the harms of, and help treat, problematic substance use. The end goal is that fewer Canadians have an opioid dependency.

In order to make real progress to prevent harms from substance use, the Department will look 'upstream' at the root causes of the problem in order to better prevent substance use at the outset, while continuing to support efforts to prevent overdose and death, as well as the treatment and recovery of people who use drugs.

In addition, Health Canada will continue to support access to evidence-based harm reduction measures, which include supervised consumption sites, including improving access to naloxone, and drug checking services. As well, the Department will examine options to further reduce barriers, including examining a possible regulatory regime for supervised consumption services and other models of care.

Health Canada will also continue to improve access to evidence-based treatment services for substance use disorder to reduce the harms associated with problematic opioid use and address stigma that creates treatment and service barriers for people who use drugs. The Department will work closely with Provinces and Territories, as was done through the Emergency Treatment Fund, on integrated approaches that treat mental health, chronic pain, and other disorders while meaningfully preventing and treating the problematic use of all substances.

Did you know?

Health Canada's Substance Use and Addictions Program provides funding towards innovative and evidence-informed prevention, harm reduction and treatment projects at the community, regional and national levels. The program targets a wide range of substance-use issues including problematic use of opioids, stimulants, such as cocaine and methamphetamine, cannabis, alcohol and tobacco.

Through the Substance Use and Addictions Program, Health Canada will support a range of projects aimed at educating decision-makers, health care professionals, students and others about the risks and harms of substance use, as well as projects to improve the evidence base in order to better predict, detect and prevent these risks.

Health Canada will continue to improve its capacity to provide analytical services and intelligence on illegal controlled substances for public health purposes. This includes providing timely information and reliable data such as Drug Alerts, Drug Summary Reports and raw data tables to Canadian law enforcement agencies and public health partners. The Department is also increasing its partnerships with public health partners in support of harm reduction initiatives such as the analysis of drug checking techniques and in the continuous improvement of its data sharing information.

At the same time, Health Canada recognizes that unmet pain needs are a key driver of problematic substance use and a barrier to successful treatment. As such, the Department will continue to support the Canadian Pain Task Force (including a $1 million financial contribution in 2020-21) to identify and disseminate information about best practices in the prevention and management of chronic pain, in order to promote their uptake across the country. The Task Force will release a report on best practices and elements of an improved approach to address pain in Canada in June 2020. Action in this area is meant to support a key result of improving health outcomes for the 1 in 5 Canadians who suffer from chronic pain and address one of the underlying factors contributing to the ongoing drug overdose crisis in Canada.

The Department will continue to improve data collection on substance use through enhanced collaboration and new drug use surveys. It will work with partners to reduce the stigma faced by people who use drugs by bringing international expertise and attention to bear on this issue and how it can be a barrier to accessing health care and social services. The surveys provide data and evidence on the patterns of use and associated harms related to opioids, alcohol and other substances, such as methamphetamine. Increased surveillance will support the identification and development of strategies to address emerging drug threats.

Did you know?

People who use drugs face stigma and discrimination. Stigma persists despite increasing recognition that drug use is a health issue. It creates barriers to the effective implementation of prevention, harm reduction and treatment measures. Reducing stigma is a priority for the Government.

Further, Health Canada is launching a portal to capture electronic submissions of loss and theft reports for controlled substances, which will improve monitoring capabilities of the legal domestic drug supply chain.

The Department will also advance its efforts towards a comprehensive public health approach to alcohol-related harms that aligns with the latest evidence and best practices. This significant public health and safety issue affects communities across Canada. Health Canada is reviewing the latest evidence, best practices as well as recommendations and input from the public and key stakeholders to inform future federal policies to address alcohol-related harms.

What's new?

In October 2019, amendments to the Cannabis Regulations came into force, governing the production, distribution and sale of edible cannabis, extracts and topicals.

Regulating cannabis:

The objective of the Cannabis Act is to protect the public health and public safety of Canadians, particularly youth, while providing adults with legal access to regulated cannabis and reducing illicit activities. In 2020-21, Health Canada will maintain its effective implementation of the new cannabis framework, working with provinces, territories, Indigenous governments, municipalities, non-governmental organizations, communities and other federal partners to meet its objectives.

The Department will continue to collect and review scientific evidence, research and cannabis-related data to better understand the health effects of cannabis, patterns in cannabis use (frequency, methods of consumption, source, etc.), and perceptions of cannabis use and to inform risk assessments, regulatory decisions and public education activities.

Health Canada will continue to administer the cannabis, hemp, research and analytical testing licensing regimes. It will establish service standards for issuing decisions specific to each licence type. It will also maintain the system that provides reasonable access to cannabis for medical purposes by continuing to licence new entities to sell cannabis for medical purposes and registering individuals who have the support of their health care practitioner to produce cannabis for their own medical purposes.

Health Canada will continue to promote, monitor, verify and enforce compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements with a focus on the new cannabis products (i.e., edible cannabis, extracts and topicals); promotion prohibitions; products that may be appealing to youth; and unlicensed activities. The Department will also support Public Safety Canada, as well as provinces and territories, in establishing a strategy to disrupt illicit cannabis sales online.

In addition, Health Canada will continue to explore potential markets for health products that contain cannabis for humans and animals that would not require practitioner oversight by gathering external scientific advice on the appropriate evidence standards required to demonstrate safety and efficacy. The objective is to develop a regulatory approach for cannabis products with a health claim in a way that protects both public health and safety, and supports Canadians in making informed decisions about their health.

Chemicals management:

As part of its ongoing commitment to delivering the Chemicals Management Plan, Health Canada will conduct further research, monitoring and surveillance (including bio-monitoring) and risk assessments regarding chemical substances and human health, and take appropriate risk management action in order to help protect the health of Canadians. The Department will also continue to conduct public outreach under the Healthy Home Campaign (including social media) to help inform Canadians about the potential risks from chemicals and the actions they can take in and around their homes to protect their health.

Given that the Chemicals Management Plan is scheduled to sunset in March 2021, Health Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada will also be exploring the best options for continuing to manage chemicals in Canada.

Did you know?

Any substance new to Canada is assessed for potential risks to human health and the environment by Health Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada before it is introduced into the Canadian marketplace, so that control measures can be put in place if needed.

Environmental assessment of drugs:
In 2020-21, Health Canada intends to consult with the Canadian public and stakeholders towards modernizing the environmental risk assessment of active ingredients in drugs by creating a new regulatory regime in the Food and Drug Regulations. The new regime would require the notification and assessment of active ingredients in drugs to determine their effect on the environment, and would tailor data requirements to the product being reviewed. In addition, the revised data requirements would bring us closer to international alignment with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency. After these new regulations come into force, active ingredients in drugs would no longer be assessed under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 and the New Substances Notification Regulations (Chemicals and Polymers) and (Organisms).
Consumer products:

Health Canada will continue its efforts to mitigate risks posed by unsafe consumer products and cosmetics by conducting risk assessments and compliance, enforcement and outreach activities. International cooperation will play an ongoing key role in supporting these efforts; for example, through coordinated joint recalls and awareness campaigns.

The Department will also continue to develop and update policy and operational procedures pertaining to consumer products under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act and to cosmetics under the Food and Drugs Act, as well as their associated regulations, in order to ensure Canada maintains a modern regime.

Workplace hazardous products:

In order to help mitigate risks posed by workplace chemical products, Health Canada will continue to conduct hazard assessments, enforce the appropriate labelling and communication of hazards, and carry out outreach activities. These efforts will be informed and supported by international cooperation, including through implementation of the Globally Harmonised System and participation in a United Nations Committee of Experts and in the Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council.

The Department will also continue to develop and modernize regulation and policy pertaining to hazardous products under the Hazardous Products Act and the Hazardous Materials Information Review Act.

Pesticide regulation:

Health Canada will continue to promote, monitor and enforce compliance with the Pest Control Products Act and its Regulations. The Department will also work with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada to ensure that timely science-based decisions are made to support the safe and sustainable use of effective pesticide products.

Over the course of 2019-20, the Department undertook an assessment of the Pesticide Post-Market Review Program that led to the development of a new integrated continuous evaluation approach that will improve oversight, transparency and stakeholder engagement of post-market pesticide reviews. In 2020-21, Health Canada will continue to develop and consult with stakeholders on this integrated approach and begin to implement new measures into pesticide reviews where appropriate. It will also establish a framework for data collection related to agricultural pesticide use and environmental monitoring, as well as explore alternative regulatory approaches to low-risk pesticides.

Health Canada is nearing the end of a two-year, high priority re-evaluation process that saw the Department undertake risk assessments, risk management, consultations, special reviews and final regulatory decisions for 34 priority pesticides. The Department is aiming to complete the re-evaluation of the remaining 15 priority pesticides by the end of the 2020 calendar year.

What's new?

With the coming into force of the Impact Assessment Act in August 2019, Health Canada is contributing human health-related expert information and knowledge to this new and more comprehensive approach to the review of proposed major projects (such as pipelines and mines).

Departmental Result 5: Canadians make healthy choices

Helping Canadians make healthy choices in their day-to-day lives is part of Health Canada's Health Protection and Promotion core responsibility. Over the course of 2020-21, the Department's efforts in this regard will concentrate on these priority activity areas: healthy eating, food packaging and labelling, tobacco and vaping products, and cannabis.

What's new?

Through the Food Safety Evaluation Management Response and Action Plan, Health Canada is working to more effectively coordinate and align food safety and nutrition objectives, priorities and research plans with its Health Portfolio partners.

In addition, the Department is deploying a social media outreach strategy to better address food safety concerns and knowledge gaps among Canadians.

Healthy eating:

Health Canada will continue to advance initiatives under the Healthy Eating Strategy, which aims to curb the rising burden of obesity and chronic disease by making the healthier choice easier for all Canadians.

As part of the strategy, Health Canada will continue work towards developing new restrictions on the advertising to children of foods that contribute to excess consumption of sodium, sugars and saturated fats. Currently, one in three Canadian children is overweight or obese, and advertising of foods with nutrients of concern has been identified as a major contributor to childhood obesity globally and in Canada. The Department is also developing a monitoring strategy to collect and report on the state of food advertising to children. This is an important part of Health Canada's role in developing evidence-informed nutrition policy and in studying its impact.

The Department will continue to raise awareness of Canada's Food Guide and collaborate with stakeholders to support integration of its messages within policy, programs and resources. The Food Guide encourages Canadians to eat a variety of healthy foods each day, cook more often, enjoy food, be mindful of eating habits, and eat meals with others.

In 2020-21, Health Canada plans to consult on sodium targets for processed foods and for foods sold in restaurants. Proposed targets for processed foods are comparable to those previously established, but are being revised to account for challenges identified by manufacturers and to encourage further reduction in products with the highest sodium content. New targets proposed for foods sold in restaurants will address a current gap in the approach to sodium reduction and are set for those foods Canadians consume most often when eating out.

Food packaging and labelling:

In line with departmental regulatory efforts, Health Canada will advance regulations to implement front-of-packaging labelling requirements for foods that are high in sodium, sugars, and/or saturated fat. The Department recognizes the costs associated with re-labelling, and will coordinate transition timelines with other Government-wide labeling initiatives.

Health Canada is establishing a coordinated cycle of labelling changes for food with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, in order to provide predictability for the agri-food industry.

What's new?

To address the rapid rise in youth vaping, measures will be taken to reduce the appeal of and access to vaping products among youth, including development of new regulatory proposals, public education, and compliance and enforcement. The Department will continue to closely monitor the use of tobacco and vaping products among youth.

Tobacco and vaping products:

Over the course of 2020-21, the Department will take steps to address the rapid rise in youth vaping, and advance implementation of Canada's Tobacco Strategy, a modernized approach for successful tobacco control with the goal of achieving the target of less than 5% tobacco use by 2035.

In cooperation with other orders of government and key stakeholders, specific measures relating to vaping include:

  • Finalizing regulations restricting the promotion of vaping products to youth and developing additional regulations to further reduce the appeal of these products to young Canadians (e.g., reducing nicotine concentration limits; establishing further significant flavour restrictions, building on those already in place in the legislation);
  • Building on and expanding delivery of the public education campaign targeting youth, with the goal of raising awareness of the potential harms associated with vaping;
  • Increasing compliance and enforcement activities: promoting compliance and conducting inspections of tobacco products and activities related to new requirements; conducting online inspections of websites where advertising or promotion of vaping products is accessible to youth; conducting on-site inspections of vaping products and activities, as well as product sampling; and making public the results of key compliance and enforcement activities.

Specific measures relating to tobacco include:

  • Enforcing plain packaging requirements on all tobacco products to reduce their appeal and encourage Canadians to make healthy choices;
  • Finalizing new health warning messages, health information messages and statements about toxicity as part of renewed tobacco product labelling requirements;
  • Conducting activities that promote compliance, inspections of tobacco products, and activities related to new requirements.
Cannabis:
To help empower Canadians to make informed decisions about the use of cannabis and minimize associated health and safety harms, Health Canada will continue to deliver (and support organizations through the Substance Use and Addictions Program in delivering) public education and awareness activities, including sharing health and safety information related to new cannabis products (edible cannabis, extracts and topicals). The Department will also work with provincial/territorial and Indigenous governments and communities to deliver public education activities with a focus on youth and young adults, pregnant and breastfeeding women, Indigenous populations, individuals with mental health issues and LGBTQ+ populations.
Key Risk(s) for Core Responsibility 2: Health Protection and Promotion

1. Risk: Canadians may lose confidence in Health Canada's ability to help protect their health if the Department is not regarded as a trusted regulator and used as a credible source of information.

Key examples of Health Canada's planned risk responses:

Implement informative initiatives

Expand the amount of regulatory health and safety information made available to Canadians in a simple and accessible way through innovative initiatives and communication activities. For example:

  • Continue to conduct public outreach under the Healthy Home Campaign (including social media) to help inform Canadians about the potential risks from chemicals and the actions they can take in and around their homes to protect their health.
  • Provide information and tools to help Canadians make informed health and safety decisions related to consumer products and cosmetics, and publish plain-language pesticide re-evaluation decision summaries.
Offer more engagement opportunities to Canadians and stakeholders

In line with the Government of Canada's Open Government initiative and Health Canada's Forward Regulatory Plan, Canadians and stakeholders have greater opportunity to be involved in decision-making processes, including the regulatory process throughout its development. For example:

  • Consult broadly with stakeholders, including patient groups, health partners, and industry on continuing initiatives, such as making use of foreign decisions to support access to products otherwise not available in Canada as part of improving the regulatory review of drugs and devices.
  • Provide Canadians with more information on the medical devices they use by publishing Regulatory Decision Summaries for amendments to Class III and IV medical device licences to further inform physician and patient decisions, while making clinical information on class IV medical devices available through the Health Canada clinical information portal.
Improve communication tools

Acquire, develop and improve the tools, processes and resources needed to effectively communicate to, and engage, Canadians on Health Canada's digital platforms, including Canada.ca and Health Canada social media channels. For example:

  • Improve navigation on Canada.ca, making online information easier to find for Canadians, and removing redundant and outdated web content.
  • Improve and expand publication of information on cannabis demand and supply on a monthly basis to include data on new cannabis products (edible cannabis, extracts, and topicals) in more easy to use formats.

2. Risk: Health Canada's ability to help protect the health of Canadians may be weakened due to the increasing complexity of the global supply chain and the rapid pace of innovation.

Key examples of Health Canada's planned risk responses:

Strengthen oversight

Develop strategies and tools to further strengthen market surveillance and oversight of emerging products. For example:

  • Monitor compliance with the regulations for the manufacture, sale, labeling and promotion of vaping products.
  • Promote, verify and enforce compliance with the Cannabis Act and its Regulations.
Collaborate internationally

Collaborate with international regulatory organizations, and align where appropriate with foreign regulators, including on joint recalls where appropriate.

Increase use of regulatory and non-regulatory activities

Increase the use of regulatory and non-regulatory activities that address changing business models in the supply chain, specifically for foreign sites. For example:

  • Carry out foreign on-site Good Manufacturing Practices inspections, to increase Health Canada's oversight of drug production earlier in the supply chain.

Planned results for Core Responsibility 2: Health Protection and Promotion

Departmental Result 3: Canadians have access to safe, effective and quality health products
Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target Actual Results
Percentage of new drug decisions issued within service standards1
(Baseline 88% in 2017-18)
93% March 31, 2021 2016-17: 92%Result 3: Tablenote 1
2017-18: 88%Result 3: Tablenote 1
2018-19: 98%
Percentage of Risk Management Plan reviews for new drug decisions completed within service standardsResult 3: Tablenote 2
(Baseline 91% in 2017-18)
90% March 31, 2021 2016-17: 100%
2017-18: 91%
2018-19: 98%
Percentage of drug companies deemed to be compliant with manufacturing requirements under the Food and Drugs Act and associated regulations Between 85% and 95%Result 3: Tablenote 3 March 31, 2021 2016-17: 96%
2017-18: 96%
2018-19: 94%

Tablenotes

Tablenote 1

This indicator was previously restricted to prescription pharmaceuticals, but now includes biologics and radiopharmaceuticals. Results shown for 2016-17 are for prescription pharmaceuticals only. Biologics and radiopharmaceutical results were 100% in all reference years. New drugs (pharmaceutical and biologics / radiopharmaceutical) can only be sold in Canada after the products have been reviewed by Health Canada and found to meet the necessary regulatory requirements. This indicator measures whether the Department has done so within service standards.

Return to tablenote 1 referrer

Tablenote 2

Risk Management Plan reviews are an important component of improving the health and safety of Canadians. Completed within service standards, Risk Management Plan reviews protect Canadians from preventable hazards, and contribute to effective engagement with partners and stakeholders - in view of the department's reliance on shared responsibilities. The workload associated with Risk Management Plans varies from year to year, both in terms of quantity of Plans required and the complexity thereof, and is driven by factors beyond the government's control. With finite, set resources, unexpectedly high volume can result in performance drops.

Return to tablenote 2 referrer

Tablenote 3

Health Canada is implementing a risk-based approach and will be targeting companies that present a higher risk. Given the change in approach, the results moving forward are expected to decrease.

Return to tablenote 3 referrer

Departmental Result 4: Canadians are protected from unsafe consumer and commercial products and substances
Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target Actual Results
Percentage of domestic consumer product recalls communicated to Canadians in a timely manner
(Baseline 86% in 2016-17)
At least 85% March 31, 2021 2016-17: 86%
2017-18: 87%
2018-19: 93%
Percentage of actions taken in a timely manner to protect the health of Canadians from substances found to be a risk to human health
(Baseline 88% in 2018-19)
100%Result 4: Tablenote 1 March 31, 2021 2016-17: 85%
2017-18: 86%
2018-19: 88%Result 4: Tablenote 2Result 4: Tablenote 3
Percentage of actions taken in a timely manner to protect the health of Canadians from pesticides found to be a risk to human health and the environmentResult 4: Tablenote 4
(Baseline 94% in 2018-19)Result 4: Tablenote 5
At least 80% March 31, 2021 2016-17: N/AResult 4: Tablenote 6
2017-18: N/AResult 4: Tablenote 6
2018-19: N/AResult 4: Tablenote 7

Tablenotes

Tablenote 1

The target is aspirational. Managing risks to human health from substances is complex, as it often includes research, consultations with stakeholders and analyzing socio-economic impacts. As a result, delays in the development of the proposed and final risk management actions may occur. The Program will continue to streamline processes and look for further efficiencies in order to continuously strive towards the target of 100%.

Return to tablenote 1 referrer

Tablenote 2

In 2018-19, this indicator was revised to focus exclusively on substances found to be a risk to human health. The historical result also includes actions taken by Environment and Climate Change Canada on substances found to be a risk to the environment.

Return to tablenote 2 referrer

Tablenote 3

12% of risk management actions were delayed because of scientific complexity. The 3 actions have since been completed.

Return to tablenote 3 referrer

Tablenote 4

This indicator measures the timeliness of risk management actions taken to protect Canadians from pesticides found to be a risk to human health and the environment and reports on the implementation of re-evaluation decisions within prescribed timelines.

Return to tablenote 4 referrer

Tablenote 5

For fiscal year 2018-19, 94% of re-evaluation decisions prescribed risk management actions that must be taken by registrants within the policy timelines (24 months for amendments and up to 3 years for phase outs based on a full cancellation decision, where risk concerns are not considered serious or imminent). This is a partial result as any actions resulting under the Policy on Cancellations and Amendments Following Re-evaluation and Special Review have not yet come due.

Return to tablenote 5 referrer

Tablenote 6

Health Canada will gather data to report on the target by March 31, 2020.

Return to tablenote 6 referrer

Tablenote 7

This indicator was first implemented on April 1, 2018. Data is expected to be available in the next Departmental Results Reporting period for 2019-20 (fall 2020).

Return to tablenote 7 referrer

Departmental Result 5: Canadians make healthy choices
Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target Actual Results
Percentage of Canadians (aged 15+) who have used any tobacco productResult 5: Tablenote 1 in the past 30 days
(Baseline 17.4% in 2015-16)Result 5: Tablenote 3
Less than 5%Result 5: Tablenote 2 March 31, 2035Result 5: Tablenote 2 2016-17: 15.5%Result 5: Tablenote 4
2017-18: 15.5%Result 5: Tablenote 4
2018-19: 17.8%Result 5: Tablenote 5
Percentage of Canadians (aged 15-24) who have used cannabis in the last 12 months
[Baseline 25.5% in 2016-17Result 5: Tablenote 4 (17.5% of Canadians aged 15-17 and 28.4% of Canadians aged 18-24)]
To be established by August 31, 2020 To be established by August 31, 2020 2016-17: 25.5%Result 5: Tablenote 4
(17.5% of Canadians aged 15-17 and 28.4% of Canadians aged 18-24)
2017-18: 25.5%Result 5: Tablenote 4
(17.5% of Canadians aged 15-17 and 28.4% of Canadians aged 18-24)
2018-19: 26.9%Result 5: Tablenote 5
(14.2% of Canadians aged 15-17 and 31.4% of Canadians aged 18-24)
Percentage of Canadians who use dietary guidance provided by Health CanadaResult 5: Tablenote 7
(Baseline 41% in 2012)Result 5: Tablenote 6
At least 50% March 31, 2021 2016-17: 41%Result 5: Tablenote 6
2017-18: 47%Result 5: Tablenote 7
2018-19: 47%Result 5: Tablenote 7

Tablenotes

Tablenote 1

For the purposes of the Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey (CTADS) and this indicator, a tobacco product includes cigarettes, cigars, little cigars or cigarillos, smokeless tobacco, a pipe or waterpipe with tobacco.

Return to tablenote 1 referrer

Tablenote 2

Tobacco use rates are expected to decline slowly over time, as we continue working towards achieving the Government's commitment of no more than 5% tobacco use by 2035. Achieving this goal will require a long term approach that continues to take action to save the lives of Canadians, while remaining flexible to adapt to emerging scientific evidence on new products.

Return to tablenote 2 referrer

Tablenote 3

Source: CTADS 2013 (data collected between February and December 2013). CTADS is conducted biennially.

Return to tablenote 3 referrer

Tablenote 4

Source: CTADS 2015 (data collected between February and December 2015).

Return to tablenote 4 referrer

Tablenote 5

Source: CTADS 2017 (data collected between February and December 2017).

Return to tablenote 5 referrer

Tablenote 6

Source: Statistics Canada - Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), 2012 (data collected between January and December 2012). The exact result is 40.7%.

Return to tablenote 6 referrer

Tablenote 7

Source: Statistics Canada - CCHS, 2016 (data collected between January and December 2016). The exact result is 46.5% not 56.6% as previously reported which was an administrator error. As such the target was revised from 60% to 50%. This module of the CCHS is conducted every four years. The next survey will be conducted in 2020 with results expected in 2021 at which time the Department hopes to meet or exceed the target of 50% which was established in 2018-19 based on the 2016 result.

Return to tablenote 7 referrer

Planned budgetary financial resources (dollars) for Core Responsibility 2: Health Protection and Promotion
2020-21
budgetary spending (as indicated in Main Estimates)
2020-21
Planned spending
2021-22
Planned spending
2022-23
Planned spending
635,964,234 635,964,234 579,192,259 464,227,560
Note: The decrease in planned spending is mainly due to the expiry of budgetary authorities in 2020-21 related to Chemicals Management Plan and in 2021-22 for the Federal Framework to Legalize and Regulate Cannabis. The Department would have to request funding for these initiatives for future years.
Planned Human resources (full-time equivalents) for Core Responsibility 2: Health Protection and Promotion
2020-21
Planned full-time equivalents
2021-22
Planned full-time equivalents
2022-23
Planned full-time equivalents
5,898 5,667 4,848
Note: The decrease in planned FTEs is mainly due to the expiry of budgetary authorities in 2020-21 related to Chemicals Management Plan and in 2021-22 for the Federal Framework to Legalize and Regulate Cannabis. The Department would have to request funding for these initiatives for future years.

Financial, human resources and performance information for Health Canada's Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Internal Services

Internal Services Description

Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of Programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct services that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department.

The 10 service categories are: Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Management Services; Materiel Management Services; and Acquisition Management Services.

Internal Services Plans

Did you know?

In 2019, Health Canada was recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (for the 5th year running), one of Canada's Top Employers of Young People (for the 9th year running), and as one of the National Capital Region's Top Employers. The Department takes great pride in earning these distinctions on a consistent basis.

Health Canada's greatest strength is an engaged, empowered and well-equipped workforce with employees that have the competencies (including science and regulatory skill sets), tools and opportunities to succeed in the pursuit of excellence in program and service delivery.

As part of the road ahead in the Twenty-Sixth Annual Report to the Prime Minister on the Public Service of Canada, the Clerk noted that our collective hard work on diversity and inclusion, mental health, and harassment - as well as our experimentation with new ideas - has given momentum to renewal. Public Service renewal will make our organisation more agile, inclusive, and better equipped.

The Department is shaping improvements around these key renewal focus areas in 2020-21:

Becoming more agile in delivering results

Health Canada will support the government-wide goal of Public Service renewal through initiatives that foster a more inclusive, agile and equipped workforce that continues to serve Canadians. The Department will use a variety of internal communications tools and platforms to engage employees on governmental and organizational priorities and to support workplace well-being.

Health Canada will showcase data experiments through the implementation of the Departmental Data Strategy. This strategy will enable the department to use its data as an asset that enables improved program and service design and delivery and supports Health Canada's digital transformation.

Guided by the Ombudsman, Integrity and Resolution Office Strategic Plan 2017-20, the Department will continue to build a path towards a workplace culture of resolution anchored in values and ethics where employees can raise concerns and seek the help they need through informal approaches without fear of reprisal. Health Canada will develop a strategy to equip employees, managers and executives with a collaborative approach to managing conflict. Most importantly, the Department will continue to promote the benefits of a values-driven organization at all levels, with the emphasis of evidence-based decisions guided by ethics, fairness and conflict competence.

Becoming a more inclusive workforce

Health Canada will continue its focus on supporting its employees and achieving its departmental results in the most effective and efficient manner possible. The 2020-21 plan focuses on attracting and retaining a high performing, inclusive, bilingual and agile workforce within a healthy and accessible workplace. To achieve this goal, the Department will:

Becoming better equipped for excellence

Health Canada's plan for 2020-21 includes modernizing the workplace to enable a safe and productive workforce with access to up-to-date tools and facilities. The Department will improve workplace safety and productivity through several initiatives, such as:

In addition to the three renewal focus areas above, Health Canada is also shaping improvements in 2020-21 around:

Financial Management Services
The Department will develop a financial systems strategy and roadmap in order to migrate to an updated departmental financial and materiel system (the SAP S/4HANA version) by 2025. Health Canada will also take measures to enhance the departmental response to fraud risk by establishing a Fraud Risk Analysis Unit. One specific measure being considered is the consolidation of multiple Quality Assurance Frameworks already in place. This work will help ensure that the Department is leveraging modern technology tools to support business requirements.
Communication Services

In 2020-21, Health Canada will continue to provide Canadians with timely and relevant information they need to take action on their health and safety. This will be accomplished through an array of digital and traditional communication methods. For example, Health Canada will provide communications in response to the Government of Canada priority of improving Canadians' access to prescription medications.

The Department will continue to deliver evidence-based and innovative public awareness campaigns and will work with provinces, territories and stakeholders to inform Canadians about priority topics such as opioids, tobacco, vaping, cannabis and other controlled substances, healthy eating, food safety, and environmental health.

Planned budgetary financial resources (dollars) for Internal Services
2020-21
Budgetary spending (as indicated in Main Estimates)
2020-21
Planned spending
2021-22
Planned spending
2022-23
Planned spending
314,510,185 314,510,185 316,018,192 305,272,108
Note: The decrease in planned spending is mainly due to the expiry of budgetary spending authorities in 2021-22 for the Implementation of the new Federal Framework to Legalize and Regulate Cannabis. The Department would have to request funding for this initiative for future years.
Planned Human resources (full-time equivalents) for Internal Services
2020-21
Planned full-time equivalents
2021-22
Planned full-time equivalents
2022-23
Planned full-time equivalents
1,757 1,723 1,635
Note: The decrease in planned FTEs is mainly due to the expiry of budgetary authorities in 2020-21 related to Chemicals Management Plan and in 2021-22 for the Federal Framework to Legalize and Regulate Cannabis. The Department would have to request funding for these initiatives for future years.

Experimentation and GBA+

Experimentation

Innovation and experimentation are critical to Health Canada's ability to meet its mandate in the face of rapidly evolving science, new trends in the marketplace, and the changing demands and expectations of Canadians.

Among several activities planned for 2020-21, the Department will continue to invest in employee-led innovation and experimentation through its Solutions Fund, in support of the Directive on Experimentation from the Treasury Board Secretariat. The aim of the Fund is to improve service to Canadians, improve departmental operations and functionality, and deliver greater value to taxpayers. Health Canada will also continue to build employee capacity for experimentation and innovation through activities and initiatives as outlined in the Department's Beyond2020 plan.

Other examples of experimentation initiatives that will continue in 2020-21 include:

Did you know?

Health Canada launched the Drug Checking Technology Challenge in 2018. The challenge is designed to improve drug checking technology to allow the community of people who use drugs and those who support them to make more informed decisions based on the composition of a drug and to reduce harm. The second stage of the challenge is complete and 3 finalists have been chosen to move ahead to the final stage, with the grand prize winner expected in the fall of 2020.

Sex and Gender-Based Analysis Plus (SGBA+/GBA+)

Launched in 2017, Health Canada's Sex and Gender Action Plan provides a framework that strengthens the integration of sex, gender and diversity considerations (such as age and ethnicity) in externally as well as internally facing work of the Department. Note that the terms Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) and Sex and Gender-Based Analysis Plus (SGBA+) refer to the same concept. Health Canada has chosen to use SGBA+ to emphasize the fact that differences between women, men and gender-diverse individuals can be biological (sex related) and/or socio-cultural (gender related). The Department's Action Plan aims to:

Current priorities of the three-year Action Plan are to:

Each branch has identified at least one signature initiative and the Department, in collaboration with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, has established research-policy partnerships, which support researchers with both subject matter and SGBA+ expertise, to engage with departmental staff on priority Health Canada initiatives.

Key related initiatives for 2020-21 include:

Enhanced capacity building

Health Canada is developing a toolkit that applies a sex and gender lens to mental health in order to promote a better understanding on how sex, gender and diversity contribute to mental health experiences in the workplace. Based on early findings, a training session was provided to departmental staff and gender sensitive tools are being developed to help assess impacts of sex, gender and diversity on workplace mental health.

The Department offers an Employee Assistance Program that provides services to employees in many federal departments and agencies, as well as to members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, members of the Canadian Armed Forces, and veterans of these organizations. The Program applies a SGBA+ lens to its policies, procedures and services. Based on findings from research conducted in 2018-19, the following will serve as a focus for 2020-21:

  • Further explore the development and use of resources and new technologies to enhance outreach to groups who may access services at lower rates such as males, LGBTQ+ persons, Indigenous Persons, and victims of intimate partner violence;
  • Ensuring that data collection and reporting include the SGBA+ lens going forward.
Strengthened sex and gender related evidence and expertise

In order to strengthen the availability of sex and gender evidence expertise available within the organization, Health Canada will fund two new external research partnerships with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research that focus on applying an SGBA+ lens to the lifecycle management of prescription drugs and medical devices.

The Department will continue building on a research partnership with McGill University to examine systematically sex, gender, and diversity differences in consumer perceptions of health product labelling.

In addition, Health Canada will leverage the newly launched Scientific Advisory Committee on Health Products for Women to provide patient-centered, scientific, technical, medical and clinical advice on current and emerging issues regarding women's health and the regulation of medical devices and drugs.

Did you know?

In 2018-19, Health Canada launched an initiative in the area of home care to develop an evidence-based technology assessment framework that explicitly addresses sex, gender and diversity considerations for digital technology to support informal caregivers. The results suggest significant differences in technology preferences between male and female respondents.

In 2020-21, these results will be disseminated to stakeholders in the field and will be used by Health Canada to inform the development sex, gender and diversity sensitive policies.

Addressing health inequities

In 2020-21, Health Canada is moving forward on several SGBA+ initiatives that have a specific focus on creating a more equitable landscape for health products and food in Canada. Some of these initiatives include:

  • Launching a robust regulatory innovation agenda aimed at facilitating the entry of novel health products, many of which can be customized to the needs of specific sub-populations, such as children, those with rare diseases, and/or Canadians in remote and rural areas.
  • Optimizing the way the Department uses real world evidence across the product life cycle to improve access to health products, particularly those intended for populations which are traditionally under-represented in clinical trials.
  • Continuing to examine how intersecting identity factors and needs inform the development of tools and resources for the Canada Food Guide.
  • Launching a new Nutrition Science Advisory Committee, which among several areas of focus, will provide advice to Health Canada on nutrition issues related to vulnerable groups with a particular attention on health inequities.

Spending and human resources

This section provides an overview of the department's planned spending and human resources for the next three consecutive fiscal years, and compares planned spending for the upcoming year with the current and previous years' actual spending.

Planned spending

Departmental spending 2017-18 to 2022-23

The following graph presents planned (voted and statutory) spending over time.
Departmental spending 2017-18 to 2022-23
Departmental spending 2017-18 to 2022-23 - Text description

The figure illustrates Health Canada's spending trend from fiscal year 2017-18 to fiscal year 2022-23 where spending, in millions of dollars, is shown on the vertical axis and time period, in fiscal years, is shown on the horizontal axis.

Health Canada's actual spending for fiscal year 2017-18: $3,491 million (Voted: $3,274 million, Statutory: $217 million); 2018-19: $2,370 million (Voted: $2,179 million, Statutory: $191 million).

Health Canada's forecast spending for fiscal year 2019-20: $2,674 million (Voted: $2,513 million, Statutory: $161 million).

Health Canada's planned spending for fiscal year 2020-21: $2,728 million (Voted: $2,565 million, Statutory: $163 million); 2021-22: $2,874 million (Voted: $2,714 million, Statutory: $160 million); 2022-23: $2,322 million (Voted: $2,174 million, Statutory: $148 million).

Budgetary planning summary for Core Responsibilities and Internal Services (dollars)

The following table shows actual, forecast and planned spending for each of Health Canada's core responsibilities and to Internal Services for the years relevant to the current planning year.

Core Responsibilities and Internal Services 2017-18
expendituresFootnote 1 *
2018-19
expenditures
2019-20
forecast spending
2020-21
budgetary spending (as indicated in Main Estimates)
2020-21
planned spending
2021-22
planned spending
2022-23
planned spending
Core Responsibility 1: Health Care Systems N/A 1,289,851,245 1,609,393,663 1,777,284,741 1,777,284,741 1,978,657,709 1,552,348,195
Core Responsibility 2: Health Protection and Promotion N/A 726,841,710 688,454,156 635,964,234 635,964,234 579,192,259 464,227,560
Subtotal - 2,016,692,955 2,297,847,819 2,413,248,975 2,413,248,975 2,557,849,968 2,016,575,755
Internal Services N/A 353,056,297 376,056,380 314,510,185 314,510,185 316,018,192 305,272,108
Total 3,491,052,712 2,369,749,252 2,673,904,199 2,727,759,160 2,727,759,160 2,873,868,160 2,321,847,863

Tablenotes

Tablenote 1 *

The 2017-18 expenditures are not displayed due to a change in the approved reporting structure from the Program Alignment Architecture to the recently approved Departmental Results Framework.

Note: The 2017-18 to 2019-20 fiscal years total expenditures and forecast spending include all Parliamentary appropriation sources: Main Estimates, Supplementary Estimates, and funding from various Treasury Board votes. For the 2020-21 to 2022-23 fiscal years, total planned spending does not include funding through Supplementary Estimates and carry forward adjustments.

The expenditures in 2018-19 decrease compared to prior fiscal year as it reflects the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch not being part of the Department for the entire year due to its transfer to the Department of Indigenous Services Canada, effective November 30, 2017, as per the Order in Council P.C. 2017-1465.

The planned spending increases starting in 2019-20 are mainly due to a funding level increases for Strengthening Canada's Home and Community Care and Mental Health and Addiction Services Initiative; Canadian Institute for Health Information; Implementing a new Federal Framework for Legalization and Regulation of Cannabis, as well as improving the accessibility, affordability and appropriate use of prescription drugs and medical devices.

The planned spending decreases in 2022-23 are mainly due to funding level decreases for Strengthening Canada's Home and Community Care and Mental Health and Addiction Services Initiative, and the expiry of budgetary authorities in 2021-22 for Canada Health Infoway, and implementing a new Federal Framework for Legalization and Regulation of Cannabis. The Department would have to request funding for these initiatives for future years.

Return to tablenote * referrer

Planned human resources

The following table shows actual, forecast and planned full-time equivalents (FTEs) for each core responsibility in Health Canada's departmental results framework and to Internal Services for the years relevant to the current planning year.

Human resources planning summary for Core Responsibilities and Internal Services
Core Responsibilities and Internal Services 2017-18tablenote 2 *
actual FTEs
2018-19
actual FTEs
2019-20
forecast FTEs
2020-21
planned FTEs
2021-22
planned FTEs
2022-23
planned FTEs
Core Responsibility 1: Health Care Systems N/A 210 291 290 290 290
Core Responsibility 2: Health Protection and Promotion N/A 5,193 5,914 5,898 5,667 4,848
Subtotal - 5,403 6,205 6,188 5,957 5,138
Internal Services N/A 2,268 1,727 1,757 1,722 1,636
Total 8,218 7,671 7,932 7,945 7,679 6,774

Tablenotes

Tablenote 2 *

The 2017-18 actual full-time equivalents are not displayed due to a change in the approved reporting structure from the Program Alignment Architecture to the recently approved Departmental Results Framework.

Note: The 2017-18 and 2018-19 fiscal years full-time equivalents (FTEs) are based on actual expenditures on personnel. The 2019-20 fiscal year is based on total authorities from all Parliamentary appropriation sources: Main Estimates and Supplementary Estimates. For the 2020-21 to 2022-23 fiscal years, total FTEs do not include FTEs funded through Supplementary Estimates and carry forward adjustments. The calculation of the planned FTE figures is based on programs using their full revenue authority.

The actual FTEs in 2018-19 decrease compared to prior fiscal year as it reflects the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch not being part of the Department for the entire year due to its transfer to the Department of Indigenous Services Canada, effective November 30, 2017, as per the Order in Council P.C. 2017-1465.

The increase in forecasted FTEs starting in 2019-20 is mainly due to additional FTEs for the Implementation of the new Federal Framework to Legalize and Regulate Cannabis, and improving the accessibility, affordability and appropriate use of prescription drugs and medical devices.

The decrease in planned FTEs is mainly due to the expiry of budgetary authorities in 2020-21 related to Chemicals Management Plan and in 2021-22 for the Federal Framework to Legalize and Regulate Cannabis. The Department would have to request funding for these initiatives for future years.

Return to tablenote 2 * referrer

Estimates by vote

Information on the Health Canada's organizational appropriations is available in the 2020-21 Main Estimates.Endnote ii

Condensed future-oriented statement of operations

The condensed future-oriented statement of operations provides an overview of the Health Canada's operations for 2019-20 to 2020-21.

The amounts for forecast and planned results in this statement of operations were prepared on an accrual basis. The amounts for forecast and planned spending presented in other sections of the Departmental Plan were prepared on an expenditure basis. Amounts may therefore differ.

A more detailed future oriented statement of operations and associated notes, including a reconciliation of the net cost of operations to the requested authorities, are available on Health Canada's website.

Condensed future oriented statement of operations for the year ending March 31, 2021 (dollars)
Financial information 2019-20
forecast results
2020-21
planned results
Difference
(2020-21 planned results minus 2019-20 forecast results)
Total expenses 2,971,660,854 3,040,946,099 69,285,245
Total revenues 262,821,610 271,342,516 8,520,906
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 2,708,839,244 2,769,603,583 60,764,339

Health Canada is projecting $3,040.9 million in expenses based on 2020-21 Main Estimates and accrual information. This amount does not include future supplementary estimates. It represents an increase of $69.3 million from 2019-20 forecast results.

This increase is primarily attributable to:

These increases are partially offset by the following decreases:

The 2020-21 planned expenses by core responsibility are as follows:

Health Canada receives most of its funding through annual Parliamentary appropriations. Health Canada's revenue is generated by programs that support the above-noted core responsibilities. Health Canada projects total revenues in 2020-21 to be $271.3 million, representing an increase of $8.5 million from 2019-20 projections. Health Canada is requesting an increase of $5.7 million to its vote-netted revenue authority related to internal support services starting in 2020-21, because revenues are increasing in the existing vote-netted authority from other fee regimes.

The 2020-21 main sources of revenues by type are as follows:

Corporate information

Organizational profile

Appropriate Minister: The Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.

Ministerial portfolio: Health

Enabling instrument[s]: Assisted Human Reproduction Act, Canada Health ActEndnote iii, Canada Consumer Product Safety ActEndnote iv, Cannabis ActEndnote v, Controlled Drugs and Substances ActEndnote vi, Department of Health ActEndnote vii, Food and Drugs ActEndnote viii, Hazardous Materials Information Review ActEndnote ix, Hazardous Products ActEndnote x, Pest Control Products ActEndnote xi, Radiation Emitting Devices ActEndnote xii, Tobacco and Vaping Products ActEndnote xiii.

List of Acts and RegulationsEndnote xiv

Year of incorporation/commencement: 1913

Raison d'être, mandate and role

Raison d'être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do is available on the Health Canada website.

For more information on the department's organizational mandate letter commitments, see the "Minister's mandate letter".

Operating context

Information on the operating context is available on the Health Canada website.

Reporting framework

Health Canada's approved Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory for 2020-21 are as follows.
Health Canada's approved Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory for 2020-21
Health Canada's approved Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory for 2020-21 - Text description

Legend:

  • R: Result
  • I: Indicator

Departmental Results Framework

Core Responsibility 1

Health Care Systems

R1: Canada has modern and sustainable health care systems

I1: National health expenditure as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product

I2: Real per capita health expenditure

I3: Drug spending as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product

I4: Percentage of family physicians using electronic medical records

R2: Canadians have access to appropriate and effective health services

I5: Percentage of Canadians (aged 15+) with a mental disorder who have expressed that they have an unmet mental health care need

I6: Percentage of Canadians (aged 15+) who have expressed that they have an unmet need for access to home care services

I7: Percentage of Canada Health Act compliance issues addressed within 24 months of identification

I8: Percentage of Canadians who did not fill a prescription for medicine because of the cost

Program Inventory under core responsibility one (from one -16) as follow:

  1. Health Care Systems Analysis and Policy
  2. Access, Affordability, and Appropriate Use of Drugs and Medical Devices
  3. Home, Community and Palliative Care
  4. Mental Health
  5. Substance Use and Addictions
  6. Digital Health
  7. Health Information
  8. Canada Health Act
  9. Medical Assistance in Dying
  10. Cancer Control
  11. Patient Safety
  12. Organs, Tissue and Blood
  13. Promoting Minority Official Languages in the Health Care Systems
  14. Brain Research
  15. Thalidomide
  16. The Territorial Health Investment Fund (THIF)

Core Responsibility 2

Health Protection and Promotion

R3: Canadians have access to safe, effective and quality health products

I9: Percentage of new drug decisions issued within service standards

I10: Percentage of Risk Management Plan reviews for new drug decisions completed within service standards

I11: Percentage of drug companies deemed to be compliant with manufacturing requirements under the Food and Drugs Act and associated regulations

R4: Canadians are protected from unsafe consumer and commercial products and substances

I12: Percentage of consumer product recalls communicated to Canadians in a timely manner

I13: Percentage of actions taken in a timely manner to protect the health of Canadians from substances found to be a risk to human health

I14: Percentage of actions taken in a timely manner to protect the health of Canadians from pesticides found to be a risk to human health and the environment

R5: Canadians make healthy choices

I15: Percentage of Canadians (aged 15+) who have used any tobacco product in the past 30 days

I16: Percentage of Canadians (aged 15-24) who have used cannabis in the last 12 months

I17: Percentage of Canadians who use dietary guidance provided by Health Canada

Program Inventory under core responsibility two (from 17-33) as follow:

  1. 17. Pharmaceutical Drugs
  2. 18. Biologics and Radiopharmaceutical Drugs
  3. 19. Medical Devices
  4. 20. Natural Health Products
  5. 21. Food and Nutrition
  6. 22. Air Quality
  7. 23. Climate Change
  8. 24. Water Quality
  9. 25. Health Impacts of Chemicals
  10. 26. Consumer Product Safety
  11. 27. Workplace Hazardous Products
  12. 28. Tobacco Control
  13. 29. Controlled Substances
  14. 30. Cannabis
  15. 31. Radiation Protection
  16. 32. Pesticides
  17. 33. Specialized Health Services and Internationally Protected Persons Program

Internal Services

Changes to the approved reporting framework since 2019-20

The title of "Blood Systems, Organs, Tissue and Transplant" was changed to "Organs, Tissues and Blood" to improve clarity and accuracy in both official languages, and comply with the Treasury Board Secretariat recommendation to merge the Terms and Conditions for two Canadian Blood Services contribution programs (Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation and Blood Research and Development). The corresponding program description, results and indicators have been updated to more accurately reflect the nature of the program and revised title.

Structure 2020-21 2019-20 Change Rationale for change
Core Responsibility 1 Health Care Systems Health Care Systems No change Not applicable
Program Health Care Systems Analysis and Policy Health Care Systems Analysis and Policy No change Not applicable
Program Access, Affordability, and Appropriate Use of Drugs and Medical Devices Access, Affordability, and Appropriate Use of Drugs and Medical Devices No change Not applicable
Program Home, Community and Palliative Care Home, Community and Palliative Care No change Not applicable
Program Mental Health Mental Health No change Not applicable
Program Substance Use and Addictions Substance Use and Addictions No change Not applicable
Program Digital Health Digital Health No change Not applicable
Program Health Information Health Information No change Not applicable
Program Canada Health Act Canada Health Act No change Not applicable
Program Medical Assistance in Dying Medical Assistance in Dying No change Not applicable
Program Cancer Control Cancer Control No change Not applicable
Program Patient Safety Patient Safety No change Not applicable
Program Organs, Tissues and Blood Blood Systems, Organs, Tissue and Transplantation Title change Title modified to accurately capture the evolution of the Program
Program Promoting Minority Official Languages in the Health Care Systems Promoting Minority Official Languages in the Health Care Systems No change Not applicable
Program Brain Research Brain Research No change Not applicable
Program Thalidomide Thalidomide No change Not applicable
Program The Territorial Health Investment Fund The Territorial Health Investment Fund No change Not applicable
Core Responsibility 2 Health Protection and Promotion Health Protection and Promotion No change Not applicable
Program Pharmaceutical Products Pharmaceutical Products No change Not applicable
Program Biologics and Radiopharmaceutical Drugs Biologics and Radiopharmaceutical Drugs No change Not applicable
Program Medical Devices Medical Devices No change Not applicable
Program Natural Health Products Natural Health Products No change Not applicable
Program Food and Nutrition Food and Nutrition No change Not applicable
Program Air Quality Air Quality No change Not applicable
Program Climate Change Climate Change No change Not applicable
Program Water Quality Water Quality No change Not applicable
Program Health Impacts of Chemicals Health Impacts of Chemicals No change Not applicable
Program Consumer Product Safety Consumer Product Safety No change Not applicable
Program Workplace Hazardous Products Workplace Hazardous Products No change Not applicable
Program Tobacco Control Tobacco Control No change Not applicable
Program Controlled Substances Controlled Substances No change Not applicable
Program Cannabis Cannabis No change Not applicable
Program Radiation Protection Radiation Protection No change Not applicable
Program Pesticides Pesticides No change Not applicable
Program Specialized Health Services and Internationally Protected Persons Specialized Health Services and Internationally Protected Persons No change Not applicable

Supporting information on the Program Inventory

Supporting information on planned expenditures, human resources, and results related to the Health Canada's Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.Endnote xv

Supplementary information tables

The following supplementary information tables are available on Health Canada's website:

Federal tax expenditures

Health Canada's Departmental Plan does not include information on tax expenditures that relate to its planned results for 2020-21.

Tax expenditures are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance, and the Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for government­-wide tax expenditures each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures.Endnote xvi This report provides detailed information on tax expenditures, including objectives, historical background and references to related federal spending programs, as well as evaluations, research papers and gender-based analysis. The tax measures presented in this report are solely the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Organizational contact information

Edward de Sousa
Director General, Health Canada
Director General's Office
200 Eglantine Driveway, Tunney's Pasture
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0K9
Telephone : 613-948-6358
Fax: 613-946-0807
edward.desousa@canada.ca
Health Canada website

Appendix: Definitions

appropriation
Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
budgetary expenditures
Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.
Core Responsibility
An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a Core Responsibility are reflected in one or more related Departmental Results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.
Departmental Plan
A report on the plans and expected performance of an appropriated department over a three-year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.
departmental priority
A plan or project that a department has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Departmental priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired departmental results.
Departmental Result
Any change that the department seeks to influence. A Departmental Result is often outside departments' immediate control, but it should be influenced by Program-level outcomes.
Departmental Result Indicator
A factor or variable that provides a valid and reliable means to measure or describe progress on a Departmental Result.
Departmental Results Framework
A framework that consists of the department's core responsibilities, departmental results and departmental result indicators.
Departmental Results Report
A report on the actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.
experimentation
The conducting of activities that seek to first explore, then test and compare, the effects and impacts of policies and interventions in order to inform evidence-based decision-making, and improve outcomes for Canadians, by learning what works and what doesn't. Experimentation is related to, but distinct form innovation (the trying of new things), because it involves a rigorous comparison of results. For example, using a new website to communicate with Canadians can be an innovation; systematically testing the new website against existing outreach tools or an old website to see which one leads to more engagement, is experimentation.
full-time equivalent
A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person-year charge against a departmental budget. Full-time equivalents are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.
gender-based analysis plus (GBA+)
An analytical process used to assess how diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people experience policies, programs and services based on multiple factors including race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.
government-
wide priorities
For the purpose of the 2020-21 Departmental Plan, government-wide priorities refers to those high-level themes outlining the government's agenda in the 2015 Speech from the Throne, namely: Growth for the Middle Class; Open and Transparent Government; A Clean Environment and a Strong Economy; Diversity is Canada's Strength; and Security and Opportunity.
horizontal initiative
An initiative where two or more departments are given funding to pursue a shared outcome, often linked to a government priority.
non-budgetary expenditures
Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.
performance
What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.
performance indicator
A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.
performance reporting
The process of communicating evidence-based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.
plan
The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead up to the expected result.
planned spending

For Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, planned spending refers to those amounts presented in the Main Estimates.

A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.

Program
Individual or groups of services, activities or combinations thereof that are managed together within the department and focus on a specific set of outputs, outcomes or service levels.
Program Inventory
Identifies all of the department's programs and describes how resources are organized to contribute to the department's core responsibilities and results.
result
An external consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization's influence.
statutory expenditures
Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.
strategic outcome
A long-term and enduring benefit to Canadians that is linked to the organization's mandate, vision and core functions.
target
A measurable performance or success level that an organization, program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.
voted expenditures
Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The Vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.

Endnotes

Endnotes

Footnote i

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, https://www.canada.ca/en/treasury-board-secretariat.html

Return to endnote i referrer

Endnote ii

2020-21 Main Estimates, https://www.canada.ca/en/treasury-board-secretariat/services/planned-government-spending/government-expenditure-plan-main-estimates.html

Return to endnote ii referrer

Endnote iii

Canada Health Act http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-6/

Return to endnote iii referrer

Endnote iv

Canada Consumer Product Safety Act http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/c-1.68/

Return to endnote iv referrer

Endnote v

Cannabis Act https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-24.5/

Return to endnote v referrer

Endnote vi

Controlled Drugs and Substances Act http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/c-38.8/

Return to endnote vi referrer

Endnote vii

Department of Health Act http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/H-3.2/index.html

Return to endnote vii referrer

Endnote viii

Food and Drugs Act http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/F-27/

Return to endnote viii referrer

Endnote ix

Hazardous Materials Information Review Act http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/H-2.7/

Return to endnote ix referrer

Endnote x

Hazardous Products Act http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/H-3/index.html

Return to endnote x referrer

Endnote xi

Pest Control Products Act http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/P-9.01/

Return to endnote xi referrer

Endnote xii

Radiation Emitting Devices Act http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/R-1/

Return to endnote xii referrer

Endnote xiii

Tobacco and Vaping Products Act http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/T-11.5/

Return to endnote xiii referrer

Endnote xiv

List of Acts, http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/legislation/acts-reg-lois/acts-reg-lois-eng.php

Return to endnote xiv referrer

Endnote xv

GC InfoBase, https://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/ems-sgd/edb-bdd/index-eng.html

Return to endnote xv referrer

Endnote xvi

Report on Federal Tax Expenditures, http://www.fin.gc.ca/purl/taxexp-eng.asp

Return to endnote xvi referrer

Footnote 1

For more detailed information on these grants and contributions, please refer to the Supplementary Information Tables "Details on transfer payment programs"

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

The Government of Canada recognizes First Nations, the Métis Nation, and Inuit as the Indigenous Peoples of Canada, consisting of distinct, rights-bearing communities with their own histories, including with the Crown. The work of forming renewed relationships based on the recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership must reflect the unique interests, priorities and circumstances of each People. Health care policy development needs to recognize these distinctions.

Return to footnote 2 referrer

Footnote 3

For more detailed information on these grants and contributions, please refer to the Supplementary Information Table "Details on transfer payment programs"

Return to footnote 3 referrer

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: