Government of Canada Releases Pan-Canadian Framework on Antimicrobial Resistance

News Release

Coordinating action to address a global health threat

September 5, 2017  -  Ottawa, Ontario  -  Government of Canada

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the most serious global health threats facing the world today. Existing antibiotics are becoming less effective at treating infections and the development of new drugs is not keeping pace. Unless action is taken, even common infections could become life-threatening and estimates indicate that by 2050, annual worldwide human deaths attributable to AMR could reach 10 million.

To combat this outlook, Canada is tackling AMR with a concerted and coordinated effort from all levels of government and across sectors, including public health, healthcare, animal health, agriculture, industry and academia.

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, and the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, today released Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance and Antimicrobial Use: A Pan-Canadian Framework for Action. The Pan-Canadian Framework was developed jointly with provinces and territories and other key partners in the human and animal health sectors to guide collective action in tackling AMR in Canada. The Framework identifies opportunities for action and desired outcomes under four pillars: surveillance, stewardship, infection prevention and control, and research and innovation. A Pan-Canadian Action Plan will be developed to define specific commitments, measurable outcomes, and timeframes to put the Framework into use.

The Pan-Canadian Framework builds on existing provincial, territorial and external stakeholder efforts on AMR. It also complements the Federal Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance and Use in Canada, released in March 2015, which laid out the concrete actions the Government of Canada is taking to address AMR.


“Antimicrobial resistance is a serious global health threat that cannot be overlooked. Our Government is committed to taking action to mitigate the impact of antimicrobial resistance on Canadians. We are enhancing surveillance; promoting good infection prevention and control practices; promoting the responsible use of antimicrobials; and supporting research and innovation for new prevention and treatment products.”

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health

“The prudent use of antimicrobials is an important issue involving not only human health, but the health of animals, food safety, environment and the economy. Agriculture must play an important role in containing the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance. Our government continues to work closely with its partners to improve practices relating to antimicrobial resistance.”

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Quick Facts

  • The leading cause of increased AMR is the overuse or inappropriate use of antibiotics for preventing or treating infections in people and animals. Examples include:

    • giving antibiotics to people and animals when they are not needed;
    • taking antibiotics in ways other than how they are prescribed; and
    • self-medicating or antibiotic sharing.
  • On May 17, 2017, Health Canada announced several changes to the Food and Drug Regulations to better protect Canadians against the risk of AMR. These new measures strengthen rules to control access to veterinary antimicrobial drugs in an effort to promote their prudent use in food-producing animals.

  • On May 24, 2017, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research announced $1.39 million in funding to support five research teams whose work will advance innovations in point-of-care diagnostics, with the goal of implementing the best diagnostic tools in health care settings and the right use of antibiotics.

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) encourages the increased adoption of animal health practices that ultimately reduce the use of antimicrobials in animal production. In addition, AAFC continues to support research to improve animal production practices, disease prevention and treatment and the development of vaccines. This research will help contribute to reducing the requirements for antimicrobials in the animal production industry.

Associated Links


Yves-Alexandre Comeau
Office of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

Guy Gallant
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

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