The WHMIS Current Issues Committee (CIC) Terms of Reference

The Hazardous Products Act (HPA), which is administered by Health Canada, stipulates that the Minister of Health consult with provincial and territorial governments and with organizations representative of workers, employers and suppliers prior to making modifications to the federal Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) legislation and regulations. The WHMIS Current Issues Committee (CIC) enables Health Canada, in part, to meet this legislative requirement.


The CIC serves as the forum for consultation on matters concerning the interpretation or modification of WHMIS.  The Committee facilitates information and knowledge-sharing between government regulators and affected stakeholders in order to improve coordination and collaboration in achieving compliance with WHMIS.


The CIC will be chaired by a representative of the Workplace Hazardous Materials Bureau in Health Canada.  The Chair will lead and facilitate Committee deliberations and represent the collective voice of the Committee when required.


CIC members will consult with and represent their respective organizations to provide their stakeholders' views on matters pertaining to WHMIS.

Members (or their alternates) will:

  • Work cooperatively towards the common mandate;
  • Attend CIC meetings - membership on the Committee may be revoked at the discretion of the Chair if neither a member nor alternate attend without suitable explanation on three consecutive occasions;
  • Provide input and advice on WHMIS matters;
  • Identify and address emerging and significant issues in occupational safety and health related to WHMIS;
  • Take the lead on designated projects and action items;
  • Provide timely comments and inputs to proposed documents; and
  • Report on Committee outcomes to their respective senior officials.

In addition to the above, Health Canada will:

  • Provide updates on developments related to WHMIS resulting from international engagements.


Membership of the CIC will consist of the Committee Chair and members representing core WHMIS stakeholders which include:

  • The Workplace Hazardous Materials Directorate in Health Canada;
  • The provincial and territorial occupational safety and health agencies;
  • The Labour Program in Employment and Social Development Canada;
  • The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety;
  • Organizations representing workers (organized labour);
  • Organizations representing employers; and
  • Organizations representing suppliers.

Each jurisdiction or organization will choose its representative and alternate on the Committee.  Appendix A provides a list of jurisdictions and organizations represented on the CIC as of the effective date of this Terms of Reference document.

Parties interested in joining the Committee may apply to the Chair for inclusion.  In making his/her determination on membership, the Chair will consider:

  • Whether the applicant organization is or represents a party regulated under WHMIS;
  • The profile of the organization, including which and how many WHMIS stakeholders are represented;
  • Whether these stakeholders are already represented on the Committee;
  • Whether the organization is national in its vision and reach;
  • Whether the organization's proposed representative has expertise, experience or other professional credential relevant to the Committee's work; and
  • The opinion of current CIC members.

Environment Canada will observe CIC meetings, supporting and/or providing ideas and insights for consideration by Committee members.

The Chair may invite an individual with particular expertise or experience to observe a CIC meeting and/or attend a meeting to provide input on an agenda item or to answer specific questions from CIC members.  Presenters and observers may not participate in discussions at CIC meetings unless invited to do so by the Chair.

Meeting Frequency

The CIC will generally hold meetings via teleconference.  While meetings may be held on an as needed basis, it is expected that meetings will occur at least once a quarter.  A face-to-face meeting will generally be held at least once a year.


Items for meeting agendas will be determined by the Chair, with input from CIC members.  The Secretariat will provide the agenda, along with supporting materials, to CIC members by email at least five working days prior to the meeting.

Development and Documentation of Recommendations

On agenda items related to the Hazardous Products Act or other matters within its purview, CIC members will develop shared recommendations to decision-makers based on consensus where possible. The meeting summary will record whether consensus was reached.  Where consensus is not possible, the different views of CIC members will be reflected in the meeting summary and in communications with decision-makers as appropriate.


The Secretariat will reside at the Workplace Hazardous Materials Directorate in Health Canada to administer and facilitate the work of the CIC. The Secretariat functions will include:

  1. The provision of advice and support for the substantive and administrative functions of the Committee, including translations, scheduling meetings, coordinating and electronically distributing meeting agendas and materials;
  2. In a timely fashion, the preparation of a summary of meeting discussions and the distribution of the summary for review and comments by CIC members; and
  3. Research and analytical support to the Chair to ensure his/her capacity to perform due diligence when considering applicant members to the Committee.

Review of the Terms of Reference

The CIC Terms of Reference will be reviewed at least once every three years.  Any changes to the Terms of Reference will be made following consultation with CIC members.

Effective Date:  December 3, 2013
Next Review Date: December 3, 2016

Appendix A - CIC Member Jurisdictions and Organizations

  • Health Canada - Workplace Hazardous Materials Directorate
  • Occupational Health and Safety ministries, departments and agencies
    • Alberta Human Services
    • British Columbia
    • Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
    • Employment and Social Development Canada - Labour Program
    • Manitoba Human Services and Labour
    • New Brunswick - WorkSafeNB
    • Newfoundland & Labrador - Service NL
    • Northwest Territories and Nunavut - Worker's Safety & Compensation Commission
    • Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education
    • Ontario Ministry of Labour
    • Prince Edward Island Worker's Compensation Board
    • Quebec Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail
    • Saskatchewan Labour Relations and Workplace Safety
    • Yukon Worker's Compensation Health and Safety Board
  • Workers
    • Canadian Labour Congress
    • Unifor
    • Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec
    • Public Service Alliance of Canada
  • Employers
    • Canadian Construction Association
    • Canadian Electricity Association
    • Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers Association
    • Federally Regulated Employers in Transportation and Communications Organization
  • Suppliers
    • Canadian Association of Chemical Distributors
    • Chemistry Industry Association of Canada
    • Canadian Consumer Specialty Products Association
    • Canadian Fuels Association
    • Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters
    • Canadian Paint and Coatings Association
    • Compressed Gas Association (Proposed for inclusion)
    • Mining Association of Canada
  • Standing Observers
    • Environment Canada
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: