The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) was created in 2004 in response to growing concerns about the capacity of Canada's public health system to anticipate and respond effectively to public health threats. PHAC's creation was the result of wide consultation with the provinces, territories, stakeholders and Canadians. (The Federal Strategy)

The Agency's creation also followed recommendations from leading public health experts ― including Dr. David Naylor's report, Learning from SARS: Renewal of Public Health in Canada, as well as other Canadian and international reports ― for clear federal leadership on issues concerning public health and improved collaboration within and between jurisdictions.

PHAC became one of six departments and agencies that make up the Government of Canada's Health Portfolio, led by Canada's first Chief Public Health Officer.

The Agency and the Chief Public Health Officer provide a clear focal point for federal leadership and accountability in managing public health emergencies.

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