Public Health Agency of Canada Regulatory Openness and Transparency

The Government of Canada is making more data and information available to Canadians than ever before. Canadians are also being offered more opportunities to participate in discussions on government policies and priorities.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) plays an important role in protecting the health and safety of Canadians. Its activities focus on preventing chronic diseases, preventing injuries, and responding to public health emergencies and infectious disease outbreaks. PHAC's regulated parties are broad and include: scientists working with pathogens and toxins in laboratories; companies that serve water and food on passenger trains, airplanes, ferries, cruise ships and buses; and individuals and conveyance operators entering and leaving Canada.

PHAC developed this Regulatory Openness and Transparency Framework (ROTF) with a view to contribute to the protection and promotion of the health of Canadians and their confidence in the regulatory system through timely and open communications on issues important to their well-being. The ROTF is consistent with the Government of Canada's priorities related to Open GovernmentFootnote 1, helps deliver on the Government's commitments under the Cabinet Directive on Regulatory Management, and will strengthen and increase the relevance of PHAC's regulatory policies, through engagement, transparency, and accountability.

To achieve this, PHAC's regulatory programs will collaborate to identify concrete deliverables and develop by the end of fiscal year 2016-2017 an Implementation Plan. This plan will be posted on the PHAC website and PHAC will annually report on its progress.

  • Openness and Transparency will help us achieve our goal by ensuring that PHAC remains a credible voice: for Canadians on health protection and promotion issues;
  • for regulated parties in communicating a predictable regulatory regime and being authoritative in taking actions on high risk situations

The ROTF outlines concrete actions PHAC is and will be taking to improve access to timely, useful and relevant health, safety, and scientific information for Canadians, while still respecting privacy, confidentiality and security considerations.


This ROTF applies to all regulatory programs which PHAC is responsible for administering and enforcing:

  • Human Pathogens and Toxins Regulations (HPTR), under the Human Pathogen and Toxins Act (HPTA);
  • sections of the Health of Animal Regulations under the Health of Animals Act pertaining to the import of animal pathogens;
  • Potable Water on Board Trains, Vessels, Aircraft and Buses Regulations (Potable Water Regulations), under the Department of Health Act;
  • sections of the Food & Drugs Act pertaining to passenger conveyances and ancillary services; and,
  • the Quarantine Act.

Personal information collected pursuant to the legislative framework above will be treated in accordance with the Access to Information Act, the Privacy Act and the Security of Information Act.

Guiding Principles

PHAC's ROTF is based on the following guiding principles:

  • Current, relevant and accessible information
  • Clear and consistent language
  • Respect privacy, confidentiality and security

Foundational Pillars

PHAC's ROTF will be grouped under the following pillars:

Inform and Engage

Canadians have the latest information on important health protection and promotion issues to support their decision-making and increase opportunities for their engagement.


Regulated parties have the information they need to fulfil their responsibilities.


Canadians can see how regulated parties follow the rules that have been put in place to protect and promote their health.

Regulatory Transparency and Openness Framework (ROTF) Action Plan 2017-2020

The Regulatory Transparency and Openness Framework (ROTF) Action Plan 2017-2020 outlines concrete steps we are taking to improve access to timely, useful and relevant health and safety information, while still respecting privacy, confidentiality and security considerations.

Planning and reporting

Public Health Agency of Canada is committed to being transparent and open and has launched the Regulatory Openness and Transparency Framework (ROTF) to show how we are delivering results. Over the years to come, we will continue to make even more information available and easily accessible.

We will set out themes and concrete actions we will take to improve our regulatory transparency and openness and report regularly on our progress.

Existing guidance and enforcement information

We publish guidance and enforcement information for industry, regulated parties and the general public, across all program lines to enable compliance promotion as well as protect the health and safety of Canadian. For example:

In addition, information related to Departmental Operations are available:

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