Federal, Provincial and Territorial Governments Jointly Release the Pan-Canadian Action Plan on AMR

News release

June 22, 2023 | Ottawa, Ontario | Public Health Agency of Canada

In Canada and across the world, the microbes that cause infections are increasingly becoming resistant to the drugs designed to treat them. This is known as antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and it poses one of the greatest health and economic threats to Canada and across the globe.

In 2018, it was estimated that more than 5,400 Canadians die every year from infections caused by bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics and that AMR costs our healthcare system $1.4 billion. AMR is clearly an urgent and growing threat to global health, with wide-spread socio-economic impacts.

Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, and the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, released the Pan-Canadian Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance, developed in collaboration with the provinces and territories.

This Action Plan represents a significant milestone in strengthening the pan-Canadian preparedness and response to AMR. It establishes federal, provincial and territorial commitments on AMR over the next five years (2023-2027). Ten shared priority actions will guide multi-sectoral and multi-jurisdictional efforts across five pillars:

  • Research and innovation
  • Monitoring
  • Stewardship
  • Infection prevention and control
  • Leadership

Collective action across sectors and jurisdictions is essential to address AMR and to safeguard the effectiveness of antimicrobials, such as antibiotics, which are critical for modern-day medicine. They treat and prevent serious infections and are essential for routine and life-saving medical procedures.

Antimicrobials also help protect animal health and welfare and play a critical role in agriculture and food production systems across Canada.

AMR can spread across geographical borders and between humans, animals, and their shared environments. This means that no one sector, government or country can effectively address AMR alone. The Action Plan was developed with this principle in mind and will be implemented through a One Health approach, which recognizes that the health of humans, animals and the environment are closely linked.

Moving forward, the Government of Canada will continue to build on the collaborative work with provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous Peoples, industry stakeholders, and with partners across One Health sectors. This continued collaboration will facilitate the implementation of the Action Plan’s 10 shared priorities and will help preserve the effectiveness of these important drugs and to improve health for all.


"AMR already impacts the lives of thousands of Canadians each year, including by threatening important routine and life-saving medical procedures such as joint replacements, organ transplantations and chemotherapy. AMR also has broad socio-economic impacts that span borders across Canada and globally, indicating that we must act together to address it. Canada is stepping up to be part of the solution. Through this Action Plan, together with provinces and territories we can protect the health of humans, animals and the environment against AMR."

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

"The Pan-Canadian Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance is a true collaborative effort that considers the interconnections between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment. We all have a role to play in combatting antimicrobial resistance, including governments, veterinarians, researchers and the entire global agrifood value chain."

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Quick facts

  • The World Health Organization declared AMR a top ten public health threat facing humanity. AMR is a leading cause of death worldwide.

  • AMR emerges naturally over time even when antimicrobials are used appropriately. However, when antimicrobials are used inappropriately in humans and animals, the emergence and spread of AMR can be accelerated. This means that, in some cases, antimicrobials lose their effectiveness faster.

  • AMR is a serious threat to human and animal health. Essential medical interventions such as organ transplantations, joint replacements and chemotherapy are becoming riskier as the antimicrobials used to prevent and treat infectious complications from these interventions are losing their effectiveness.

  • In Canada, AMR was estimated to have caused 5,400 deaths, cost the healthcare system about $1.4 billion, and reduced GDP by $2 billion in 2018. These estimates were published in the Council of Canadian Academies' Expert Panel on the Potential Socio-Economic Impacts of Antimicrobial Resistance in Canada.

  • The Action Plan builds on the 2017 Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance and Antimicrobial Use: A Pan-Canadian Framework for Action, which was developed in collaboration with federal, provincial and territorial governments.

Associated links


Guillaume Bertrand
Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

Simon Lafortune
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

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