Health Canada

Health Canada

December 23, 2013 11:34 ET

A Year in Review: Steps Taken to Protect the Health and Safety of Canadians

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 23, 2013) - Today, Health Minister Rona Ambrose highlighted the Government's key accomplishments in protecting the health and safety of Canadians in 2013.

"Our Government made important headway in the areas of innovation, patient safety, and the tabling of effective legislation for the benefit of all Canadians," said Minister Ambrose. "We have a lot to be proud of in Canada and we will continue to make concrete investments and take action to protect our health and safety."

Minister Ambrose identified some of the notable achievements of the Harper Government that included:

- Taking action to protect Canadian families and children from unsafe medicine through the introduction of Vanessa's Law;

- Taking steps to improve patient safety by committing $38.1 million to the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI);

- Launching the Plain Language Labelling Initiative to Improve Drug Safety for Canadians;

- Welcoming the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to the Health Portfolio as part of our focus on improving how we regulate, share information, and communicate with Canadians when it comes to food safety;

- Introducing the Healthy and Safe Food for Canadians Framework to further improve Canada's food safety system by strengthening food safety rules, more effective inspection, a renewed commitment to service and more information for consumers;

- Introducing new apps for your phone or tablet, so you can receive notices of recalls in real-time;

- Delivering on Prime Minister Harper's commitment to provide Automated External Defibrillators and related training in Canadian hockey arenas to help save lives through $10 million of funding to the Heart and Stroke Foundation;

- Adopting New Blood Regulations to further strengthen the safety of Canada's blood supply;

- Committed to work with the provinces and territories on a health innovation framework;

- Introduced the Respect for Communities Act to ensure that parents have a say before drug injection sites open in their communities;

- Supporting new research programs aimed at finding a cure for AIDS;

- Contributing to the development of healthier and more sustainable B.C. First Nations communities by transferring health programs and services in British Columbia to the First Nations Health Authority;

- Demonstrating Canada's international leadership at the G8 Dementia Summit, the first meeting of its kind, aimed at coordinating international efforts and shaping a collective approach to addressing this important public health issue. Canada and France will co-host a global workshop on dementia in Canada in 2014;

- Launching the first SUPPORT Unit under Canada's Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research, an initiative that fosters collaboration between federal, provincial and territorial partners to engage patients in research and to integrate research evidence into healthcare;

- Working to reduce the injury rate in Canada by working together with stakeholders and by supporting 19 Canadian research teams specializing in concussion research;

- Reducing the impact of drug shortages with a national protocol for the public notification of drug shortages and a toolkit;

- Launching a new webpage and social media campaign #GiftOfLife to help raise awareness and promote organ and tissue donation in Canada;

- Engaging with stakeholders from coast to coast to coast on the Government's investment in health care innovation;

- Strengthening the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act with new fines of up to $25,000 per day for companies who violate orders; and,

- Making the issue of family violence a priority.

"The Holidays give us a unique opportunity to reflect on the year that has passed, make memories with friends and family and celebrate the hope that a new year brings," said Minister Ambrose. "I truly look forward to working with the Provinces and Territories and health partners in the new year, on how we can work together to improve the health and well-being of all Canadians. I wish all Canadians a happy, healthy and safe 2014!"

To watch the Minister's year-end video or more information, please visit

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Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Michael Bolkenius
    Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
    Federal Minister of Health
    (613) 957-0200

    Health Canada
    Media Relations
    (613) 957-2983

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