"Canadians, along with the citizens of other Western democracies, are increasingly concerned that their democratic institutions are out of sync with their values and interests.
Canadians want a new relationship with government at all levels. They want a direct, substantive and influential role in shaping policies and decisions that affect them. They want to be heard and they want a commitment that leaders will take their views into account when making decisions."
- Health Canada Policy Toolkit for Public Involvement in Decision Making
It was in this climate that Health Canada developed its departmental Policy Toolkit for Public Involvement in Decision Making in 2000.The policy provides direction for Health Canada employees on public involvement. It provides principles, guidelines and information for the effective involvement of the public in government decision-making on health issues.
For definitions to some of the words and terms you will find below, visit our glossary.
Canadians are informed on health issues and engaged on key federal decisions that affect health.
Health Canada Policy on External Advisory Bodies (2011)
The use of external advisory bodies is consistent with the Government of Canada's commitments to involve people outside of government in government's work and decision-making processes. They provide Health Canada with expert advice from individuals who have valuable knowledge, expertise, or experience. Its activities are carried out in accordance with the principles and requirements set out in applicable federal government policies and legislation. This policy reflects and upholds the principles of openness, transparency, and accountability.
Health Canada Policy Toolkit for Public Involvement in Decision Making (2000)
This document outlines Health Canada's public involvement (PI) policy and also provides direction for Health Canada employees in the form of tools, processes and case studies which aid in the implementing of PI activities.
Health Canada Decision-Making Framework for Identifying, Assessing, and Managing Health Risks (2000)
This internal framework and accompanying guidance documents are intended to provide a common basis for risk management decision-making throughout Health Canada. One section of the framework addresses public involvement and affected parties in decision-making.
HPFB Public Involvement Framework 2005
The Public Involvement Framework is an overarching framework intended to guide public involvement activities within Health Canada's Health Products and Food Branch (HPFB), for all stakeholder groups across a full spectrum of responsibilities. HPFB is responsible for managing the risks and benefits to health related to health products and food.
HPFB Policy on Voluntary Statement of Information for Public Involvement (2005)
This new policy aimed at increasing the transparency of the public involvement processes is being piloted until May 2006. The policy is intended to encourage all participants in HPFB public involvement activities to voluntarily provide basic information about themselves or the organizations they represent before they participate in a public involvement activity.
Government of Canada's Regulatory Policy
This federal policy provides the primary policy framework for making regulations, the guiding principles for the development of regulations and it imposes certain requirements, including, among other items, that stakeholders be consulted on all phases of identifying problems and developing the regulatory solution.
Guidelines for Effective Regulatory Consultations (PDF version)
These Government of Canada guidelines provide guidance to federal officials involved in planning and carrying out consultations with stakeholders during the development of regulatory proposals.