During an emergency or disaster, the Canadian public looks to their governments for protection and assistance. We expect our governments to be ready to deal with the possible risks from:
At the federal level, where assistance is requested or should the emergency involve more than one province or territory, the Government of Canada will mobilize its resources. For most emergencies, Public Safety Canada will coordinate the federal response in the health sector and can provide emergency funding to provinces and territories.
In the event of an emergency that poses a risk to public health, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada play a key role in protecting the health and safety of Canadians.
Health Canada is the lead federal department responsible for coordinating the response to a nuclear or radiological emergency under the Federal Nuclear Emergency Plan (FNEP). Health Canada partners with the United States through the Canada-US Joint Radiological Response Plan to deal with a potential or actual radiological event that could affect both countries or be of a magnitude that assistance from the neighbouring country could be required.
Health Canada is also responsible for:
The Public Health Agency of Canada is the lead organization for coordinating the health response for all other health-related emergencies. The Agency's response is managed through the mobilization of the health portfolio's Emergency Operations Centre and liaison with the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. Learn more about the roles and responsibilities of the Public Health Agency of Canada.
In this section you will find more information about Health Canada's activities related to emergencies and disasters that can affect the health of Canadians.