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
As a regulator, Health Canada plays an important role in protecting the health and safety of Canadians. Greater transparency and openness with Canadians strengthens the trust in our regulatory decisions.
The Regulatory Transparency and Openness Framework for Health Canada supports our commitment to the Government's overall Open Government initiative. This will ultimately support Canadians in making better decisions about their health.
Transparency is making relevant, timely and useful information available to the public in easy to access formats.
Openness is inviting, hearing, considering and sharing information with the public as Health Canada makes its regulatory decisions.
Health Canada is committed to transparency and openness. As a trusted source of credible and timely information, we can help Canadians take action on their health and safety.
Health Canada makes health and safety decisions about products that Canadians buy and use every day such as:
Science and technology are constantly changing how these products are made and sold to Canadians. Hundreds of new products, with new ingredients and new purposes, are introduced every year in Canada. This means that the number of regulatory decisions made by Health Canada each year can number in the thousands.
Canadians trust Health Canada to make regulatory decisions based on valid evidence. The credible, timely information we provide allows them to make informed choices for themselves and their families. Health Canada's decisions impact the day-to-day lives of Canadians. We know they want to understand how and why we make our decisions. Moreover, they want to feel meaningfully involved in and consulted within the decision-making processes.
The number of alternative health and safety information sources that Canadians consult is rapidly growing. This information is of varying scientific quality and accuracy. The Regulatory Transparency and Openness Framework aims to address this reality head on.
Moving forward, every year we will list the actions we will undertake to enhance regulatory transparency and openness. And every year we will report on what has been achieved.
Canadians will have a better understanding of how and why our decisions are made. They can use this information to make well-informed decisions on their health and the health of their families. Ultimately, Canadians will continue to trust Health Canada as a reliable and credible source of health information.
Health Canada is open and transparent in the way it does business. Here are several Health Canada initiatives that keep Canadians well-informed and allow them to protect their health and the health of their families.
Healthy Canadians gives Canadians important health and safety information written in plain language. The website provides information on quitting smoking, healthy eating, recalls and safety alerts, and much more. Health Canada also uses social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and blogging to provide accurate, up-to-date information to Canadians. Currently, more than five million Canadians have visited our online and social media presence.
Canadians also have access to Health Canada databases. Here is a sample.
Health Canada has embraced the Government of Canada's Open Government Initiative. We post datasets on the Open Data portal. This site provides free government data for re-use by governments, citizens, voluntary organizations, academia, and the private sector. We have also made significant progress in activities related to Open Regulation. We post information such as Forward Regulatory Plans and Service Standards for High-Volume Regulatory Authorizations so as to make the regulatory system clearer and more predictable for Canadians and businesses.
Health Canada frequently consults and engages with Canadians on regulatory changes, acceptable exposure limits to chemical substances and food additives, and updates to industry guidance.
Canadians are invited to comment on regulatory changes through the:
Health Canada will step-by-step make information and regulatory decision-making processes more transparent and open to Canadians.á There are three main goals to be achieved moving forward. For each of these goals we have outlined concrete actions to be achieved this year. As they are implemented over the course of the year, the links below will go live.
Health Canada's regulatory decisions are science-based. To ensure Canadians understand the regulatory decisions and their impact, Health Canada will present information to Canadians in plain language in easy-to-navigate formats.
To ensure that Canadians have access to the information they need and are interested in, Health Canada will develop more health and safety information which can be shared proactively with the public.
Health Canada will seek opportunities to invite, hear and consider diverse points of views in the decision-making process. This includes dialogue and engagement with experts, regulated parties and consumers. In keeping with the commitment to transparency, Health Canada will report on the public input received and detail how the decision was made.
Your input and comments are valuable to us. Let us know how we are doing and provide us your advice on how we can continue to improve.
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