Table of contents

Status: Bill 66 was introduced on April 12, 2021
Ministry responsible: Health

Overview

Bill 66, the Public Health Amendment Act would amend the Public Health Act to reflect current and emerging public health challenges and best practices.

If passed, Bill 66 will help us respond quickly to public health issues, including chronic diseases, and protect the health and safety of Albertans.

Proposed amendments in Bill 66 are informed by extensive public feedback and recommendations by the Select Special Public Health Act Review Committee.

Key changes

If passed, Bill 66, the Public Health Amendment Act will amend the Public Health Act to:

  • Repeal sections of Bill 10, the Public Health (Emergency Powers) Amendment Act, 2020, that authorizes the minister to modify legislation by order
  • Affirm the rights of individuals while maintaining the ability to respond to public health challenges
    • Remove unnecessary powers to order immunization or conscription
    • Improve transparency with clear checks and balances on authorities
    • Require publishing orders that apply to the public or groups
    • Protect the rights of patients with infectious diseases while containing the spread of disease
    • Require periodic review to keep the act current
    • Improve processes for responding to public health threats by using only the measures that are required, escalating as needed
  • Propose new sections to address chronic diseases and preventable injuries
    • Provide a framework for health promotion and prevention activities
    • Allow a focused, collaborative and coordinated approach to chronic disease to help lower the cost to our healthcare system
    • Establish monitoring and planning provisions for chronic disease and preventable injuries
  • Update outdated provisions and take action on lessons learned from public health responses like the COVID-19 response
    • How people are identified as contacts
    • Recognize the possibility of remote work to control the spread of infection
    • How to support controlling the spread of disease
    • Information collection during inspections
    • Dealing with recoverable costs and timelines for addressing offences
    • Establish the qualifications of the Chief Medical Officer of Health
    • Clarify ambiguous provisions
  • Repeal the Regulated Matter Regulation and the intoxicating gas and vapour provisions to support the recovery of Albertans who use inhalants as an intoxicant, rather than fine them

Next steps

If passed, provisions removing the powers to order mandatory immunization and modify legislation by order will come into force on royal assent and the remaining provisions will come into force on proclamation.

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