About the PHAB
The Public Health Appeal Board (PHAB) hears appeals from people served with orders under the Public Health Act and in respect of decisions to issue, cancel, suspend, or refuse to issue a licence, permit or other approval as defined in the Public Health Act regulations.
The PHAB is a quasi-judicial board that consists of up to 5 members of the public appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council to hear appeals. The PHAB functions independent of government departments to ensure fairness and impartiality when hearing appeals of decisions made under the Public Health Act (Part 1, Sections 3 to 7).
- Read the Public Health Act and Regulations
- Public Health Appeal Board Annual Reports: 2009 to current
- Learn more about the PHAB
PHAB appeal process
Read the PHAB Rules of Procedure (PDF, 156 KB) for a complete explanation of the appeal process.
What can be appealed
The orders and decisions that can be appealed include:
- an order issued under Section 62 of the Public Health Act:
- Order of an Executive Officer Unfit for Human Habitation Order to Vacate
- Order of an Executive Officer Closure Order
- Order of an Executive Officer Work Order
- a decision to issue or to cancel, suspend or refuse to issue a licence, permit or other approval provided for in the regulations under the Public Health Act
- any other decision in respect of which an appeal to the PHAB is permitted under the regulations
Who can appeal
A person who is directly affected by a decision noted above, and who considers themself to have been aggrieved may make an appeal. The person who appeals a decision is referred to as the appellant.
- See section 5(2), Public Health Act
How to begin an appeal
Submit a Notice of Appeal form
Fill in, date and sign a Notice of Appeal form (PDF, 195 KB) and send it to Alberta Health Services or to the PHAB by fax, mail, email or hand delivered.
- Read the instructions on how to complete the Notice of Appeal form (PDF, 272 KB)
- Download the Notice of Appeal form (PDF, 195 KB)
- See contact information below
Timing to begin an appeal
The Notice of Appeal must be received by the PHAB within 10 days after receiving notice of the decision that is being appealed. The PHAB may extend the 10-day appeal period if it considers it appropriate to do so.
- Read sections 5(3) and (9), Public Health Act
Timing of the appeal hearing
The Public Health Act requires the PHAB to hear the appeal within 30 days after receiving the Notice of Appeal form. However, the PHAB may extend the time for hearing the appeal if it considers it appropriate to do so.
Location of hearing
Generally, the hearing will be held at a location that is convenient to the appellant.
A stay suspends the enforcement of the order or decision that is being appealed until the PHAB hears and decides on the appeal. Simply appealing the decision or order does not act as a stay of the order being appealed. The order or decision continues to be in effect if no stay of the order is granted by the Chair or Vice Chair of the PHAB.
An appellant may apply for a stay prior to the appeal hearing. A stay hearing is generally held by way of a telephone conference call or written submissions prior to the appeal hearing.
An appellant may wish to contact Alberta Health Services prior to the stay hearing to determine if they will agree to a stay of the order prior to the stay hearing. The Chair or Vice Chair of the PHAB will decide whether to grant a stay after reviewing the submissions (verbal or written) from the appellant and Alberta Health Services which may include any agreement reached by the parties.
- Read section 6, Public Health Act
Prepare for the appeal
To prepare for the appeal:
- Decide what decision you want the PHAB to make with respect to the order or decision you are appealing.
- Gather all the information that supports the decision you want the PHAB to make. The information could include documents, verbal evidence, objects, photographs, articles, previous cases, experts or technical information.
- Organize the information to make it as easy as possible for the PHAB to understand your position.
- Review sections in the Public Health Act and regulations that apply to your appeal and reference them in the appeal hearing.
- Organize any witnesses you want to have attend the hearing on your behalf.
- Ensure you have prepared your opening statement, closing statement/submissions, questions you may want to ask of any witnesses attending on your behalf, questions you may want to ask the executive officer or other witnesses giving evidence.
Typically Alberta Health Services will be represented by legal counsel at the hearing.
The appellant(s) may retain legal counsel or have another person such as an advocate, friend or family member, assist them at the hearing.
Although not mandatory, Alberta Health Services and the appellant may have witnesses at the hearing. A witness typically provides information to the PHAB that assists in making an informed decision.
Each party is responsible for arranging the attendance of any witnesses they wish to provide evidence at the hearing.
Appeal hearing process
The PHAB will typically follow this procedure at the appeal hearing.
The Chair will:
- introduce the members of the PHAB
- have the parties introduce themselves and their witnesses or observers
- identify and confirm the decision being appealed
- ask the parties whether they have any objection to the constitution and jurisdiction of the PHAB to hear the appeal
- provide an overview of the hearing process
- deal with the timing of the appeal if it was served on the PHAB outside of the 10 day appeal period
Each party may give an opening statement to the PHAB. The opening statement should briefly identify the items in the order or decision that are disputed and what decision they wish the PHAB to make with respect to those items.
Presentation of evidence
Each party is given an opportunity to present information to the PHAB that supports the position they are advancing. Generally, the appellant begins and provides:
- verbal evidence from the appellant and/or witnesses
- written evidence such as documents, case law, written submissions, photographs, etc.
It may be helpful to ask your witnesses questions when they are giving evidence to ensure they provide all the information you want the PHAB to hear.
The opposing party and the PHAB may ask questions of any person providing verbal evidence.
Each party summarizes the evidence provided to the PHAB and uses that evidence to support their position and persuade the PHAB to find in their favour – this is called a submission. It is helpful to restate the decision you want the PHAB to make in the appeal.
Closing the hearing
The Chair of the PHAB will close the hearing.
The PHAB’s decision
In most cases, the PHAB provides a written decision to both parties within 30 days of the hearing.
The PHAB can decide to vary, reverse or confirm the order or decision being appealed. It also has the option to refer the case back to Alberta Health Services for further consideration.
An adjournment means that the hearing has been postponed to a future date. There may be instances where one party requests an adjournment of the hearing. In those instances, the PHAB will hear the request for an adjournment and the other party will have an opportunity to respond to the request as well. The PHAB will decide whether to grant the request for an adjournment. Requests for an adjournment must be in writing and forwarded to the PHAB.
PHAB decision appeals
There is no appeal from a decision of the PHAB. If you are not satisfied with the hearing process or the decision of the PHAB, you may apply to the Court of Queen’s Bench for a judicial review of the decision. The time limit to apply for a judicial review is 6 months from the date of the PHAB’s decision.
As an appellant, you may file a complaint with the provincial Ombudsman if you believe the hearing process or decision was unfair.
Relevant cases from the Court of Queen’s Bench
PHAB decisions reviewed by Court of Queen's Bench
- Calgary (City) v. Alberta (Public Health Advisory and Appeal Board), 1986 CanLII 1620 (AB QB) 1986-02-25
- Calgary (City) v. Browning-Ferris Industries Limited, 1987 ABCA 96 (CanLII) 1987-05-13
- Friends of the Athabasca Environmental Association v. Public Health Advisory & Appeal Board, 1994 CanLII 8931 (AB QB) 1994-04-14
- Friends of Athabasca Environmental Association v. Public Health Advisory and Appeal Board, 1996 ABCA 11 (CanLII)1996-01-24
- Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 30 v. WMI Waste Management of Canada Inc., 1996 ABCA 6 (CanLII) 1996-01-24
- Boardwalk Equities Inc. v. Capital Health Authority, 2005 ABQB 34 (CanLII) 2005-01-18
Other relevant case law
- Society of Concerned Citizens of Pine Lake v. Red Deer Regional Health Unit, 1993 CanLII 7075 (AB QB) 1993-05-19
- Capital Health v. Gaida, 2004 ABQB 768 2004-10-26
- BPCL Holdings Inc. v. Alberta, 2008 ABCA 153 (CanLII) 2008-04-28
- Alberta Health Services v Kneehill Animal Control and Rehabilitation Centre Ltd, 2015 ABCA 67 (CanLII) 2015-03-23
PHAB past decisions
Below are some past decisions by the PHAB for your reference. They are categorized by topic areas.
Notice of Appeal served late
Preliminary applications – case management
Preliminary applications – adjournments
25/2017 Stay Decision (PDF, 283 KB)
23/2017 Stay Decision (PDF, 1.4 MB)
11 to 21/2017 Stay Decision (PDF, 3.9 MB)
11/2016 Stay Decision (PDF, 402 KB)
09/2016 Stay Decision (PDF, 297 KB)
08/2016 Stay Decision (PDF, 653 KB)
07/2016 Stay Decision (PDF, 488 KB)
05/2016 Stay Decision (PDF, 680 KB)
04/2016 Stay Decision (PDF, 1.2 MB)
12/2015 Stay Decision (PDF, 244 KB)
10/2015 Stay Decision (PDF, 253 KB)
06/2015 and 07/2015 Stay Decision (PDF, 775 KB)
02/2015 Stay Decision (PDF, 468 KB)
01/2015 Stay Decision (PDF, 253 KB)
03-2019 Decision (PDF, 5.7 MB)
16-2018 Decision (PDF, 6.1 MB)
15-2018 Decision (PDF, 548 KB)
09-2018 Decision (PDF, 4.4 MB)
08-2018 Decision (PDF, 2.7 MB)
01/2018 Decision (PDF, 3.3 MB)
25/2017 Decision (PDF, 172 KB)
11 to 21/2017 Decision (PDF, 3.9 MB)
10/2017 Decision (PDF, 2.7 MB)
07/2016 Decision (PDF, 812 KB)
05/2016 Decision (PDF, 842 KB)
03/2016 Decision (PDF, 1.1 MB)
15/2015 Decision (PDF, 600 KB)
14/2015 Decision (PDF, 683 KB)
06/2015 and 07/2015 Decision (PDF, 10 MB)
13/2014 Decision (PDF, 751 KB)
07/2014 Decision (PDF, 1.4 MB)
02/2014 Decision (PDF, 419 KB)
11-2018 Decision (PDF, 810 KB)
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy
The personal information contained in these documents was collected and used pursuant to section 33(c) and section 39(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
Section 33(c) provides that personal information may only be collected if that information relates directly to and is necessary for an operating program or activity of the PHAB.
Section 39(1)(a) provides that the PHAB may use personal information only for the purpose for which the information was collected or compiled for a use consistent with that purpose.
The collection and use of this information was necessary for the PHAB to process and hear appeals from citizens served with orders under the Public Health Act. Section 40(1)(bb) permits the PHAB to disclose personal information when the personal information is made available to the public.
To connect with the Public Health Appeal Board:
Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Public Health Appeal Board
c/o Central Reception
Main Floor, ATB Place North Tower
10025 Jasper Avenue NW
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 1S6
Alberta Health Services address:
Alberta Health Services
Suite 104, Main Floor, West Tower
14310 111 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5M 3Z7