Health and Community Services
November 20, 2018

New Public Health Legislation to be Introduced in the House of Assembly

The Provincial Government is introducing new public health legislation to support the population health and well-being of people living in communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.

An Act Respecting the Protection and Promotion of Public Health will enable the province to address gaps in the existing legislation, which was enacted fifty years ago, and to embrace best practices in public health from other jurisdictions. The Act is similar to actions being taken in other Canadian jurisdictions, allowing this province to adopt best practices that are in place and are effectively working in other provinces and territories.

The new legislation will help the public health workforce in this province respond quickly to emerging challenges like the potential for fast moving infectious diseases. It clearly identifies the roles and responsibilities of the Minister and public health officials, including the Chief Medical Officer of Health, regional Medical Officers of Health and Environmental Health Officers.

The department held a series of consultations earlier this year to help inform the drafting of new legislation. A public health forum was held with the regional health authorities and other partners including the Public Health Agency of Canada; there were one-on-one engagement sessions with stakeholders and community partners; and the public was invited to provide input through an online questionnaire via EngageNL.

The new legislation delivers on the commitment in The Way Forward to deliver better services and better outcomes for residents. The Way Forward outlines all actions the Provincial Government is taking to achieve a strong, diversified province with a high standard of living, and can be viewed at

“The new Act introduced today will modernize public health in Newfoundland and Labrador. It will make our legislation among the best in the country. We will be only the second province in Canada to include a Health-in-All-Policies approach in public health legislation, putting us at the forefront of public health innovation. Legislation supporting the health and well-being of our population will positively impact the province’s economic potential and sustainability, and make an important contribution overall to economic progress.”
Honourable John Haggie
Minister of Health and Community Services

“With significant input from a wide array of stakeholders, this new legislation really is a collaborative effort towards creating a healthier population in Newfoundland and Labrador. We believe it goes farther than any other public health legislation in the country to target the true causes of poor health and will help shape the future of public health in Newfoundland and Labrador for generations to come.”
Dr. Darrell Wade
President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Public Health Association

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Learn more

Public Invited to Provide Input on New Public Health Legislation -

Health and Community Services Public Health Division -

Newfoundland and Labrador Public Health Association - external link icon

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Media contacts
Tina Newhook
Health and Community Services
709-709-729-1377, 728-2837

Dr. Darrell Wade/> Newfoundland and Labrador Public Health Association

2018 11 20                              12:15 p.m.