Details of the Public Health Act

The province’s Public Health Act will:

  • Require the appointment of a chief provincial public health officer and set out his/her responsibilities, which include advising the minister on public health issues and overseeing other public health officials.
  • Require the chief provincial public health officer to report on the health status of Manitobans at least every five years.
  • Give the chief provincial public health officer the ability to issue reports respecting public health at any time.
  • Provide comprehensive powers to deal with communicable diseases and enable medical officers of health to take appropriate action.
  • Modify the current powers for emergency apprehension where there is a serious and highly-virulent communicable disease, so that health officials can use their best judgment to protect public health.
  • Explicitly require regional health authorities to provide public health services in accordance with set standards and guidelines.
  • Continue the power to make orders dealing with health hazards that present a serious and immediate threat to public health and provide comprehensive order-making powers respecting other, less serious health hazards.
  • Require that any emergency apprehension and temporary detention powers used to contain a public health threat be reported to the chief provincial public health officer, who would have to report on their use on an annual basis.
  • Provide enhanced inspection powers and allow health officers to obtain and share information as necessary to carry out the provisions of this act.
  • Maintain a provincial health surveillance system to collect, analyze, interpret and publish information that will assess, monitor and plan for health needs and threats to public health.
  • Respect health information privacy rights by limiting the collection, use and disclosure of personal information or personal health information to the least amount necessary and requiring that non-identifying information be used unless it will not accomplish the purpose for which the information is required or disclosed.
  • Make it clear that the exercise of any power under the act that restricts an individual’s rights or freedoms must be no greater than is necessary to respond to the threat to public health.
  • Designate which health hazards must be reported and who must report them.
  • Enable the voluntary ability to report health hazards.
  • Provide whistle-blower protection for people who report health hazards.
  • Require that any adverse events related to immunizations be reported. 
  • Allow authorities to seize products like gasoline, cleaning solvents and aerosol disinfectants from individuals and retailers who are knowingly selling them as intoxicants.
  • Significantly raise fine levels under the Act from the current level of $5,000 to be consistent with other public protection legislation.
    • In the case of an individual, $100,000 for a conviction for failure to comply with an emergency health hazard order and $50,000 for other offences; and
    • In the case of a corporation, $1,000,000 for a conviction for failure to comply with an emergency health hazard order and $500,000 for other offences.

For more information on regulated health professions, please contact:

Legislative Unit
Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living
300 Carlton Street
Winnipeg MB  R3B 3M9
Phone:  204-788-6608
FAX:      204-945-1020