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Section IV – Other Items of Interest

Organization Chart

Organization Chart of the Public Health Agency of Canada

Strategic Plan 2007-2012: Information, Knowledge, Action

The Agency developed its first ever Strategic Plan in 2006-07. The Strategic Plan will guide the Agency's directions over the next five years by establishing its policy and programming priorities, and defining the areas where it needs to align its efforts and resources to support these priorities. Clear strategic directions and priorities will provide the policy overlay to ensure that annual business plans are well-integrated, resources are aligned accordingly, and the entire effort is supported by integrated human resources planning and clear accountabilities. The Plan also provides the foundation for the Agency to critically review all of its programs and make decisions concerning rationalization, reallocation, adjustment and re-engineering, with a view to enhance the management and effective delivery of the Agency’s programs.

In its Strategic Plan, the Agency has set out three objectives:

  1. Anticipate and respond to the health needs of Canadians
    In support of this strategic objective, the Agency will focus on a number of priorities that are critical to its abilities to reduce health disparity and contribute to a stronger public health capacity. Central to this objective will be the ability of the Agency to effectively fulfill its mandate, maintaining credibility and enhancing its already strong reputation. The policy and program priorities in this section represent specific areas where the Agency has made a clear decision to make significant headway over the next five years in addressing major public health challenges, key determinants of health, health disparities among Aboriginal peoples, children, and seniors, and gaps in public health capacity.
  2. Ensure actions are supported by integrated information and knowledge functions
    Programs and research in the Agency will be aligned to support the priorities identified under the first objective. Key to the success of the alignment will be better linkages between the Agency’s information and knowledge development functions and its actions.
  3. Further develop the Agency’s dedicated, professional workforce by providing it with the tools and leadership it needs and by ensuring a supportive culture.
    To continue providing high quality public health programming, research and advice, the Agency needs to ensure that the organization and its people have the necessary organizational, management and cultural supports. The objective is about making sure that the Agency is well-positioned and equipped to address the first two objectives. Simply put, it is about managing to deliver on priorities.

In meeting these objectives, the Agency will strive to reach new levels of engagement of its many partners, including Health Canada and the rest of the Health Portfolio, other federal departments, the provinces and territories, stakeholders, and non-governmental organizations. By working collaboratively to deliver on the priorities outlined in the Strategic Plan, the Agency will be well-positioned to make an effective contribution to achieving the unified vision of the Minister of Health and the Government of Canada of healthier Canadians and communities in a healthier world.

Corporate Business Planning

In 2006-07, the Agency made progress with its initial Corporate Business Plan, an important initiative designed to assist in moving forward the five-year Strategic Plan. The Agency’s program and support areas identified their objectives, challenges, and strategies in developing the Agency's initial business plan, and laid the foundation for an effective annual business planning process.

In addition, an integrated human resources and business planning methodology was developed to aid the Agency in addressing current and future human resource needs through review of the current workforce, forecasting work requirements and the use of gap analysis to assess the Agency’s capacity to deliver on plans and priorities. The planning approach stimulated considerable analysis and strategic thinking within organizational units inside the Agency. When the integrated business and human resources planning methodology was developed the Agency was in an organizational review and restructuring phase, and was still in the process of finalizing its five-year Strategic Plan. Generation of a cohesive and comprehensive integrated business and human resources plan for the Agency is planned for 2007-08.

Human Resources Management

The Agency developed an infrastructure to support effective labour-management consultation and communication so that by the end of the 2006-07 it had two consultation fora for labour and employee issues: the National Labour-Management Consultation Committee (NLMCC) and the Human Resources Labour Consultation Committee (HRLCC). The NLMCC met once in 2006-07 following its creation and the HRLCC also met to discuss various matters and was able to address and advance several key issues.

Since the establishment of the two committees there was clear evidence of a change in management’s position vis--vis consultation and communication with bargaining agents. In the past, managers had been hesitant to consult with and inform bargaining agents on issues affecting their members. However, after committee establishment, there was a steady transition towards transparency and openness, not only in dialogue, but also in better acceptance of the bargaining agent’s involvement in decision-making and co-development of policies and procedures.

The Agency made considerable progress in training managers on the new staffing regime established through the Public Service Modernization Act as a requirement for delegation of staffing authorities. Subsequent to this training an openness was seen on the part of managers to be more closely engaged in the appointment process, to take greater accountability for staffing decisions, and to receive training and information on new trends and approaches

Also in connection with staffing, departmental policies developed to govern the application of the new Public Service Employment Act in the Agency were reviewed for their applicability and effectiveness. As a consequence, a policy related to acting appointments was introduced and related staffing policies were amended to maintain internal consistency.

As part of building its internal capacity to meet its mandate, during 2006-07, a comprehensive review of the human resources services provided by Health Canada under the Memorandum of Understanding between the Agency and Health Canada was undertaken. This was the first review since the creation of the Public Health Agency of Canada in September 2004 and included the National Capital Region, the Winnipeg pillar and the regional offices across Canada. Its purpose was to ensure that the services provided made good business sense for both organizations under the Health Portfolio in terms of effectiveness, accountability and cost efficiency. As a result of this review, the Agency made further progress in establishing its own infrastructure to deliver human resources services from within the Agency so that, by end of year, corporate human resources policies, labour relations, and human resources planning became the sole responsibility of the Agency and were managed independently of Health Canada.

Sustainable Development

The Auditor General of Canada has called for better leadership and management in relation to horizontal issues. The Agency’s first comprehensive sustainable development (SD) strategy responds to federal leadership on Sustainable Development matters by aligning its commitments with federal SD goals, objectives and guidelines. Within SD Strategy 2007-2010, the Agency incorporates recommendations by the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development for demonstrated progress in sustainable development and a result-based approach to the management of sustainable development initiatives. In addition, the strategy furthers the concept of horizontality by demonstrating the integration of economic, social and environmental considerations within a public health context. In its sustainable development strategy, the Agency commits to coordinating and collaborating with other departments such as Health Canada, Transport Canada’s Active Transportation Initiatives and with the partners in the Northern Antibiotic Resistance Partnership.

Completion of the SD strategy contributed to the Agency’s risk management activities by identifying opportunities for risk mitigation through sustainable development commitments.

Risk Communications Framework

The Strategic Risk Communications Framework and Handbook was launched by the Chief Public Health Officer, and is a new and unique tool designed to enable the Agency to integrate strategic risk communications into effective risk management.

The Framework and Handbook gives Agency employees involved in risk management and risk communications a science-based process to support effective decision-making. It provides the essential tools and techniques needed to enable us to plan and conduct effective risk communication as an integral component of good decision-making with stakeholders and ultimately the Canadian public.

Work on the Framework and Handbook had been underway for three years. A pilot project was successfully conducted at Health Canada in 2005 and subsequently the Agency’s Executive Committee approved the Framework and its implementation at the Agency.

As the group responsible for promoting the Agency-wide adoption and implementation of strategic risk communications, the Communications Directorate began providing support and guidance on how to apply the Framework. Risk communications training began for communications, policy and program employees working together on risk issues. Plans for full implementation through training and application were put in place with the intention of integrating risk communications into the Agency approach to effective decision-making and communications.

Centre for Excellence in Evaluation and Program Design

In 2006-07, the Agency’s Centre for Excellence in Evaluation and Program Design established an Agency Evaluation Advisory Committee. The Committee has a chair at the Deputy Chief Public Health Officer level, and is composed of five additional voting members. The Chief Audit Executive also participates as a non-voting member. Members’ key responsibilities include reviewing and recommending evaluation reports for Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) approval, reviewing the accompanying management response and action plans and recommending them for CPHO acceptance, overseeing the development and implementation of an Agency evaluation policy, reviewing the effectiveness of the Agency’s evaluation function, and reviewing the Agency's risk-based evaluation plan and recommending it for CPHO approval. In 2006-07, the Committee reviewed five Agency program evaluation reports and recommended them for approval by the Chief Public Health Officer and subsequent submittal to the Treasury Board Secretariat.

The Centre for Excellence in Evaluation and Program Design also initiated significant development work on a five-year risk based evaluation plan which is a requirement of the Treasury Board Secretariat. The evaluation plan will also ensure Agency programs will be provided with appropriate levels of advice and guidance based on the timing of their upcoming evaluations and the estimated level of risk associated with the program.

Economics and Social Science Services Group (ES) Development Program

The implementation of the ES Development program continued. It is a career development and recruitment program targeting the Agency’s ES workforce. The first external recruitment was completed and qualified candidates were scheduled to start their ESDP placements in the new fiscal year.

New Program Activity Architecture for 2007-08

During 2005-06 the Agency had a single strategic outcome and a single program activity. An enhanced Program Activity Architecture, to take effect during fiscal year 2007-08, was developed to reflect the Agency’s responsibilities, and to enable a more detailed reporting on accomplishments and resource use. Plans to develop additional components of the Agency's Management Results and Reporting Structure were rescheduled to align with a government-wide process to be completed during 2007-08.





Strategic Outcome

Healthier Population by promoting health and preventing disease and injury

Healthier Canadians and a stronger public health capacity

Program Activity(ies)

Population and Public Health

Health Promotion

Disease Prevention and Control

Emergency Preparedness and Response

Strengthen Public Health Capacity

Program Management and Support


Program Activities for 2007-08

Program Activity Descriptions

Health promotion

In collaboration with partners, the Public Health Agency of Canada supports effective actions to promote healthy living and address the key determinants of health and major risk factors for chronic disease, by contributing to knowledge development, fostering collaboration, and improving information exchange among sectors and across jurisdictions.

Disease prevention and control

In collaboration with its partners, the Agency leads federal efforts and mobilizes domestic efforts to protect national and international public health. These include:

  • monitoring, researching and reporting on diseases, injuries, health risks and the general state of public health in Canada and internationally; and
  • supporting development of knowledge; intersectoral and international collaboration; and developing policies and programs to prevent, control and reduce the impact of disease and injury

Emergency Preparedness and Response

The Public Health Agency of Canada provides a national focal point for anticipating, preparing for, responding to and facilitating recovery from threats to public health, and/or the public health complications of natural disasters or human caused emergencies. The Agency applies the legislative and regulatory provisions of The Quarantine Act. It collaborates with international partners to identify emerging disease outbreaks around the globe. Providing leadership in identifying and addressing emerging threats to the health and safety of Canadians through surveillance, risk analysis and risk management activities, the Agency partners with Health Canada, other federal departments, the provinces and territories, international organizations and the voluntary sector to identify, develop and implement preparedness priorities. The Public Health Agency of Canada manages and supports the development of health-related emergency response plans for natural and human caused disasters including the National Influenza Response Plan. The Agency is actively engaged in developing and sponsoring training in emergency preparedness, and coordinates counter-terrorism preparations to respond to accidents or suspected terrorist activities involving hazardous substances. The Agency is a leader on biosafety related issues. It stands ready to provide emergency health and social services, and manages the National Emergency Stockpile System with holdings ranging from trauma kits to complete 200 bed emergency hospitals.

Strengthen Public Health Capacity

Working with national and international partners, the Agency develops and provides tools, applications, practices, programs and understandings that support and develop the capabilities of front-line public health practitioners across Canada. The Agency facilitates and sustains networks with provinces, territories, and other partners and stakeholders to achieve public health objectives. The Agency’s work improves public health practice, increases cross-jurisdictional human resources capacity, contributes to effective knowledge and information systems, and supports a public health law and policy system that evolves in response to changes in public needs and expectations.

Abbreviations used in this report




Aboriginal Head Start in Urban and Northern Communities program


Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation

C. difficile

Clostridium difficile


Canada-Asia Regional Emerging Infectious Diseases


Conjunto do Acciones para la Reduccion Multifactorial de las Enfermedades No Tranmisibles (PAHO initiative)


Canadian Breast Cancer Initiative


Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance


Centre For Chronic Disease Prevention And Control


Communicable Disease Control Expert Group


Canadian Diabetes Strategy


Centre For Emergency Preparedness And Response (Agency sub unit)


Canadian Fitness And Lifestyle Research Institute


Child Fitness Tax Credit


Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program


Canadian Health Network


Centre For Health Promotion (Agency sub unit)


Canadian International Development Agency


Centre For Infectious Disease Prevention And Control (Agency sub unit)


Canadian Institute for Health Information


Countrywide Integrated Non-communicable Disease Intervention


Canadian Integrated Program for Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance


Chronic non-communicable disease


Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program


Canadian Partnership Against Cancer


Canadian Public Health Network


Chief Public Health Officer


Canadian Reference Group


Canadian Strategy on Cancer Control


Emergency Operations Centre


Regional Office for WHO for Europe


Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder


Global Public Health Intelligence Network


Health Behaviours of School-aged Children


Health Emergency Response Team


Healthy Living Issue Group


Human Papillomavirus


Infectious Disease And Emergency Preparedness Branch (Agency sub unit)


Integrated Public Health Information System


Joint Consortium for School Health


Laboratory For Foodborne Zoonoses (Agency sub unit)


National Advisory Committee on Immunization


National Antiviral Stockpile


National Collaborating Centres


Non-communicable Disease


National Diabetes Surveillance System


National Enteric Surveillance Program


National Emergency Stockpile System


Non-government Organization


National Microbiology Laboratory (Agency sub unit)


Financial Assistance to National Voluntary Health Organizations


Physical Activity Contribution Program


Pan-American Health Organization (Regional Offices for WHO for the Americas)


Public Health Agency of Canada


Public Health Map Generator


Public Health Practice and Regional Operations Branch (Agency sub unit during 2006-07)


Pandemic Preparedness Secretariat (Agency sub unit)


Public Safety Canada


Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome


Social Determinants of Health


Sexually Transmitted Infection


Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat


Transfer Payment Services and Accountability Division (Agency sub unit)


World Health Organization


West Nile virus