Protecting Public Health and the Environment: Transforming the Pest Management Regulatory Agency


Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is undergoing a transformation process that will strengthen its oversight and its protection of public health and the environment. The transformation process will also make the PMRA more transparent to people in Canada.

About the transformation
Over the years, Parliament, stakeholders, independent researchers, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, the public and the PMRA itself have suggested ways to improve how the PMRA works.

These include ways to:
further strengthen environmental and human health protection through modernized business processes
improve transparency and access to information and data related to pesticide reviews and decisions
increase the use of real-world data and independent advice

Transforming the pesticide program is a key priority for the PMRA and a mandate commitment for the Minister of Health.

4 pillars of transformation
The agency has built its transformation on 4 pillars of action:
improved transparency
increased use of real-world data and independent advice
strengthened human health and environmental protection through modernized pesticide business processes
targeted review of the Pest Control Products Act

Improved transparency
The scientific assessment process for pesticides protects public health and the environment. The review process is rigorous, evidence-based and complex. We recognize that the transparency and openness of our work is critical in strengthening trust in our regulatory decisions.

To help people understand what our role is and how we regulate pesticides in Canada, we will:
revisit what types of information and data are currently available for review with an aim to improving access
better explain how data is considered and factored into the decision-making process
ensure regulatory documents are written in clear, concise and plain language
provide opportunities for engagement throughout the decision-making process

Openness, transparency and accountability are guiding principles of the Government of Canada. That is why we are making more data and information available to Canadians than ever before.

Increased use of real-world data and independent advice
We rely on data from a variety of sources, including:
the pesticide industry
pesticide users
non-governmental organizations
peer reviewed scientific journals
other federal and provincial departments

Currently, PMRA's access to comprehensive, real-world data and independent advice about pesticides is limited. We will diversify the sources and increase the volume of information used to make decisions on pesticides.

When reviewing pesticides for human health and environmental safety, it's important to consider:
levels of pesticides in Canadian waters
information on how, where and how much pesticides are used in Canada

We will establish:
a program to collect and use more water monitoring data with support from sampling partners across the Canada
a framework in consultation with various stakeholders to collect, monitor, analyze and publically report on pesticide use information in Canada.
a science advisory committee to obtain independent scientific advice on certain scientific aspects of our work

Strengthened protection of human health and the environment through modernized business process
We will make changes to our business processes to ensure more responsive pesticide life cycle monitoring. Specifically, we will:
modernize from a point-in-time model to a continuous oversight lifecycle approach.
     o This will include expanding and formalizing the use of data throughout the pesticide's regulatory lifecycle to make better informed regulatory decisions.
improve regulatory processes for increased efficiency and timely assessment and management of risks
introduce a risk-based approach to allow the PMRA to direct resources where they are most needed to make timely decisions for overall improved health and environmental protection

Targeted review of the Pest Control Products Act

As part of this transformation, we will conduct a targeted review of the Pest Control Products Act. This targeted legislative review will help the PMRA determine whether legislative changes to the PCPA are required to support our efforts to modernize and strengthen the regulatory system on issues like transparency, modernized business processes and the use of real world data.

Consultations this spring will help with the development of both policy and legislative proposals to achieve these objectives.

Contact us:
Learn more about the Pest Management Regulatory Agency.