Assented to 2000-04-13
An Act to establish the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, to repeal the Medical Research Council Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts
WHEREAS Parliament recognizes
that Canadians value health as central to happiness and fulfilment, and aspire to be among the healthiest people in the world,
that Canada should be an internationally acknowledged leader in contributing to the global advancement of health research and that excellence in health research is fundamental to improving the health of Canadians and of the wider global community, and
that investment in health and the health care system is part of the Canadian vision of being a caring society;
WHEREAS Parliament recognizes that the provinces are responsible for the delivery of health care to Canadians and that the Government of Canada collaborates with provincial governments to support the health care system and health research;
WHEREAS Parliament believes that health research should
address the respective health issues of children, women and men and of the diverse populations of Canada,
be characterized by a transparent approach that facilitates accountability to Canadians, and
take into consideration ethical issues;
WHEREAS Parliament is cognizant of an historic opportunity to transform health research in Canada through the creation of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research as a flexible mechanism that will continually align health research funding with changes in the manner in which health problems and opportunities are identified, understood and addressed;
WHEREAS Parliament believes that health research institutes should be created to coordinate, focus and integrate health research based on
an understanding of the multi-factorial nature of health problems and opportunities,
the involvement and recognition of, and respect for, health researchers from all research disciplines, and the cooperation of a wide range of partners from all relevant sectors, the provinces and other countries,
the attraction of the best health researchers in Canada and the world and their development and retention in Canada,
the creation of new scientific knowledge based on research that meets the highest international standards of excellence, and
the application of that knowledge to the development and implementation of innovative policy and practice;
WHEREAS Parliament understands that this transformation in health research can build on the legacy of excellence in health research already established in Canada, including the decisive contributions of the Medical Research Council and the National Health Research and Development Program, while understanding that the institutions, technologies and environment for health research have become more varied and complex than in the past;
WHEREAS Parliament recognizes that this transformation in Canadian health research will also enhance economic development in Canada and promote growth and job creation in key sectors of the knowledge-based economy;
AND WHEREAS Parliament believes that the Canadian Institutes of Health Research will provide the leadership required for this transformation and the continuing success of health research in Canada;
NOW, THEREFORE, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
Marginal note:Short title
Definition of Minister
2 In this Act, Minister means the member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada who is designated by the Governor in Council for the purposes of this Act.
Marginal note:Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Marginal note:Agent of Her Majesty
(2) The CIHR is an agent of Her Majesty in right of Canada.
Marginal note:Head office
(3) The head office of the CIHR shall be at the place in Canada that is designated by the Governor in Council.
4 The objective of the CIHR is to excel, according to internationally accepted standards of scientific excellence, in the creation of new knowledge and its translation into improved health for Canadians, more effective health services and products and a strengthened Canadian health care system, by
(a) exercising leadership within the Canadian research community and fostering collaboration with the provinces and with individuals and organizations in or outside Canada that have an interest in health or health research;
(b) creating a robust health research environment in Canada, based on internationally accepted standards of scientific excellence and a peer review process, that will attract, develop and keep excellent researchers and provide them with the opportunity to contribute to the improvement of people’s health in Canada and the world;
(c) forging an integrated health research agenda across disciplines, sectors and regions that reflects the emerging health needs of Canadians and the evolution of the health system and supports health policy decision-making;
(d) encouraging interdisciplinary, integrative health research through the creation of Health Research Institutes that
(i) together pertain to all aspects of health,
(ii) include bio-medical research, clinical research, research respecting health systems, health services, the health of populations, societal and cultural dimensions of health and environmental influences on health, and other research as required,
(iii) work in collaboration with the provinces to advance health research and to promote the dissemination and application of new research knowledge to improve health and health services, and
(iv) engage voluntary organizations, the private sector and others, in or outside Canada, with complementary research interests;
(e) promoting, assisting and undertaking research that meets the highest international scientific standards of excellence and ethics and that pertains to all aspects of health, including bio-medical research, clinical research and research respecting health systems, health services, the health of populations, societal and cultural dimensions of health and environmental influences on health;
(f) addressing emerging health opportunities, threats and challenges and accelerating the discovery of cures and treatments and improvements to health care, prevention and wellness strategies;
(g) fostering the discussion of ethical issues and the application of ethical principles to health research;
(h) promoting the dissemination of knowledge and the application of health research to improve the health of Canadians;
(i) encouraging innovation, facilitating the commercialization of health research in Canada and promoting economic development through health research in Canada;
(j) building the capacity of the Canadian health research community through the development of researchers and the provision of sustained support for scientific careers in health research;
(k) pursuing opportunities and providing support for the participation of Canadian scientists in international collaboration and partnerships in health research; and
(l) ensuring transparency and accountability to Canadians for the investment of the Government of Canada in health research.
Powers and Functions
Marginal note:Powers and functions
5 For the purpose of achieving its objective, the powers and functions of the CIHR are to
(a) promote, assist and undertake health research;
(b) foster the development and ongoing support of the scientific careers of women and men in health research;
(c) consult, collaborate and form partnerships with the provinces and with persons and organizations in or outside Canada that have an interest in issues pertaining to health or health research;
(d) monitor, analyze and evaluate issues, including ethical issues, pertaining to health or health research;
(e) advise the Minister in respect of any matter relating to health research or health policy;
(f) communicate with the public, governments, the Canadian and the international research communities, voluntary organizations and the private sector on issues pertaining to health or health research; and
(g) exercise any other power and perform any other function that is assigned to it by the Governor in Council to achieve its objective.
6 The President of the CIHR shall be appointed by the Governor in Council to hold office during pleasure for a term of not more than five years. The President is eligible for reappointment.
Marginal note:Governing Council
Marginal note:Appointment and tenure of members
(2) Each initial member of the Governing Council, other than the President, shall be appointed by the Governor in Council to hold office for any term of not more than three years that will ensure, as far as possible, the expiry in any one year of the terms of office of not more than one third of the members. Subsequently appointed members shall be appointed by the Governor in Council for a three-year term.
Marginal note:Removal and reappointment
(3) The members appointed under subsection (2) shall be appointed to hold office during pleasure. They may be appointed to no more than two consecutive terms.
Marginal note:Appointment criteria
(4) The Governor in Council shall appoint as members of the Governing Council women and men who are able to contribute to the achievement of the objective of the CIHR in the overall interests of Canadians. The Governor in Council shall consider appointing women and men who reflect the highest standards of scientific excellence and women and men who reflect a range of relevant backgrounds and disciplines.
- 2000, c. 6, s. 7;
- 2010, c. 12, s. 1693.
Marginal note:Deputy Minister of Health
8 Notwithstanding subsection 7(2), the Deputy Minister of Health is an ex officio and non-voting member of the Governing Council.
(2) The Governing Council shall elect one of its members to be a Vice-Chairperson.
Marginal note:Absence or incapacity
(3) In the event of the absence or incapacity of the Chairperson or if the office of the Chairperson is vacant, the Vice-Chairperson has and may exercise all the powers and perform all the duties and functions of the Chairperson.
Marginal note:Establishing committees
(a) may establish by by-law an executive committee and other committees of the Governing Council; and
(b) shall establish by by-law one or more standing committees to advise the Governing Council with respect to the full range of health research, and in particular for the purposes of paragraphs 4(d) and (e).
(2) A by-law establishing a committee, other than an executive committee, may provide for the committee’s membership to include persons who are not members of the Governing Council.
(3) The members of a committee who are not members of the Governing Council may be paid for their services the fees that are fixed by the Governor in Council.
11 The Governing Council may meet at the times and at the places in Canada that it considers necessary, but it shall meet at least twice a year.
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