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Bill C-451

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First Session, Forty-second Parliament,
64-65-66-67-68 Elizabeth II, 2015-2016-2017-2018-2019
HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA
BILL C-451
An Act to establish a Children’s Health Commissioner of Canada
FIRST READING, May 16, 2019
Ms. Leitch
421585


SUMMARY

This enactment provides for the establishment of the Children’s Health Commissioner of Canada.
It also makes consequential amendments to other Acts.
Available on the House of Commons website at the following address:
www.ourcommons.ca


1st Session, 42nd Parliament,
64-65-66-67-68 Elizabeth II, 2015-2016-2017-2018-2019
HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA
BILL C-451
An Act to establish a Children’s Health Commissioner of Canada

Preamble
Whereas the true measure of a country is the priority that it places on the well-being, health, security and education of its children and youth, which are its future, and the consideration it gives to their value in their family and society;

Whereas Canada, by ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, recognizes that every child has the right to enjoy a standard of living that allows for their physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development;
Whereas Parliament recognizes the principle that children are entitled to special safeguards, care and assistance, including appropriate health and pre­ventative health care measures;
And whereas it is advisable to establish an independ­ent Commissioner to report and advise on meas­ures under the legislative authority of Parliament that advance that principle;
Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

Short Title

Short title
1This Act may be cited as the Children’s Health Commissioner of Canada Act.

Interpretation

Definitions
2The following definitions apply in this Act.
Commissioner means the Children’s Health Commissioner of Canada appointed under subsection 3(1). (commissaire)
Minister means the Minister of Health. (ministre)

Children’s Health Commissioner of Canada

Appointment
3(1)The Governor in Council must appoint a Children’s Health Commissioner of Canada after consultation with the following persons and approval of the appointment by resolution of the Senate and House of Commons:
(a)the member of the Senate occupying the position of Leader of the Government in the Senate, the member of the Senate occupying the position of Leader of the Opposition in the Senate and the leader of every parliamentary group and recognized group in the Senate; and
(b)the leader of every recognized party in the House of Commons.
Tenure and term of office
(2)The Commissioner holds office during good behaviour for a term of five years but may be removed for cause by the Governor in Council at any time on address of the Senate and House of Commons.
Absence or incapacity
(3)In the event of the absence or incapacity of the Commissioner, or if that office is vacant, the Governor in Council must appoint a person to hold the office on an interim basis for a term of not more than six months.
Duties
4(1)The Commissioner must engage exclusively in the duties of the office of Commissioner under this or any other Act of Parliament and must not hold any other office or engage in any other employment for reward.
Salary and expenses
(2)The Commissioner is to be paid a salary equal to the salary of a judge of the Federal Court, other than the Chief Justice of that Court, and is entitled to be paid travel and living expenses incurred in the performance of his or her duties while absent from his or her ordinary place of work.
Status
5The Commissioner is deemed to be
(a)a person employed in the public service for the purposes of the Public Service Superannuation Act;
(b)an employee for the purposes of the Government Employees Compensation Act; and
(c)employed in the federal public administration for the purposes of any regulations made under section 9 of the Aeronautics Act.
Deputy head
6The Commissioner has the rank and all the powers of a deputy head of a department.
Staff
7(1)The employees who are necessary to carry out the activities of the Commissioner are to be appointed in accordance with the Public Service Employment Act.
Technical assistance
(2)The Commissioner may engage on a temporary basis the services of persons having technical or specialized knowledge of any matter relating to the Commissioner’s activities and, with the approval of the Treasury Board, may fix and pay the remuneration and expenses of those persons.

Mandate

Commissioner
8(1)The Commissioner must exercise the powers and carry out the duties and functions that are assigned to the Commissioner by this Act or any other Act of Parliament and may carry out or engage in any other related assignments or activities that may be authorized by the Gov­ernor in Council.
Mandate and powers, duties and functions
(2)The Commissioner’s mandate is to
(a)raise public awareness of child and youth health issues in Canada;
(b)publish reports on key issues affecting child and youth health;
(c)issue an annual report card on child and youth health in Canada to the Minister;
(d)advise the Minister on the development of a pan-Canadian child and youth health strategy;
(e)advise the Minister on how proposed policy and legislation will affect child and youth health;
(f)have lead responsibility for an interdepartmental committee on child and youth health;
(g)support a federal-provincial committee on child and youth health reporting to the Minister and the provincial ministers responsible for health;
(h)act as the link between the federal government and not-for-profit, for-profit and voluntary organizations on issues related to child and youth health;
(i)work with the Canadian Institute for Health Information and Statistics Canada to acquire comprehensive information on the health status of Canada’s children and youth, with a focus on the development of comparable health indicators and outcomes; and
(j)commission research independently or in partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to address knowledge gaps on health and health services for Canadian children and youth.

Advisory council

Advisory council
9(1)The Commissioner must establish an advisory council, composed of representatives from professional and non-governmental organizations that deal with the health of children and youth and persons representing the various socio-economic and cultural interests in Canada, to advise him or her on strategic directions and long-term programs and on any other issue relating to his or her mandate.
Expenses
(2)Council members are entitled to travel and living expenses in the performance of their duties under this Act while absent from their ordinary place of residence.

Reports to Parliament

Annual report
10(1)Within three months after the end of each year, the Commissioner must prepare a report on his or her activities during that year that includes his or her evaluation of the health status of children and youth in Canada and his or her recommendations.
Tabling of report
(2)The Commissioner must submit the report to the Speaker of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Commons, and each Speaker must table the report in the House over which he or she presides on any of the first 15 days on which that House is sitting after the Speaker receives the report.
Special report
11(1)The Commissioner may, at any time, prepare a special report on any matter that is within the scope of his or her powers, duties and functions if, in his or her opinion, the matter is of such urgency or importance that a report on it should not be deferred until the time provided for the submission of the next annual report.
Tabling of report
(2)The Commissioner must submit the special report to the Speaker of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Commons, and each Speaker must table the report in the House over which he or she presides on any of the first 15 days on which that House is sitting after the Speaker receives the report.
Disclosure prohibited
12The Commissioner is prohibited from disclosing, in any report prepared under subsection 10(1) or 11(1), any information that could be used to identify, even indirectly, any individual.
Publication
13The Commissioner must publish the annual report and any special report on the website of the Children’s Health Commissioner of Canada within 15 days after it is tabled in both Houses.

Consequential Amendments

R.‍S.‍, c. A-1

Access to Information Act

14Schedule I to the Access to Information Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “Other Government Institutions”:
Children’s Health Commissioner of Canada
Commissaire à la santé des enfants du Canada
R.‍S.‍, c. F-11

Financial Administration Act

15Schedule I.‍1 to the Financial Administration Act is amended by adding in alphabetical order, in column I, a reference to:
Children’s Health Commissioner of Canada
Commissaire à la santé des enfants du Canada
and a corresponding reference in column II to “Minister of Health”.
16Schedule V to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order:
Children’s Health Commissioner of Canada
Commissaire à la santé des enfants du Canada
17Part II of Schedule VI to the Act is amended by adding in alphabetical order, in column I, a reference to:
Children’s Health Commissioner of Canada
Commissaire à la santé des enfants du Canada
and a corresponding reference in column II to “Commissioner”.
R.‍S.‍, c. P-21

Privacy Act

18The schedule to the Privacy Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “Other Government Institutions”:
Children’s Health Commissioner of Canada
Commissaire à la santé des enfants du Canada
R.‍S.‍, c. P-36

Public Service Superannuation Act

19Part I of Schedule I to the Public Service Superannuation Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order:
Children’s Health Commissioner of Canada
Commissaire à la santé des enfants du Canada
Published under authority of the Speaker of the House of Commons

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