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About the Centre for Biosecurity

Role of the Centre for Biosecurity

The Centre for Biosecurity (the Centre) is comprised of four different offices, which administer and enforce the Human Pathogens and Toxins Act (HPTA), the Human Pathogen Importation Regulations (HPIR) and certain sections of the Health of Animals Act and the Health of Animals Regulations (HAA/HAR). The responsibilities of each Office are outlined below. Each contributes to the Agency's ongoing efforts to anticipate and respond to public health challenges and protect the health, safety and security of the Canadian public against the risks posed by human pathogens and toxins.

  • Office of Biosafety Programs and Planning (OBPP) - develops biosafety program and policy components to protect against existing and emerging risks; establishes and maintains biosafety risk assessments and biocontainment directives; acts as the focal point for the Agency for key international discussions, such as the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) and the Australia Group, to ensure that international discussions are considered for domestic policy, and vice-versa.
  • Office of Biosafety and Biocontainment Operations (OBBO) - administers and enforces the HPTA, HPIR, and select sections of the HAA/HAR;  supports registrations under the HPTA, import permits for human and terrestrial animal pathogens or toxins, evidence of compliance with containment standards, and certifications for those labs using higher risk human pathogens or toxins, as required by the HPIR; verifies compliance (both microbiological and engineering) using inspections, audits, etc.; advances biocontainment engineering science to identify knowledge gaps and to inform biosafety standards and guidelines.
  • Office of Pathogen Security (OPS) - develops and manages  strategic partnerships to facilitate a whole of Government approach to pathogen oversight in Canada and alignment internationally where possible; provides technical assistance and resources to domestic and international partners and stakeholders in the area of laboratory biosecurity with a view to mitigating deliberate misuse of pathogens and toxins;  facilitates and implements innovative information technology solutions to support administration and compliance activities for the Centre at the border and domestically.
  • Office of Stakeholder Engagement and Regulatory Affairs (OSERA) - responsible for the development and comprehensive lifecycle management of the Acts and Regulations administered by the Centre; serves as the coordination and briefing unit for all regulatory initiatives involving or implicating the Agency; develops  strong and sustainable relationships with stakeholders through outreach, targeted stakeholder communications, engagement and consultation activities; provides secretariat support to external advisory committees that inform the development of the HPTA program and regulatory framework.