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Government of Canada hosts roundtable discussion to advance Canada's work on antimicrobial resistance

This article was originally published by the Public Health Agency of Canada.


Minister Ambrose unveils new action plan with concrete steps to address antimicrobial resistance in Canada, releases first ever integrated, national surveillance report and announces funding to support a new study on the economic impacts of antimicrobial resistance.


March 31, 2015 - Ottawa, ON - Public Health Agency of Canada

Today, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, met with leaders representing human and animal health organizations to discuss the Government of Canada’s plan for combatting antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The roundtable provided an important opportunity for both human and animal health stakeholders to share their priorities and discuss roles and responsibilities in addressing AMR. Preserving the effectiveness of antimicrobials and ensuring their optimal use (also known as antimicrobial stewardship) was a key focus of the discussion.

AMR is a global challenge affecting public health, healthcare, animal health, agriculture, environment and industry.

At the roundtable Minister Ambrose made several announcements including:

  • The Government of Canada’s new Federal Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance and Use, which builds on the previously released Federal Framework for Action;

  • An investment of $250,000 (US) to support a World Bank study of the economic impacts of AMR; and

  • The launch of the Canadian Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (CARSS), a new surveillance approach that will provide an integrated, national picture of antimicrobial use and resistance across Canada.

To read the full Action Plan or view the first CARSS report, visit

Quick Facts

  • Antimicrobial resistance develops when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change so that the medicines, such as antibiotics, used to treat the germs become less effective and sometimes do not work at all.

  • Antimicrobial resistance happens naturally, but a major contributor to the rising rate is the overuse and misuse of antimicrobial medicines, such as antibiotics.

  • Antimicrobial stewardship encompasses a number of areas including the optimal use of antimicrobials and infection prevention and control, with the goal of minimizing the development of antimicrobial resistance.

  • The Federal Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance and Use builds on the strategic areas of focus and priority action items outlined in the Framework by identifying concrete steps that will be undertaken by the Government of Canada.

  • The Public Health Agency of Canada will lead the implementation of the Action Plan in collaboration with Health Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Industry Canada and the National Research Council.

  • In 2014-2015, the Agency implemented an educational campaign to help promote awareness and knowledge of antibiotic resistance among the general public/Canadian parents and to raise awareness with health professionals of the resources available to support discussions with their patients about antibiotic resistance. Materials can be found online at

  • The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) supports research in AMR through its investigator-initiated and priority-driven research programs. Between 2006 and 2014, CIHR invested over $143 million in AMR research


“Today’s announcement demonstrates some of the important steps the Government of Canada has made in addressing the global health issue of antimicrobial resistance.  We are committed to working with partners across Canada and around the world to tackle antimicrobial resistance and ensure the medicines Canadians are using continue to be safe and effective.”

Honourable Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health

“Canadian farmers and ranchers understand the importance of effective antimicrobials to ensure the high quality care of their livestock.  Working together to improve stewardship on the use of antimicrobials will continue to ensure their availability for future generations.”

Honourable Gerry Ritz
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food


Michael Bolkenius
Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
Federal Minister of Health
(613) 957-0200

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada
(613) 957-2983

David Coulombe
Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
(613) 941-4563