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Bill C-566

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2nd Session, 41st Parliament,
62 Elizabeth II, 2013-2014
house of commons of canada
BILL C-566
An Act respecting a Comprehensive Pan-Canadian Strategy on Concussion
Whereas concussions are increasingly recognized as a major health issue in Canada;
Whereas concussions are serious head injuries that often result from sports and recreational activities, falls by infants and seniors, vehicle collisions and accidents in the work place, at school and at home;
Whereas it is important to be aware of and informed about concussions, as well as their symptoms and effects, in order to recognize when they occur and to overcome diagnostic challenges that may be caused by ambiguous symptoms such as blurred vision, fatigue, headaches, nausea and vomiting;
Whereas concussions can produce various effects, including affective, neuropsychological, psychological and physiological effects, as well as social effects, and can have significant economic impacts on victims, their families and their work;
Whereas the impacts of concussion can be devastating and may prevent individuals from returning to their regular activities for extended periods of time, since each individual’s recovery from the effects of concussion is unique and their ability to meet return-to-work, return-to-school and return-to-play guidelines varies markedly;
Whereas the pathophysiology of concussion is not well documented and is an area in which research is constantly developing;
Whereas determining the pathophysiology of concussion would help inform management practices;
Whereas further concussion research is essential to improving the ability to prevent, diagnose and manage concussions;
Whereas Canadians suffering from concussions, as well as their families and caregivers, deserve the government’s support in obtaining resources to aid in their recovery and to improve their quality of life;
And whereas the Government of Canada believes that concussion must be better addressed by implementing a Pan-Canadian Strategy on Concussion;
Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and the House of Commons of Canada enacts as follows:
Short title
1. This Act may be cited as the Pan-Canadian Strategy on Concussion Act.
2. The following definitions apply in this Act.
« Conseil »
“Board” means the Concussion Board established under section 6.
« ministre »
“Minister” means the Minister of Health.
Pan-Canadian Concussion Awareness Week
3. Throughout Canada, in each and every year, the first week of the month of June is to be known as “Pan-Canadian Concussion Awareness Week”.
Initiate discussions
4. Within 30 days after this Act comes into force, the Minister must initiate discussions with the provincial and territorial ministers responsible for health for the purposes of developing a comprehensive Pan-Canadian Strategy on Concussion.
Pan-Canadian Strategy
5. The Pan-Canadian Strategy on Concussion must be designed to contribute to the prevention, diagnosis and management of concussion by
(a) establishing and improving national guidelines regarding the prevention, diagnosis and management of concussions, including a recommended standard of care that reflects current best methodological, medical and psychosocial practices for concussion care;
(b) developing preventive measures to reduce the risk of concussion including:
(i) the incorporation of neck stability and strength exercises into training for athletes and workers at risk, as well as for those who engage in activities that involve a significant risk of concussion, and
(ii) the promotion of cost-effective meas­ures to reduce the risk of concussion in sports that involve a significant risk of concussion;
(c) promoting optional training on concussion awareness, prevention and recognition for employees in seniors’ residences, community centres and daycares, and other caregivers;
(d) promoting the establishment of an optional program on concussion awareness, prevention, and recognition, and promoting the use of measures to prevent concussion for workers in industries that involve significant risk of concussion, as a component of existing vocational training;
(e) developing a mandatory educational program on concussions for referees and other officials of sports that involve a significant risk of concussion to enhance athletes’ safety and to place a focus on the role of referees and officials in minimizing risk, recognizing possible concussion and responding appropriately;
(f) establishing and enforcing requirements to include mandatory concussion recognition and management training in all professional accreditation programs for coaches in Canada;
(g) encouraging the use of consulting psychologists to create a support system for people who are suffering from the effects of concussion, especially in educational institutions, sports organizations and workplaces;
(h) developing a template for a Centre for Excellence in Concussion Research to encourage greater investigation in all areas of concussion research, including research related to
(i) gender as a modifying factor,
(ii) the efficacy of assessment tools, including neuroimaging,
(iii) the window of metabolic dysfunction,
(iv) emotional effects,
(v) appropriate management protocols,
(vi) the composition and utility of a biomarker database for the purposes of diagnosis and the assessment of severity, prognosis and rate of recovery, and
(vii) thresholds for long-term effects;
(i) developing and maintaining a government website to provide Canadians with current facts, research and best practices related to the prevention, diagnosis and management of concussion, as well as other relevant resources related to concussions; and
(j) developing a national database to track the incidence of concussion across the country, to provide data for research on trends and vulnerable groups and to facilitate the evaluation of the efficacy of the Strategy in order to identify areas for improvement.
Establishment of the Board
6. There is established a board, to be known as the Concussion Board.
Board objective
7. The objective of the Board is to advise and assist the Minister respecting the design and implementation of the Pan-Canadian Strategy on Concussion and to ensure the implementation and on-going review and adaptation of the Strategy to reflect change in knowledge and recommended practices.
Annual meeting
8. The Board must meet at least once annually, during Pan-Canadian Concussion Awareness Week.
Report —government website
9. (1) The Board must prepare and post, on the government website referred to in paragraph 5(i), an annual report on best practices related to the prevention, diagnosis and management of concussion, as well as relevant information related to concussions, in order to make information available to relevant recreational, work and residential establishments to assist them in maintaining current policies related to the prevention and management of concussion.
Report to Minister
(2) The Board must report on or before December 1 of every year to the Minister on the measures and resources implemented to achieve the objective set out in section 7.
Tabling of report
(3) The report referred to in subsection (2), including the Board's recommendations and reasons, must be made public, and must be sent to the Minister, who must cause a copy of the report to be laid before each House of Parliament on any of the first 15 days on which that House is sitting after the Minister receives it.
Minister's response
(4) The Minister must prepare and publish a response to the report received pursuant to subsection (3) and must cause a copy of the response to be laid before each House of Parliament on any of the first 15 days on which that House is sitting after the expiry of 90 days from the day on which the Minister received the report.
10. The Board is to be composed of a maximum of 20 members appointed by the Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Minister and selected from among the following:
(a) researchers and representatives from medical and healthcare professions — including neuropsychologists, psychologists, chiropractors and therapists — who special­ize in concussions and head injuries;
(b) stakeholders involved in all levels of sports that involve a significant risk of concussion, senior care, transportation, childcare and schools as well as those involved in other activities and industries involving a significant risk of head injuries;
(c) manufacturers of relevant protective equipment and materials or their representatives;
(d) current and retired athletes, trainers and coaches;
(e) Canadians who suffer from concussions, as well as their families and caregivers; and
(f) volunteers and employees working with advocacy or support groups or volunteer organizations involved with concussed individuals.
11. Members of the Board are appointed to hold office for a term not exceeding four years and are eligible to be reappointed.
12. The Minister must designate one member of the Board to be the Chairperson.
13. The members of the Board must be paid remuneration as fixed by the Governor in Council and are entitled to be paid reasonable travel and living expenses incurred in the course of their duties while absent from their ordinary places of work, in the case of full-time members, or while absent from their ordinary place of residence, in the case of part-time members.
14. The Board may employ any officers and employees and engage the services of any agents and mandataries, advisers and experts that it considers necessary to carry out its purpose.
Published under authority of the Speaker of the House of Commons