The Independence of Chief Medical Health Officers 

Feb. 18, 2022

The CBA Public Sector Lawyers Section presents:

The Independence of Chief Medical Health Officers

February 18, 2022 | 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM Eastern

Zoom Meeting

The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated the role of Provincial/Territorial Chief Medical Officers of Health (CMOHs) and their federal counterpart, the Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) for Canada, from relative obscurity to some of the highest profile public servants in the country. As a result, scholars and pundits have questioned CMOHs/CPHOs degree of autonomy and independence from the government of the day. In this program we will consider the statutory basis for the position of CMOH, review why the role is designed to have a degree of autonomy and whether this autonomy can be exercised during a public emergency, and the extent to which they can or should speak publicly about the scientific research that informs their work and their actual advice to the Cabinet.


Tom Ullyett, Co-chair, Public Sector Lawyers Section, CBA Yukon Branch, Whitehorse, Yukon                    


Patrick Fafard

Patrick Fafard is a Full Professor at the University of Ottawa and a Senior Investigator with the Global Strategy Lab, University of Ottawa/York University. His current research includes the governance of organ donation and transplantation and a variety of projects on public health policy and governance including a comparative study of public health leadership. Earlier in his career he has served in senior management positions with the Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan.

Steven J. Hoffman

Steven J. Hoffman is the Dahdaleh Distinguished Chair in Global Governance & Legal Epidemiology and a Professor of Global Health, Law, and Political Science at York University, the Director of the Global Strategy Lab, and the Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Global Governance of Antimicrobial Resistance. He holds a courtesy appointment as a Professor of Health Research Methods, Evidence & Impact (Part-Time) at McMaster University. He is an international lawyer licensed in both Ontario and New York who specializes in global health law, global governance and institutional design. His research leverages various methodological approaches to craft global strategies that better address transnational health threats and social inequalities. Past studies have focused on access to medicines, antimicrobial resistance, health misinformation, pandemics and tobacco control.

Margaret MacAulay

Margaret MacAulay is a Research Associate with the Global Strategy Lab, where she designs and conducts research on senior public health leaders’ communication efforts in response to COVID-19. Previously, Margaret was a postdoctoral research fellow in the School of Nursing at UBC, where she led the qualitative portion of an NIH-funded mixed-methods study investigating sexual violence perpetration among LGBTQ youth. 


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    February 18, 2022
    1:00 PM - 2:00 PM (Eastern)

    Zoom Meeting

    Instructions will be sent via email the day prior to the event.


    CBA members: Free

    Non-members: $30                                                                                                                                                            





Augusta Acquah
Liaison Officer, CBA Sections
The Canadian Bar Association
(613) 237-2925 ext. 133  | (800) 267-8860 |