Special Advisory Committee on COVID-19

The Pan-Canadian Public Health Network (PHN) mobilizes coordinated action and response efforts in times of an urgent health event of national concern. A Special Advisory Committee (SAC) is established to lead a pan-Canadian response across federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) governments in the event of such a public health crisis.

In January 2020, the co-chairs of the PHN Council established a FPT Special Advisory Committee on COVID-19 to advise the Conference of FPT Deputy Ministers of Health on the coordination, public health policy, and technical content related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The SAC has representatives from several Government of Canada departments, as well as members of the Public Health Network Council and the Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health. Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, and Dr. Saqib Shahab, Chief Medical Health Officer, Saskatchewan co-chair the committee.

Several expert groups bring together senior FPT public health officials, experts and Indigenous organizations that support the SAC on COVID-19, including a:

  • Technical Advisory Committee
  • Logistics Advisory Committee
  • Public Health Network Communications Group
  • Public Health Working Group on Remote and Isolated Communities.

The SAC currently meets several times a week to discuss the coordination of FPT preparedness and response across Canada’s health systems.

SAC recommendations and guidance