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Bill 30: Increased Public Participation in Professional Regulation

On Monday, July 6, 2020, the Government of Alberta tabled Bill 30, the Health Statutes Amendment Act, 2020. This proposed legislation amends a number of existing Acts, including the Alberta Health Professions Act

The Health Professions Act establishes a regulatory College for each of Alberta’s regulated health professions. Each College is required to have a governing Council and to appoint Hearing Tribunals to hear discipline cases and Complaint Review Committees to review complaints that are dismissed without a hearing.    

Bill 30 will increase the required percentage of public members from at least 25% to at least 50% on Colleges’ governing Councils, Hearing Tribunals and Complaint Review Committees. The Bill provides for this change to come into effect on April 1, 2021. 

This seemingly minor change will dramatically impact health regulatory Colleges:

  • Health professions will no longer regulate themselves, with limited public input. The public will have an equal or greater say in regulating the health professions. 
  • Colleges will have to reduce the size of their governing Councils, or else greatly increase their size by adding new public members;
  • Discipline cases will no longer be decided by Tribunals made up of a majority of members of the profession.  50% or more of the members of these Tribunals will be members of the public;
  • Reviews of decisions to dismiss complaints will also be decided by Committees with 50% or more public members;
  • Bylaw amendments will be necessary to implement these changes.

Bill 30 has passed first reading in the Alberta legislature. While there are longer-term implications to assess, regulators should immediately begin to review their bylaws and consider changes to Council composition and election procedures, Hearing Tribunal and Complaint Review Committee composition that will be necessary to comply with the amendments when they come into force.

Field Law will continue to monitor and report on the Bill as its progresses.