Documents that are captured by the Prevention Policies Directory web crawler are subjected to a review process before they are published and made available online. Below is the criteria used when deciding whether a document is appropriate and relevant for inclusion within the Prevention Policies Directory.

Must be related to cancer and/or chronic diseases

  • The focus of the document must be, either completely or partially, related to cancer and/or one or more chronic diseases.
  • Examples of other chronic diseases include: diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, etc.
  • Note: Currently, HIV/AIDS and mental health are not addressed by the Prevention Policies Directory.

Must be related to prevention

  • Only documents relevant to the prevention of cancer and/or chronic diseases are published in the Directory.
  • Documents dealing with cancer and chronic disease management and treatment are excluded.

Must be related to at least one of the following risk factors:

  • Nutrition, physical activity, built environment, alcohol consumption, tobacco control, infectious agents (i.e. Hepatitis B or C and HPV), occupational and environmental exposures, and/or UV/ionizing radiation.
  • The “general” category, under the risk factor drop-down search field, contains policies and legislation that more broadly impact the prevention of chronic diseases and cancer that do not fit into one of the above risk factors.


  • Policies based on the social determinants of health
  • Provincial/Territorial Public Health Acts

Must be related to Canada

  • National, provincial/territorial, and municipal policy documents from Canada are included.
  • Policy documents from other countries are excluded.
  • Policy documents from 31 Canadian municipalities are included, all others are currently excluded. The Directory currently indexes policies from the Urban Public Health Network (Canada’s 18 largest municipalities).
  • Policy documents from school boards are currently excluded. Please refer to the original environmental scans for school policies, or filter indexed policies using the “venue” refinement in search results by “school.”

Must be a policy or legal instrument

Documents must fit into one of the categories listed below:

A subordinate legislation made by any authority subordinated to a legislature. The most frequently referenced bylaws are those made by municipalities.

Example: Bylaw 270 of the Town of Hudson, Quebec.

This municipal corporation is governed by the Cities and Towns Act, R.S.Q., c. C-19. Pursuant to s. 410(1) of this legislation, Hudson’s town council adopted bylaw 270 in 1991 (the first municipal bylaw to restrict the use of pesticides in Canada).

Any set of standards put forth and enforced by government for the protection of public safety and health (ie. building codes for ventilation or sanitary requirements).

A set of organizational rules intended to promote health. These can be in the form of a plan or a course of action.

Example: Municipal Official Plans

Official plans set out land use policy directions to guide the long-term growth and development of municipalities. For instance, the City of Ottawa Official Plan promotes health and wellness by addressing transportation infrastructure, environmental protection, building livable communities, and other areas defined by the Provincial Policy Statement under the Ontario Planning Act.

A subordinate legislation adopted by a government according to lawmaking powers conferred by a statute. Regulations clarify information that is found in the statute by providing more details or definitions.

Example: Extra-billing and User Charges Information Regulations, SOR/86-259

As permitted by the Canada Health Act, these regulations contain information on Extra-billing and User Charges for the provinces, in any given fiscal year. SOR stands for Federal “Statutory Orders and Regulations”. The numbers following the forward slash indicate that it was passed in 1986, and it is regulation number 259.

An act of a legislature adopted pursuant to constitutional authority. These are written laws that are also referred to as Acts or legislation. Statutes usually permit the enactment of regulations. In terms of hierarchy, these have more legal authority than regulations, bylaws, or bills (in that order).

Example: Canada Health Act, R.S., 1985, c. C-6

The name of the statute is the “Canada Health Act” which can be found in the Revised Statutes of Canada (R.S.) of 1985 in chapter C-6.

Last updated: September 20, 2016