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Copyright © 2000: Queens Printer,
Statutes of Newfoundland 1995
AN ACT RESPECTING THE PROTECTION OF THE HEALTH OF THE PUBLIC
(Assented to December 21, 1995)
1. Short title
3. Officials shall respond
4. Boards, committees and councils
5. Entry into building or on land
6. Interference or obstruction
8. Restricted areas
9. Removal of sewage facilities
10. Dwelling unfit for habitation
14. Consent to prosecution
Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor and House of Assembly in Legislative Session convened, as follows:
1. This Act may be cited as the Public Health Act.
2. In this Act
(a) "department" means the department presided over by the minister;
(b) "health officer" means an officer of the department designated as a health officer by the minister;
(c) "inspector" means an officer of the department designated as an inspector by the minister;
(d) "medical health officer" means a medical practitioner registered and entitled to practise medicine in the province and designated as a medical health officer by the minister;
(e) "minister" means the minister responsible for the administration of this Act; and
(f) "municipal authority" includes the City of St. John's, the City of Corner Brook, the City of Mount Pearl, and a town council, community council, local service district committee and regional council established or continued under the Municipalities Act or another Act.
Officials shall respond
3. (1) Every official of a public institution, medical health officer, clerk or secretary of a municipal authority, chairperson or secretary of a school board, medical practitioner, nurse, dentist, dental surgeon, optometrist, pharmaceutical chemist, chemist and druggist shall, in relation to matters affecting public health,
(a) answer promptly all communications from the department;
(b) collect and tabulate facts and statistics according to instructions given him or her by the department; and
(c) supply correct information as to all matters submitted to him or her.
(2) A person mentioned in subsection (1) who does not comply with subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month or to a fine not exceeding $25 or to both a fine and imprisonment and in default of payment of the fine to additional imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 days.
Boards, committees and councils
4. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may by order establish regional community health boards, which shall be corporations, to direct the delivery of health and continuing care services, other than hospital services, in the province.
(2) An order made under subsection (1) shall be subordinate legislation for the purpose of the Statutes and Subordinate Legislation Act.
(3) The minister may make regulations generally respecting community health programs.
Entry into building or on land
5. Every health officer, inspector or other person designated by the minister or authorized by the chief medical health officer may enter into and go upon a building, structure or land in the exercise of a power or the performance of a duty under this Act or the regulations and may make those orders and give those directions with regard to the structural alteration of the building or structure, the elimination of existing or potential insanitary conditions, or with respect to another matter that he or she considers advisable in the interest of the public health.
Interference or obstruction
6. A person shall not interfere with or obstruct a health officer in the performance or exercise of a power or duty conferred upon him or her by this Act or the regulations.
7. A health officer, inspector or other person designated by the minister or authorized by the chief medical health officer may, in the performance of a duty under this Act or the regulations, take photographs of existing or potential insanitary conditions or with respect to another matter that he or she considers advisable in the interest of the public health.
8. (1) Notwithstanding the Municipalities Act, or other Act or law, the minister may by order declare an area within or outside a municipality to be a restricted area, and the area so declared shall be defined in the order.
(2) The minister shall publish in the Gazette and in a newspaper published or circulating in the area to which the order applies an order made under subsection (1), and the order shall come into effect from the date stated in the order or, if none is stated, then from the date of publication in the Gazette.
(3) The minister may issue permits for the erection, construction, renovation or extension of buildings or sewage facilities in a restricted area and each permit shall be issued subject to those terms and conditions that the minister may mention in or attach to or prescribe in respect of the permit and the terms and conditions may differ in respect of different restricted areas or in respect of different permits in the same restricted area in different circumstances.
(4) The owner and the builder or maker shall, at all times during the erection, construction, renovation, or extension of a building or sewage facility under a permit granted under subsection (3), affix and keep affixed in a conspicuous position upon or adjacent to the erection or construction a placard which the minister shall furnish reading, "Permit granted by Minister of Health", with the date on which the permit was granted, the name of the person to whom it was granted, and the purpose for which it was granted.
(5) A person shall not erect, construct, renovate, or extend or cause to be erected, constructed, renovated, or extended, a building or sewage facility in a restricted area, except under a permit issued under subsection (3) and in accordance with the terms and conditions prescribed in respect of his or her permit.
(6) The minister may issue a permit for the location of a mobile home in a restricted area and a person shall not locate a home in a restricted area except under and in accordance with the terms and conditions mentioned in or attached to or prescribed in respect of the permit by the minister, and the terms and conditions may differ in respect of different restricted areas or in respect of different permits in the same restricted area in different circumstances.
(7) A person who contravenes
(a) this section; or
(b) the terms and conditions mentioned in, attached to or prescribed in respect of a permit issued under subsection (3) or subsection (6),
is guilty of an offence.
Removal of sewage facilities
9. (1) Where a person erects, constructs, renovates, or extends or causes to be erected, constructed, renovated, or extended a building or sewage facility in a restricted area, without obtaining a permit under subsection 8(3) or otherwise than in accordance with the terms and conditions mentioned in, attached to or prescribed in respect of a permit issued under that subsection, the building or sewage facility so erected, constructed, renovated or extended shall be considered a public nuisance, and the minister may order the owner or builder or maker of it to pull down or fill in or otherwise destroy the building or facility or to make the disposition or alteration of it that the minister considers necessary, within 3 days after the service of the order upon the owner, builder or maker, or within a shorter period that the minister may prescribe.
(2) Where the owner, builder or maker of a building or sewage facility erected, constructed, renovated or extended as described in subsection (1) cannot be found in the restricted area in which the building or facility is situated, the minister may serve an order made under that subsection by posting it in a conspicuous place on or near the building or facility.
(3) Where an order of the minister made under subsection (1), whether served personally under that subsection or by posting it in accordance with subsection (2), is not complied with or is not complied with to an extent that the minister considers reasonable, within 3 days of the service of it or within a shorter period that the minister may designate, the minister may execute the order through a person he or she appoints for the purpose and the minister may recover the cost of execution of the order as a civil debt from the first person upon whom the order was served.
(4) A person
(a) on whom an order made under subsection (1) is served personally, who fails to comply with it; or
(b) who interferes with the execution of an order made under subsection (1) or subsection (3)
is guilty of an offence.
Dwelling unfit for habitation
10. (1) Where a building, tenement, room or cellar which is occupied as a dwelling house becomes vacant and is in the opinion of the minister unfit for human habitation, the minister may declare it to be a nuisance and may order the owner of it in writing to destroy it, or to make the disposition or alteration of it that the minister considers necessary, and the minister may direct a written notice to be placed upon it stating that it is unfit for human habitation and is not to be inhabited or occupied.
(2) Where an order of the minister issued under subsection (1) is not complied with, or is not complied with to an extent that the minister considers reasonable, within 5 days after the service of it, or within a shorter period that the minister may designate, the minister may execute the order through a person he or she appoints for the purpose and the minister may recover the cost of execution of the order as a civil debt from the first person upon whom the order was served.
(3) Where the owner of a vacant building, tenement, room or cellar referred to in subsection (1) cannot be found, the minister may direct the building, tenement, room or cellar to be destroyed and the debris removed, and the cost of the destruction and removal may be recovered from the owner at the suit of the minister as a civil debt.
(4) A person
(a) upon whom an order made under subsection (1) has been served, who fails to obey it; or
(b) who interferes with or obstructs the execution of an order made under subsection (1) or subsection (3)
is guilty of an offence.
11. (1) The minister may make regulations
(a) prescribing the functions, jurisdiction and duties of medical health officers, health officers, inspectors and public health nurses, in relation to public health matters;
(b) providing for courses of instruction and prescribing qualifications for medical health officers, health officers, inspectors and public health nurses;
(c) regulating the management, maintenance, functions, duties and jurisdiction of local boards of health and medical health officers;
(d) providing for the prevention or removal or both of all matters, things and conditions on public or private property which, in the opinion of the minister, constitute or are likely to constitute a menace to public health;
(e) respecting the approval of unserviced building lots in terms of lot size, square area, minimum area and respecting the conduct of tests for the accommodation of sewage disposal systems and prescribing the type and specification of sewage disposal systems adaptable to different building lots;
(f) providing for the entering and inspection of premises used for human occupation in a locality where the existing conditions are in the opinion of the minister insanitary;
(g) providing for the prevention of overcrowding of houses or buildings used for human occupation, hotel bedrooms, common lodging houses, and places of assembly, prescribing the maximum number of people that may be allowed in such a place, and the amount of air space to be allowed for each individual and providing for the prevention of insanitary conditions;
(h) providing for the inspection of hospitals, jails, orphanages, reformatories and all other buildings, both public and private;
(i) providing for the cleansing, purifying, ventilating and disinfecting of all buildings, both public and private and all public conveyances, by the owners and occupiers and persons having the care and ordering of them;
(j) regulating the construction, maintenance, cleansing and disinfection of all drains, sewage systems and sewers and systems of sewage disposal, water closets, cesspools, privies and all similar structures or installations;
(k) respecting the plumbing and drainage of buildings and premises and adopting with or without modifications relevant parts of the National Building Code of Canada;
(l) regulating the method of the carrying on of all noxious or offensive trades or businesses and providing for the summary ending of a condition which in the opinion of the minister may cause an injury to the public health;
(m) providing for the inspection, licensing, method of construction, furnishing, equipping and maintaining, cleansing and disinfecting of all starch factories, dye works or factories in which blood, offal, paraffin, tallow, soap, fertilizers or gas are used or worked up;
(n) providing for the interment and disinterment of the dead, the transportation of the dead, the conduct of funerals of dead bodies, including those dead from specific diseases;
(o) respecting the licensing, location, sanitary operation and maintenance of cemeteries and burial grounds;
(p) respecting the licensing, location, construction, lighting, ventilation, sanitary and waste disposal facilities, and the sanitary maintenance of embalming establishments;
(q) respecting the licensing, location, construction, lighting, ventilation and sanitary operation of burial vaults and crematoria and the equipment used in them;
(r) regulating the plumbing, heating, lighting, ventilation, sanitary equipment and condition of all colleges, schools, hotels, licensed or unlicensed, all lodging houses, boarding houses, stopping places, and every house or building or part of a building where lodgings are furnished, with or without meals, for money or other consideration, and providing for the periodical inspection of all those places by an officer of the department;
(s) prescribing the natural and artificial lighting, the heating, plumbing, ventilation and general hygienic and sanitary conditions of buildings or portions of buildings used or designed to be used for the purpose of conducting in them the business of a barber shop, restaurant, cafe, billiard or pool room, bowling alley, shooting gallery or used for another purpose of a public character, and providing for the licensing of all those premises prior to their use or continuance in use for such a purpose;
(t) prescribing the quality, sale, supply and distribution of vaccine matter, diphtheritic and other sera, streptomycin, penicillin and other antibiotic preparations of a like nature;
(u) prohibiting, limiting or regulating the use, storage and transportation of noxious materials, including pesticides, and fertilizers dangerous to the public health;
(v) providing for the testing of cattle for tuberculosis;
(w) preventing the pollution, defilement, discoloration or fouling of all lakes, rivers, streams, pools, springs and waters, so as to ensure their sanitary condition;
(x) providing for the regulation, licensing, inspection, supervision, location, construction, heating, lighting, ventilation, toilet, washing, bathing and laundering facilities, water supply, sewage disposal, garbage disposal, food preparation and service, pest and rodent control, closing and sanitary operation and maintenance of lumbering, woodcutting, mining, construction and other industrial or commercial camps;
(y) providing for the frequent and effectual cleansing of streets;
(z) providing for the supply of medical aid and hospital accommodation and medicine and other articles of a medical nature that may be considered necessary for mitigating epidemic, endemic, infectious or contagious diseases;
(aa) providing for house to house visiting for case-finding or nursing service;
(bb) providing for the detention of a public conveyance for the purpose of inspecting, cleansing, purifying or disinfecting it and for the detention, for the same purpose, of a person or thing travelling on it or contained in it, and providing that that person or thing or conveyance may be detained as long as necessary for those purposes;
(cc) providing for the periodical inspection of districts by health officers or inspectors and the removal and ending of insanitary conditions or nuisances disclosed by the inspection;
(dd) regulating the construction, location, licensing, equipping, maintenance, cleansing, disinfection, purifying, heating, lighting, ventilation, inspection, operation and use of swimming pools and bathing places;
(ee) prescribing the powers of health officers or inspectors to prohibit or suspend the operation and use of swimming pools and bathing places in respect of which the regulations have been contravened;
(ff) licensing, regulating and controlling diagnostic and public health laboratories;
(gg) prescribing qualifications for persons operating or engaged in diagnostic or public health laboratories;
(hh) providing for safety standards in the various uses of radioactive materials and of radioactive equipment;
(ii) providing for the inspection, licensing, location, supervision, regulation, construction, lighting, heating, ventilation, water supply, sewage disposal, garbage disposal, plumbing, food preparation and service, insect and rodent control, recreational safety, stable sanitation, closing and sanitary operation of health and summer resorts, recreational areas, camps and campsites and the water supply, sewage disposal, garbage disposal, safety and sanitary operation of beaches used for swimming and other recreational purposes;
(jj) with respect to ambulances generally
(i) governing the qualifications of persons owning, operating, controlling or attending an ambulance in actual operation,
(ii) respecting the licensing of ambulances and including in a licence provisions respecting the area in which an ambulance may be operated,
(iii) respecting the inspection of ambulances,
(iv) respecting the type and size of vehicle which may be used as an ambulance,
(v) providing for the sanitary operation of ambulances,
(vi) respecting the medical equipment, first aid kits, splints and other equipment and supplies to be carried in ambulances and prohibiting the operation of ambulances that are not equipped as required by the regulations, and
(vii) prescribing the number and qualifications of persons required to operate an ambulance on emergency or other services;
(kk) with respect to the provincial ambulance program or other programs to support ambulance services, prescribing the persons who may or may not be registered in the programs or admitted to them and authorizing the removal of persons from registration or admittance to programs in the circumstances that may be prescribed;
(ll) governing the inspection, licensing, location, construction, lighting, heating, ventilation, water supply, sewage disposal, garbage disposal, plumbing, food preparation and service, insect and rodent control, occupancy, closing and sanitary operation of nursing homes, maternity homes, convalescent homes, private hospitals, homes for children, homes for aged and infirm persons and homes for physically and mentally handicapped persons;
(mm) respecting the inspection, licensing, location, construction, lighting, ventilation, heating, closing, toilet and washing facilities, plumbing, water supply, sewage disposal, garbage disposal, equipment, pest and rodent control and the sanitary operation of commercial laundries, laundromats and drycleaning establishments;
(nn) respecting the inspection, licensing, location, construction, heating, lighting and ventilation, water supply, sewage disposal, garbage disposal, closing, safety and sanitary operation and maintenance of hairdressing establishments, including barbers' shops and beauty salons;
(oo) regulating the operation of places where forms of therapy, baths and massage treatments are given and providing for their inspection, supervision and control towards the end that they shall be kept in a sanitary condition and operated in a manner consistent with the safety of the health of the public;
(pp) providing for the medical inspection of school children;
(qq) providing for instruction in public health and the conduct of public health activities in schools and requiring principals and teachers of schools to report to the officer of the department that may be designated in the regulations on a matter relating to public health;
(rr) providing for the location, construction, closing, cleanliness, lighting, heating and ventilation, water supply, sewage disposal, pest and rodent control and garbage disposal of schools and all other matters affecting the health or safety of pupils;
(ss) regulating in respect of and for the purpose of securing health in industrial and commercial establishments
(i) the supplying of drinking water,
(ii) the preparation, service, sale and consumption of food on the premises,
(iv) the distance to be left between those establishments and dwelling houses,
(v) the arrangements and details of the construction of rooms,
(vi) cubic space to be provided in relation to the number of persons employed,
(vii) aeration and ventilation,
(viii) cleanliness and cleansing,
(ix) the removal and manner of disposal of dust, gas, vapour and waste produced in the course of work,
(x) the system of drainage, including sinks, lavatories, urinals, privies and closets and the method of disposing of waste liquids,
(xi) the temperature of the premises,
(xii) other conditions that may arise, whether of the kinds referred to in subparagraphs (i) to (xi) or not,
(xiii) the control and use of noxious chemicals or materials in industry or other processes,
(xiv) the enforcement, where considered necessary by the deputy minister or other person in the department that the deputy minister may designate, of routine medical or laboratory examination of workers in occupations in which exposure to dust, fumes, gas or noxious chemicals may occur,
(xv) the reporting in writing by medical practitioners to the deputy minister or other persons in the department that the deputy minister may designate of all cases or suspected cases of industrial disease,
(xvi) the inspection of industrial or commercial establishments, workshops, factories, mines or other places of employment for the purpose of investigating potential or apparent health hazards and advising on and enforcing the means of their prevention, and
(xvii) the appointment where necessary of medical health officers, health officers or inspectors to carry out the duties referred to in subparagraph (xvi);
(tt) providing for the medical supervision of persons employed in a factory, mine, workshop or industrial establishment, and prohibiting, limiting and controlling the use of noxious materials or process on the premises, where the deputy minister is of the opinion that there may be risk of injury by accident or disease to the health of persons employed there; and
(uu) generally, to give effect to the purpose of this Act.
(2) Regulations may be made under this section to apply to the whole of the province or may be restricted in their application to specified establishments in or specified areas of the province.
(3) Where regulations may be made under subsection (1) with respect to licensing, the regulations may prescribe the form of licences and the fees to be paid for licences, stipulate the conditions under which licences may be issued, suspended or cancelled or withheld from issuance and by whom, and prohibiting a person, premises or operation covered by the regulations from acting, being used or being conducted without the appropriate licence.
(4) Where regulations made under subsection (1) or orders made under those regulations conflict with regulations or orders made under the Municipalities Act, the regulations and orders made under this subsection shall prevail.
(5) Regulations made under paragraph (1)(d) may empower a medical health officer, health officer, inspector and an officer or employee of the department designated in the regulations to give those orders that he or she may consider necessary to secure the enforcement of regulations made under that paragraph.
(6) Where regulations are made with respect to ambulances under subparagraphs (1)(jj)(ii), (iii) and (iv) the Motor Carrier Act shall not apply to the regulation of ambulances or the provision of ambulance services.
12. A person who contravenes this Act or the regulations or an order made under this Act or the regulations is guilty of an offence.
13. (1) A person who is guilty of an offence is, where no other penalty is specifically provided by this Act, liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $500 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 3 months or to both the fine and imprisonment.
(2) A conviction in accordance with subsection (1) does not operate as a bar to further prosecution for an offence referred to in subsection (1) and where there is a continuation each continuance for a day or part of a day constitutes a separate offence.
Consent to prosecution
14. A prosecution under this Act or the regulations shall not be taken except with the written consent of the minister.
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