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Legal Status of Midwifery in Canada

Midwifery is recognized as a legal and regulated profession in some Canadian provinces and territories while in others it is not yet regulated. See below for the current status of midwifery in each province and territory.

Links to midwifery laws are listed below under each province and territory. In addition, most Acts and Regulations in Canada can be found at the Canadian Legal Information Institute website. The site is managed by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. Information is in English and in French.

British Columbia

Midwifery is regulated in British Columbia under the Health Professions Act [RSBC 1996] Chapter 183, the Midwives Regulation BC Reg 155/2009, and the College Bylaws. To view these documents, go to BC Midwifery Legislation and Professional Regulation. Since the implementation of regulation in January 1998, all midwives must be registered with the College of Midwives of British Columbia to be permitted to practice.

Note: There is an exemption from registration in regulation for aboriginal midwives, who were practicing within aboriginal communities prior to the legislation coming into force, and there are College bylaw provisions for developing an aboriginal category of registration, however, this is not yet in place.

Alberta

Midwifery is regulated in Alberta under the Health Disciplines Act RSA 2000, H-2 and the Midwifery Regulation, Alta. Reg. 328/1994. Midwifery is in the process of coming under the Health Professions Act, R.S.A.2000, c. H-7. To view midwifery laws, go to Alberta Laws. Since the implementation of regulation in July 1998, all midwives must be registered with the College of Midwives of Alberta to be permitted to practice.

Saskatchewan

Midwifery is regulated in Saskatchewan under the The Midwifery Act, Chapter M-14.1 and The Midwifery Regulations, The Midwifery Administration Bylaws, and The Midwifery Regulatory Bylaws. To view these laws, go to Saskatchewan Midwifery. Since the implementation of regulation in March 2008, all midwives must be registered with the Saskatchewan College of Midwives to be permitted to practice.

Manitoba

Midwifery is regulated in Manitoba under the Midwifery Act C.C.S.M. c. M125 and the Midwifery Regulation, Man. Reg. 68/2000 and the CMM By-Law No. 1. To view the Act and Regulation, go to Manitoba Midwifery Laws Since the implementation of regulation in 2000, all midwives must be registered with the College of Midwives of Manitoba to be permitted to practice.

Ontario

Midwifery is regulated in Ontario under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 and the Midwifery Act, 1991, S.O.1991, c.31; the following regulations: General, O. Reg. 240/94 ; Registration, O. Reg. 867/93 ; Designated Drugs, O. Reg. 884/93 ; and Professional Misconduct, O. Reg. 858/93; as well as by the College Bylaws. To access these midwifery laws, go to Ontario e-Laws. Since the implementation of regulation in January 1994, all midwives must be registered with the College of Midwives of Ontario to be permitted to practice.

Note: There are exceptions for aboriginal midwives and healers in the Midwifery Act, 1991and the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, respectively. These exceptions allow aboriginal midwives to provide traditional midwifery services to aboriginal persons or members of an aboriginal community and to use the title aboriginal midwife.

Quebec

Midwifery is regulated in Quebec under the Midwives Act , L.R.Q., chapter S-0.1, and a number of regulations, some of which are:

  • Regulation respecting cases requiring consultation with a physician or transfer of clinical responsibility to a physician, c. S-0.1, r.1
  • Regulation respecting the standards and conditions of practice for conducting home deliveries, c. S-0.1, r.2
  • Regulation respecting the examinations and analyses that a midwife may prescribe, conduct or interpret in the practice of midwifery, c. S-0.1, r.1.1
  • Regulation respecting drugs that a midwife may prescribe or administer in the practice of midwifery, c. S-0.1, r.1.2
  • Regulation respecting diploma and training equivalence standards for the issue of permits by the Ordre des sages-femmes du Quebec, c. C-26, r.155.3.1.

To access the Midwifery Act in English, go to Midwives Act. For a full list of midwifery laws, go to the OSFQ website. The laws are listed in French only - to find the law and regulations in English, click on the name in French, and then add “_A” before the “.HTML” in the URL address. Go to an example of how to do this.

Since the implementation of regulation in 1999, all midwives must be registered with the Ordre des sages-femmes du Québec (OSFQ) to be permitted to practise.

Nova Scotia

Midwifery is regulated in Nova Scotia under the Midwifery Act and the Midwifery Regulations, N.S. Reg. 58/2009. To access the Act, go to Office of the Legislative Counsel, and to access the Regulations, go to Regulations Listed by Act.

Since the implementation of regulation in March 2009, all midwives must be registered with the Midwifery Regulatory Council of Nova Scotia to be permitted to practise.

There is no separate clause for aboriginal midwifery in the Nova Scotia Midwifery Act. A project to consult with the Mi'kmaq communities of Cape Breton on culturally-appropriate midwifery model(s) is under development.

New Brunswick

The Midwifery Act was proclaimed in New Brunswick on August 12, 2010.

To access the Midwifery Act and general regulation, go to www.gnb.ca/0062/regs/m-11-5reg.htm.

Prince Edward Island

Midwifery is not regulated in Prince Edward Island. However, in May 2010 the government announced that it will create a task force to study the issue.

Newfoundland and Labrador

On June 24, 2010, the Health Professions Act was assented to. Midwifery will be governed under this act in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Yukon Territory

Midwifery is not regulated in the Yukon. However, in the Fall of 2007, the government began an investigation into whether to regulate midwifery. In March and April 2010, the government carried out a public consultation.

Northwest Territories

Midwifery is regulated in the Northwest Territories under the Midwifery Profession Act, S.N.W.T. 2006, c.24, and the following regulations: Midwifery Profession General Regulations, N.W.T. Reg. 002-2005; Prescription and Regulation of Drugs and other Substances Regulations, N.W.T. Reg. 003-2005; and Screening and Diagnostic Tests Regulations, N.W.T. Reg. 004-2005. To access midwifery laws, go to HSS Legislation.

Since the implementation of regulation in 2005, all midwives must be registered with Northwest Territories’ Health Professional Licensing Department to be permitted to practise.

Nunavut

Midwifery is regulated in Nunavut under the Midwifery Profession Act and regulations. To find current midwifery laws, go to Department of Justice, click on ‘Legislation’, go to the ‘Current Consolidated Law’ section, and look for ‘Midwifery Profession Act’ under “M”.

Since the implementation of the regulation in 2011, all midwives must be registered by the Nunavut Registration Committee to be permitted to practice.

 

Page last revised December 2013

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