Ontario Launches Consultations to Modernize Veterinary Services


Source: OMAFRA

The Ontario government is launching consultations to explore opportunities to modernize the Veterinarians Act. The government’s first substantial review in 30 years will explore amendments to the legislative framework, opening the door to a new standard of veterinary medicine in Ontario that is modern and flexible.

“The last significant update to the Veterinarians Act was in 1989, and we recognize that it no longer reflects the realities of modern veterinary practice” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “That is why our government is beginning consultations to modernize the Act to provide a strong foundation for the future.

As part of the first phase of consultations, the public can provide comments on modernizing the legislative framework to reduce red tape for veterinarians and make it easier to provide critical services to animal owners across Ontario. This will inform a discussion paper that will be posted to the Regulatory Registry in 2023. The government is seeking feedback on:

  • The scope of practice for veterinary medicine, such as the procedures, services and processes a licensed veterinarian or other veterinary professional, such as a veterinary technician, is permitted to perform in Ontario.
  • How to improve accountability and transparency to make sure that powers, responsibilities, and processes under the Act are clear to the public.
  • How to align oversight of the Ontario veterinary profession with other self-governing regulated professions in the province to ensure that the veterinary profession continues to be overseen in the public interest.

“The College of Veterinarians of Ontario welcomes this important announcement as a step towards modernization of our governing legislation. We look forward to working with Minister Thompson to ensure that regulation of the profession reflects modern best practices and approaches and serves the public interest.” – Dr. Lorie Gold, President, College of Veterinarians of Ontario

This consultation is an important part of the government’s commitment to improve access to veterinarian services in the province. By taking steps to solicit a broad range of input on the modernization of the Veterinarians Act, the government will be in a position to propose updates to the legislation that will reflect how veterinary care is delivered in Ontario. In addition to this consultation on modernizing the regulatory framework, the Ontario government supports making it easier to provide improved access to veterinary services for animal owners across Ontario, including the agricultural industry, through such initiatives as the Veterinary Assistance Program.

Quick Facts

  • A discussion paper will be posted on the Regulatory Registry for public consultation in winter 2023. Interested parties can provide additional input through the registry at that time.
  • In 2021, the College of Veterinarians of Ontario licensed 5,247 veterinarians and accredited 2,405 facilities.