Biosafety Program Overview

The University of Manitoba is licensed for the use of human and terrestrial animal pathogens under the Human Pathogens and Toxins Act and Regulation as of April 2016.  

Environmental Health and Safety administer the U of M biological safety program under the direction of the Biological Safety Advisory Committee (BSAC).  This program provides resources and guidance for the compliant, safe and responsible use of biological materials according to:

  • Human Pathogens and Toxins Act (HPTA)
  • Health of Animals Regulation (HAR)
  • Canadian Biosafety Standards and Guidelines (CBS 2nd edition 2015) for human and terrestrial animal pathogens - joint initiative of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) and Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA)
  • Workplace Safety and Health Act 217/2006 Part 35 and 36 (WHMIS and Chemical & Biological Substances Application)
  • Federal transportation and importation legislation
  • City of Winnipeg waste by-laws

Biological Safety Advisory Committee (BSAC)

  • The BSAC reports to the Associate Vice President of Research Dr. Gary Glavin
  • The BSAC is responsible for providing advice and direction on all aspects pertaining to the use of biological agents at the University of Manitoba. (U of M Biological Safety Policy and Procedure )
  • The Committee  supports the BSAC Chair who provides assurances on behalf of the University for researchers funded by external granting agencies and contracts. 
  • BSAC Terms of Reference

Biosafety Permits (BSP)

  • BSPs are required to begin work with Risk Group 1-3 biological material in all research, teaching and clinical /diagnostic areas in all University of Manitoba owned buildings.
  • Permits register the Principal Investigator’s facilities, workers and biological agents.  It also provides a mechanism for the researcher to document their overarching risk assessment and lab containment level.  
  • Find complete information on the Biosafety Permit website.

Biosafety Project Approval Certificates (BPAC)

  • Forms and Instructions for submitting a Biosafety Project Approval Certificate (BPAC) are available on the BPAC webpage.
  • BPACs are a companion to the permit and are used to document a project based risk assessment for work with biological agents. 
  • Required for the release of funds for grants and contracts when biological agents risk group 1-4 are used
    Certificates are reviewed and approved by the BSAC and BSAC Chair. 
  • When reviewed by the  committee, the certificate documents that the applicant will carry out  the proposed project according to the terms and conditions approved in the certificate and that those are  carried out according to the relevant acts, regulations, standards, guidelines, policies and procedures. 
  • For U of M researchers working in non-U of M buildings, for example St. Boniface Hospital Research Foundation, there is a separate BPAC form, AND a facility-specific assurance document is required in lieu of the U of M Biosafety Permit number. The form and instructions areavailable on the BPAC webpage.

Transferring of Regulated Biological Agents

  • The University of Manitoba holds a license that allows the receipt and possession of Risk Group 2 human and animal pathogens and Reporting of transfers to the BSO is required  according to Federal Regulation SOR/2015-44. 
  • More info is available under “Pathogen Imports/Transfers

Biosafety Training

  • The U of M Biosafety Program  provides Generic Biosafety Training.  This is a PowerPoint presentation that takes advantage of e-learning modules developed by PHAC and an accompanying Biosafety Quiz. The PowerPoint presentation, Quiz and instructions for submitting are all available on the Biosafety Training web-site.  This training is required for all biological agent workers at the U of M.
  • Principal Investigators are responsible for all aspects of site-specific biosafety training including evaluation of competence for any of their lab personnel to work alone with the biological agents in use. Laboratory Safety for New Personnel Checklist

EHSO Biosafety Program Contacts

Office Cell
Administrative Assistant    Darrin Jolicoeur     (204)474-9031  
BSO-Biological Safety Officer Steven Cole   (204)789-3675   (204)451-2299   
Biological Safety Specialist  Vanessa Pinto  (204)789-3477  (204)451-0993