Manitoba’s Public Access Defibrillator Act Requires AEDs in Public Places

In June 2011 Manitoba became the first province in Canada to require that AEDs be made available in public places through the Public Access Defibrillator Act (Bill 20). Under the Act, AEDs must be made available in selected public places by January 31, 2014.

To support this mandate, the Manitoba government is providing funding for 1,000 emergency defibrillators for public places in partnership with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba. Submission of applications for the provincially funded defibrillators began Jan. 7, 2013. Working with the Manitoba Government, the Heart and Stroke Foundation has also negotiated 30-40% discounts for some defibrillators for facilities that do not receive a free AED. More information on the Public Access Defibrillator Act can be found at http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/aed/list.html

The public locations required to place an AED were determined based on input from paramedics and the Heart and Stroke Foundation in Manitoba, 911 data and public consultations. The list includes:

  • Fitness clubs, gyms and other similar facilities
  • Community Centers
  • Golf Courses
  • Athletic facilities, including:
    • Indoor public swimming pools
    • Indoor arenas used primarily for hockey or other ice-skating activities
    • Curling clubs
    • Schools, colleges and universities
    • Airports, train and bus stations
    • Casinos
    • Homeless shelters
    • Major shopping centers
    • Major sporting venues
    • Museums, cultural centers and other popular destinations
    • Winnipeg City Hall
  • Millennium Library (Winnipeg)
  • Winnipeg Convention Centre
  • Legislative Building
  • Law Courts Building in Winnipeg and court houses in Brandon, Dauphin, The Pas, Morden, and Minnedosa

In December 2012 Province of Manitoba Health Minister Theresa Oswald said, “Just like having a fire extinguisher is a requirement in public places to help save lives, so too shall defibrillators be required in more places to dramatically improve the odds of surviving cardiac arrest. You cannot harm a person by pressing the button on a defibrillator, but you may save a life.”

Learn more about the author Whitney Brostrom