Germline gene editing, including for non-clinical research, is prohibited in Canada under the Assisted Human Reproduction Act of 2004 (AHRA) even if there is no intention of implanting the embryo. Health Canada is responsible for enforcing the Act. In 2017, Canadian scientists requested a review of the AHRA, arguing that potential human reproductive applications of the technologies are too promising to ignore. Health Canada is currently working to update AHRA.
2017: Consortium of scientists and bioethicists urge reform of AHRA, arguing that the government should allow gene editing for research, including pre-clinical research on germ cells prior to implantation.
2004: Parliament passes the Assisted Human Reproduction Act, which contains sections prohibiting human germline gene editing. It is fully in force by 2007.
1989: The government creates the Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies to study the moral, ethical, and social implications of new reproductive technologies. The commission releases its final report in 1993, which becomes the basis for the Assisted Human Reproduction Act.