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Canadian Public Health Association

Canadian Public Health Week 2024

Canada’s public health associations hosted “Canadian Public Health Week” from 8-12 April 2024. Canadian Public Health Week is a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our health and well-being.

Watch our series of webinars from previous Canadian Public Health Weeks.

Canadian Public Health Week 2024 Webinars

Advocating for population health: The role of public health practitioners in the age of artificial intelligence
Like the internet and social media, artificial intelligence (AI) can be a double-edged sword, presenting both benefits and risks to population health and wellbeing. Implemented appropriately, AI could enhance population health responses through automation, extend our ability to reach underserved populations, deepen our insight into population health, and drive our ability to innovate. Already, AI applications are being used to conduct near-instantaneous literature reviews, develop new vaccines, and facilitate novel surveillance mechanisms. These advancements can boost healthcare capacity and increase accessibility while elevating standards of care, particularly in the face of growing population health needs and limited resources. However, new AI tools also carry inherent risks, necessitating a thoughtful approach to mitigation. Given the profound societal shifts that AI can bring about, the negative repercussions of poorly managed AI policies can be monumental. It is crucial to effectively mitigate these adverse effects to fully harness AI's positive potential, acknowledging that achieving this balance is a complex yet essential task. In this session we will explore the potential population health risks and benefits of AI, identifying possible use cases for public health work and discussing some governance considerations.

Presented by the Public Health Association of British Columbia


Housing and Health: The way home from here
Housing impacts all aspects of health. Suitable, affordable, and adequate housing protects and promotes health and well-being, whereas the lack of the same affects health negatively. Thousands of people in Manitoba are unable to find stable housing. Social and affordable housing has diminished and deteriorated over the past 3 decades leaving thousands, including many families with children, on lengthy wait lists. Yet we know what to do. Advocates, academics, and planners have long proposed the policy and funding actions needed to ensure a suitable, affordable, and adequate home for all. This session will outline why housing matters to health, how supports in addition to homes are needed, and what approaches and strategies are urgently needed now to find our way home.

Presented by the Manitoba Public Health Association

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The Canadian Public Health Association Framework for a Public Health Approach to Substance Use
In January 2020, CPHA was funded by Health Canada to build professional and community capacity to implement a public health approach to substance use. Defining such an approach was a necessary first step. The resulting policy statement provides an overview of what CPHA endorses as a public health approach to substance use across the full range of legal and currently illegal psychoactive substances. Presenters will discuss the process followed to develop the framework and the principles embodied in a public health approach. While it is anticipated that the framework will evolve over time, organizations that work with people who use substances are encouraged to consider adopting the framework.

Presented by the Canadian Public Health Association


A Public Health Approach to Sex Work: Policy and Practice
In order for Canada to live up to its commitment in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to guarantee everyone in this country the rights to “life, liberty and security of the person”, institutions and individuals must re-examine longstanding and highly harmful attitudes towards sex work. The systemic stigmatization of sex work and sex workers must be eliminated through enhanced education and training for health and social service providers as well as law enforcement agents in every jurisdiction. Sex workers should be at the centre of planning programs and services that support their health and well-being, and research funding bodies should redress gaps and imbalances in sex work research. This webinar will present CPHA’s new position statement on a public health approach to sex work, review recent research on barriers to health equity for sex workers, and discuss how public health professionals can use these insights in their policy and community practice roles.

Presented by the Canadian Public Health Association

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Canadian Public Health Week 2023 Webinars

What we can do when laws harm public health
Dr. Tim Takaro, Professor Emeritus and Physician-Scientist in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University spoke about his recent climate activism in an exploration of the ethics of climate change and health action. This webinar explored the ethics of climate change and health action, including exploring an ethics framework for climate action in public health and the need to prepare some foundation for potential public health legal action on climate change.

Organized by the Public Health Association of British Columbia


Supervised Consumption Sites and Harm Reduction Policy: Challenges, Strategy and Collaboration
As controversy surrounding the Mobile Overdose Prevention Site (MOPS) launched by Sunshine House has demonstrated, interplay among community need, effectiveness of interventions, public opinion and political ideology about Supervised Consumption Sites (SCS) is intense. In this session, panelists examined the experience and evidence regarding SCSs in Manitoba, exploring how collaboration among community, public health, academia, and government can contribute to policy change in the province. 

Organized by the Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba and the Manitoba Public Health Association.


Strengthening Public Health Systems in Canada
During this webinar, participants found out more about CPHA's advocacy campaign, Strengthening Public Health Systems in Canada. Released in December 2022, the policy brief calls on the federal government to lead provincial and territorial governments and other stakeholders in creating cohesive, comprehensive and accountable public health systems in Canada. 

Organized by the Canadian Public Health Association


Getting to 5% by 2035: Policy, Practice and Research Ideas from Delegates of the National Conference on Tobacco and Vaping
On February 8 and 9, 2023, over 400 professionals working in tobacco control and vaping gathered to learn, debate and share progress and ideas that could help us reach the goal of 5% tobacco use prevalence by 2035. On the second day of the conference, over 250 delegates attended a workshop where they gathered in small groups to share their ideas on how to ‘get to 5% by 2035’. This webinar aimed to inspire those working in the sector, as well as decision makers, by providing an overview of the themes and highlight examples of solutions that delegate came up with to reach the 5 by 2035 goal. 

Hosted by the Ontario Public Health Association


Canadian Public Health Week 2022 Webinars

A Vision to Transform Canada's Public Health System
During this webinar, Dr. Theresa Tam discussed how we can join forces across communities and sectors to build the public health system that meets the needs of all people in Canada.

Our Planet, Our Health, Our Public Health Responsibility
Trevor Hancock discussed what is involved in keeping humans and the planet healthy through the creation of a Wellbeing society and the implications for the work of public health practitioners and organizations.

The impact of COVID-19 on public health: Comparing experiences & sharing recommendations for the future
OPHA and alPHa discussed the findings of their recent reports on the impact of COVID-19 on public health programs and the health of Ontarians.


Advocacy for income as a social determinant of health: Lessons learned from the Basic Income and Decent Work movements
Recent experience with the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored how those living in poverty are disproportionately impacted by health threats. This webinar reflected on lessons public health can apply when advocating to decrease income inequity as a means to improve health.

Canadian Public Health Week is presented by Canada’s public health associations.