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Canadian Public Health Association

Policy and Advocacy Blog


Invest in active travel to create healthy, green and just communities

February 23, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has many people thinking about how our communities are designed. Do they support walking and cycling? Do they give easy access to jobs, essential services, or greenspace? With everyone needing to maintain physical distance from others in public spaces, there is a demand for more space for pedestrians and cyclists.

Communities across the country have temporarily opened streets for pedestrians and cyclists and installed bike lanes along major travel routes. Statistics Canada reports that nearly 7% of the 2 million commuters who used to take public transit are…

Invest in public transit to create healthy, green and just communities

February 9, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating impact on public transit systems that rely heavily on the fare box for their funding. With collective fare box losses as high as $400 million per month, transit agencies across Canada have been forced to eliminate service routes and jobs during the pandemic. Twice in 2020, the Canadian government provided emergency funding that has been used, in part, to keep transit systems afloat and operating. It…


Working Together to Defeat Invasive Meningococcal Disease

April 24, 2020

Lucie Marisa Bucci, Senior Manager, Immunize Canada Megan Acton, Program Manager, International Federation on Ageing (IFA)

April 24 is World Meningitis Day, and on this day, the International Federation on Ageing (IFA) together with the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations (CoMO) and Immunize Canada want to remind you that meningococcal disease is a health risk you should not take. As we grow older, our immune system does not function as well as it once did. We become more susceptible to infectious diseases at a time when illness can lead to complications,…


Results from the CPHA policy and advocacy survey

December 5, 2019

Thanks to everyone who completed our recent policy survey. The results help us better understand what you expect and need from CPHA in the area of policy analysis and advocacy.

18% of CPHA members responded to the survey. You shared your input on completed, ongoing, and proposed policy and advocacy subjects.

The results indicate that there is broad general support among members for both the policy development and advocacy work that has been undertaken over the past two years. It also demonstrated support for several of the ongoing projects, as well as select subjects…


Canada’s Food Guide revamp is good for people and the planet

February 15, 2018

A version of this commentary appeared in the CBC News

What is a healthy diet?

New Year’s diet conversations still abound around water coolers Canada-wide as people debate the various merits and shortcomings of sugar, gluten, meat, dairy, tofu and other edibles. Scientific articles, shiny celebrities and representatives of various groups who produce, transform and sell food all compete for our attention as we try to figure out what to eat.

How is anyone supposed to know who to listen to?

Canadians’ traditional solution to this conundrum has…


Climate change and vector-borne illness

July 26, 2017

The Earth’s climate is changing and the effects on health are well documented. What is less well known is how changing climate will affect the risk of vector-borne diseases.  Insects, the vectors for many illnesses, are dependent on a consistent climate for survival, reproduction and development. Changes in temperature, precipitation and humidity can alter their distribution, potentially increasing the risk of disease transmission. As a result, vector surveillance could be used for potential disease surveillance. 

Two well-known vector-borne illnesses in Canada are West…

Self-driving cars

April 11, 2017

Self-driving cars are quickly moving into the fast lane as a new fleet of Google vehicles are hitting the road for testing in two American states, and are poised to enter the market as early as 2020. These autonomous vehicles (AVs) eliminate the need for a human driver and operate using a variety of computer mapping and sensory technologies.


Is there still room for recess and physical education at school?

October 19, 2016

Back to school season is in full swing and children look forward to playing with friends at recess. However, in an era where schools have banned games such as tag and removed hard balls from the school yard in the interest of preventing injuries, the question is, are children still experiencing the freedom and excitement that once accompanied the recess bell?

Fentanyl’s path of death and destruction

August 3, 2016

Fentanyl is a prescription drug and its use represents a growing public health crisis in some parts of our country. Reports of use and overdose deaths occur at regular intervals, with British Columbia declaring a public health emergency after overdoses killed 200 people in the first three months of 2016. Between 2009 and 2014, there were at least 655 fentanyl-related deaths in Canada, with an average of one death every three days – and this figure is probably an underestimate.

Advancing public health one tweet at a time

August 3, 2016

We all use social media. Platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have become integral parts of our day-to-day lives, and have even become tools for public health professionals. Facebook is used by many public health departments to share information, while Twitter has shown great promise for community engagement and rapid information dissemination. This is due to its interactive (push-and-pull) nature and the sheer amount of data that are shared on a daily basis. Users post 500 million tweets per day, for a total of 200 billion per year.