Supporting the Government of Canada's commitment to promote healthy living and prevent chronic disease
/CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, along with Members of Parliament for Calgary East, Devinder Shory and for Calgary Centre, Joan Crockatt, led a roundtable on healthy living for families.
CALGARY, April 7, 2015 Hosted by the Families Matter Society, the roundtable was attended by parents and family members who are benefitting from Government programs and initiatives related to healthy living, including those focused on physical activity, healthy eating and the Children's Fitness Tax Credit. This was an opportunity for the Minister to receive first-hand feedback from Canadians on these programs.
During her discussions, Minister Ambrose emphasized the important role federal healthy living programs play in helping children, new immigrant and at-risk groups get a healthy start in life.
She reiterated the Government of Canada's commitment in these areas and highlighted several activities and initiatives to help Canadians make healthy choices for themselves and their families. In particular, she highlighted the:
- Introduction of the Children's Fitness Tax Credit in 2006 and the recent doubling of the credit to $1,000 for the 2014 and subsequent tax years. This credit is provided to families who have children under the age of 16 registered in an eligible physical activity program;
- Community Action Program for Children (CAPC) which provides funding to community-based groups including the Families Matter Society, to develop and deliver programs that promote the health and social development of vulnerable children and their families;
- Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program (CPNP), aimed at improving the health of pregnant women and their infants, and promoting and supporting breastfeeding;
- Aboriginal Head Start, which focuses on delivering early child development programming to support Aboriginal preschool children spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and physically;
- Multi-sectoral partnerships to promote healthy living and prevent chronic disease that provide opportunities for Canadians to improve their health through increased physical activity and healthy eating; including The Play Exchange and Build Our Kids' Success (BOKS);
- Nutrition Facts Table education to help consumers more easily read, understand and use food labels. Through recent consultations with Canadian parents and stakeholders, work is underway on improving nutrition information on food labels, such as making serving sizes consistent and the list of ingredients easier to read, as well as providing information on sugar content; and,
- Improvements to food labelling that were made to protect consumers with food allergies and sensitivities, including new gluten-free labels and allergen labeling regulations, as well as other food safety initiatives, including new labeling rules for mechanically tenderized beef labels.
The Minister finished by thanking the parents present for sharing their insights and experiences on the healthy living approaches that make a difference for Canadian families.
- The Public Health Agency of Canada's community-based children's programs, including CAPC, CPNP and Aboriginal Head Start, reach over 285,000 vulnerable children, parents and pregnant women each year.
- The Multi-Sectoral Partnership Approach to Promote Healthy Living and Prevent Chronic Disease invests over $20 million each year to address risk factors that underlie chronic diseases. Federal investments are matched by private sector partners so that we can reach more Canadians.
- To date, the Government has leveraged $27.6 million from private sector companies to support healthy living partnership projects.
- Health Canada develops and promotes guidelines for healthy eating, such as Canada's Food Guide, which encourage Canadians to follow a healthy pattern of eating that is lower in sodium, added sugars, and fat. Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide – First Nations, Inuit & Métis is available in Inuktitut, Ojibwe, Plains Cree and Woods Cree and reflects the values, traditions and food choices of First Nations, Inuit and Métis.
- The Government is committed to helping Canadians, and especially children, become and stay more active. The increase in the Children's Fitness Tax Credit to $1,000 will help parents offset the costs of enrolling their children in organized sports.
"Not only have today's discussions provided a wealth of insight into the challenges often faced by Canadian families on a daily basis when making choices on food, participation in physical activity and overall health, but they've also made me proud of the progress and efforts we're making together, to promote healthy, active lifestyles in Canadians of all ages."
The Honourable Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health
"I'm proud to have been a part of today's discussions with Canadian parents and families on the important topic of healthy living. With a third of all children and youth in Canada already overweight or obese, it's essential to reinforce to Canadians of all ages the important role physical activity and healthy eating play in our overall health and well-being."
Member of Parliament, Calgary Centre
"The health and wellness of Canadians, particularly children and youth, is an important issue facing our country today. Discussions like today's, with Canadian parents and families, will help us better understand how some of our current Government programs are benefitting Canadians and also identify ways we can improve. Together, we can have a real positive impact on children and youth in our communities."
Member of Parliament, Calgary Northeast
"Families Matter recognizes that the raising of children who have the knowledge and confidence to make healthy choices entails good education, modeling and support for parents. Today, Minister Ambrose, MP Shory and MP Crockatt were able to hear from parents who are getting that support from our centre, thanks in part to the long-standing relationship we have with the Public Health Agency of Canada."
Managing Director, Families Matter
Community Action Program for Children
Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program
Aboriginal Head Start
The Play Exchange
Build Our Kids' Success
Nutrition Facts Education Campaign
Allergen labeling regulations
Mechanically tenderized beef labels
Children's Fitness Tax Credit
SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada
For further information: Contacts: Michael Bolkenius, Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Federal Minister of Health, (613) 957-0200; Media Relations, Public Health Agency of Canada, (613) 957-2983