Coalition for Active Living

Issue 5
November 2006


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Word from the Co-Chairs:

Welcome to our Fall Edition of ACTIVE NEWS!

As the recently elected Co-Chairs, we're really excited to be working with you and with our tremendously dedicated Board Members. On that matter, we would like to welcome three new recruits elected by our membership: Johanne Lacombe, Go for Green's Executive Director; Theresa Harvey-Pruden, Coordinator for the Healthy Living Initiatives, Manitoba Healthy Living; and Don Leclair, Executive Director of the PEI Active Living Alliance. These insightful and energetic individuals are taking over the positions of Marie-Claire Pierce, Doug Cripps, and Rick Bell. Dr. Rick Bell served as CAL's Chair for the last
three years, and we sincerely want to thank him for his years of tremendous service. We thank too, Marie-Claire and Doug for all the great work that they've done for the advancement of physical activity in Canada. They helped make a difference and we wish them well with their new endeavors!

Welcome to Angela Favretto, Program Manager, as our new liaison with the Healthy Living Unit.

We would also like to thank Doug Lafrenière for all the hard work he has done for CAL. Doug has recently resigned from the Board.

As mentioned in our last edition of ACTIVE NEWS, April 06, the CAL membership has increased from 45 organizations to over 100! We certainly want to welcome and thank every new member/organization for taking part in our collective efforts to advance physical activity in Canada.



Since our last communication, many activities have taken place. Board Members met weekly by teleconference and participated in two face-to-face meetings hosted in Burlington and Ottawa. Everyone was very creative and collaborated extremely well in moving things forward, even when operating on next to no funds! We would like to thank all Board Members for their work.

Here are some of the activities that took place in the last few months:

Speech from the Throne:

In the last issue of ACTIVE NEWS, we informed you that CAL was preparing to respond to the Speech from the Throne in regards to the Conservative Government's commitment to spend at least one percent of total federal health funding annually on physical activity, including amateur sport and programs for school age children such as the Awards of Excellence program.

CAL's members were heard and a response was delivered on April 4th by issuing a News Release congratulating the new Conservative Government on taking a small step forward with the announcement of the Children's Fitness Tax Credit, while at the same time, reminding them about the importance of making a significant investment in physical activity as promised in their election platform.

That same month, we urged our membership to write or email Jim Flaherty, the Minister of Finance, urging him to commit to the 1% promise in the May budget. While the response from our membership was one of the best to date, the Conservative Government did not commit the resources in this past budget. To see the CAL's news release in response, visit our web site at

Despite the lack of financial commitment to date, our efforts have resulted in promising dialogue with the new government. We are hopeful they will soon make the necessary investments in physical activity.

Child Tax Credit:

CAL has previously identified three priority recommendations for Government action to reduce Canada's physical inactivity epidemic:


  1. The Government of Canada makes a strategic investment of $100 million dollars annually to address the physical inactivity epidemic in Canada;
  2. The Government of Canada creates tax incentives to encourage physical activity among Canadians;
  3. The Government of Canada targets new investments and incentives (recommendations 1 and 2 above) in areas of strategic emphasis Healthy Public Policy Community Physical Environments, Supportive Social Environments.

These were presented to the Minister of Finance earlier this year. We are proud to say that federal government will undertake the second of these recommendations: The Government of Canada will create tax incentives to encourage physical activity among Canadians.

The tax credit is proposed to come into effect on January 1, 2007. It will apply to fees paid for an eligible program of physical activity for children under 16 years of age.

Panel members appointed by the Health Minister were asked to provide advice on the working definition of an eligible program for this credit. CAL was invited to submit their views to the panel of three members, who reviewed all comments and made recommendations to the Minister. The report has been completed and is now available.

Enhanced Evaluation of the Pan-Canadian Physical Activity Strategy (PCPAS):

This summer, a funding proposal was submitted to the Public Health Agency of Canada for an enhanced evaluation.

With a modest amount of funding, we have had the opportunity to build on the original project, "Engaging Canadians in the Pan-Canadian Physical Activity Strategy", within the 2005/06 work plan that was previously funded through the Physical Activity Contributions Program. The objectives of the PCPAS Strategy are:


  1. To increase member and key stakeholder awareness and commitment to the Pan-Canadian Physical Activity Strategy;
  2. To integrate the Pan-Canadian Physical Activity Strategy into national initiatives, such as the Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance of Canada's Obesity Epidemic project and the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Healthy Living initiative;
  3. To update the Pan-Canadian Physical Activity Strategy based on new data, evidence and initiatives.

The goal of the 2006 CAL evaluation project is to determine the effectiveness of how physical activity stakeholders in Canada have been engaged in supporting the PCPAS.

We are currently evaluating the profile that the PCPAS has in Canada, determining where the gaps are in terms of specific organizations and sectors that have not yet become engaged in supporting the Strategy.

We are in the process of collecting information which will help us learn from the process to date.

Pan-Canadian Physical Activity Strategy (PCPAS)

In October 2005, CAL initiated an Engagement Strategy to encourage key partners to sign a Statement of Intent supporting the Pan Canadian Physical Activity Strategy. The invitation to sign this Statement was extended first to National Organizations. Seven of them accepted to date. We welcome endorsement from any of our members. If you haven't done so and would be interested in endorsing the Strategy by signing the Statement of Intent, please make sure to do so, and return it to the Coalition at at your earliest convenience. By doing so, we will create a stronger voice for the future of physical activity on the public agenda.

We hope that you will take ownership of this Strategy, adopt it, advance it and implement it in your own way. If you have used it or are planning to do so, please let us know about it. We would love to hear your story and share your experience with others in the field!
To submit your experiences in using the PCPAS or to ask questions about the Engagement process, please send us an email at

We're Connected!

CAL is represented in many ways on different committees and working groups, such as Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance of Canada (CDPAC), the Pan-Canadian Healthy Living Network , and as an active advocate for increased investment in physical activity in Canada in meeting with organizations to advocate the movement around the Conservative Government 1% promise, and also to generate more funding through the Disease Strategy, the Healthy Living Strategy and Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). Opportunities are advocated for on an ongoing basis to increase the investment in physical activity in Canada.

In a nutshell, here are some of the networking activities that CAL undertook in the past few months:


  • We met with David Butler-Jones, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada in May 2006;
  • Represented CAL at the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute's (CFLRI) Physical Activity and Public Health course - Nancy had the opportunity to discuss advocacy efforts in pursuit of policy change from CAL's perspective;
  • Participated in the CDPAC meetings in St-John, Nfld – The meeting dealt with issues related to obesity;
  • Provided input to the Active Healthy Kids Canada 2006 Report Card based on the recommendations from the PCPAS.

Mark your calendar!

In November 2006, CAL will be hosting a presentation and teleconference for our members through CHNet Works! We will be offering CAL members the chance to ask Board members questions about any of the details in this newsletter or other aspects of the "state of the nation" regarding physical activity in Canada, sharing information with you and discussing any issues that are of interest to you. To participate in this Chat, watch for further information in the coming days.

A special thank you is extended to the University of Ottawa for providing this service.

Investing in Prevention - A Business Plan to Increase Physical Activity in Canada:

This summer, based on advice from our Advisory Council, CAL built on the work of the Pan-Canadian Physical Activity Strategy to develop a Business Plan for the future investment in physical activity in Canada.

This document, completed in September 2006, provides a business case and plan for the Government of Canada calling on it to provide policy leadership, and fulfill its promise to invest 1% of the Health Care budget to increase physical activity in Canada. The Business Plan compliments federal and provincial/territorial strategies in sport and health, and describes what is needed to achieve the physical activity targets as described in the Integrated Pan Canadian Healthy Living Strategy. We also hope that it will allow us to encourage more investment and increase coordination of programs and strategies.

By clicking on this link to the Business Plan, we invite you to:


  1. Have your organization review and discuss the document;
  2. Determine what roles, if any, you see your organization playing.

In the coming weeks, we will be asking to our members about next steps.

We want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank CAL's Advisory Committee, and Board Members and a special thank you to Steve Grundy for his leadership in developing this valuable document.


Enhanced Annual General Meeting:

Mark your calendar!!! We are planning to have the next Annual General Meeting April 13-14-15, 2007 in Ottawa. Our plan is to meet with our members and other key stakeholders to exchange best practices and showcase success stories, advance the Business Plan and build our network! Be part of it!

More details to come in the next ACTIVE NEWS.


Thank you!

We want to extend a special thank you to all our partners and members who continue to support the Coalition in a variety of ways – this is what collective action is really all about. In particular, we want to highlight the generosity of:

  • the YMCA Canada who have provided us with free of charge meeting space in Ottawa and Oakville;
  • CAHPERD for ongoing administrative support;
  • Saskatchewan in Motion;
  • CHNetwork, a program based at the University of Ottawa, for generously provided us with conference calls and electronic meetings opportunities.

Thank you for your support!


The Future:

The future for physical activity efforts in Canada are looking more promising than ever before but there's much work to do. CAL will continue to move the Business Plan forward, to actively advocate for further investment on multiple fronts, coordination and cooperation at all levels (local, municipal, provincial and national levels) and making sure that the work CAL is doing is relevant to you our members.

Your participation is critical. Please provide your feedback and comments to help us create a better health for all Canadians through physical activity.


Word from the Co-Chairs
Investing in Prevention
Enhanced Annual General Meeting
Thank you!
The Future

Board Members

Nancy Dubois (Co-Chair)
Christa Costas-Bradstreet (Co-Chair)
Mike Arthur, M Sc
Patricia Marturano
Johanne Lacombe
Theresa Harvey Pruden
Don Leclair

Advisory Council Chairs

Cathie Kryzanowski (Co-Chair)
Pat Hunt (Co-Chair)

Senior Advisor

Stephen Grundy


For more information, contact us at:
2197 Riverside Drive, Suite 403
Ottawa, ON K1H 7X3
Phone: (613) 277-9979