Coalition For Active Living

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Board Updates April 27, 2004

Here is a quick update to keep you abreast of what will be a busy week.

As you may be aware, Ministers responsible for Physical Activity and Sport will gather in Quebec City on April 29th and 30th of this week to discuss several matters, including strategies to achieve their commitment to a 10% increase in physical activity in each province and territory by 2010.

The Coalition has been in contact with each Minister, and their delegations, over the past two weeks to encourage them to take strong and well-resourced action to take on the crisis of physical inactivity in this country. We have also met recently with the staff of each of the Ministers of Health, Public Health, and Sport, and will meet with each of these Ministers.

We will be very visible in Quebec City through seven activities:

1. The Coalition will have a meeting of its Advisory Council at the same time as the meeting of Ministers

2. We will host the "Walk the Talk Walk" Friday morning at 7am, and have invited all Ministers and their staffs to join us for a morning stroll and some conversation about physical activity and the PAN-CANADIAN PHYSICAL ACTIVITY STRATEGY.

3. The evening before the walk, each Minister and delegate will receive a package from CAL in thieir room -- The Pan-Canadian Physical Activity Strategy wrapped in a T-short and tied with a pair of running shoe laces.
The T-shirts are bilingual and have the name of the strategy on the front and "I Walk the Talk" across the back.

4. Dr. Rick Bell and other Coalition representatives will meet with Minister Pettigrew Friday morning.

5. We will attend the Ministers News conference where they will announce their strategies to achieve the 10% goal.

6. We will host a News conference, following the Ministers' News conference to launch the Pan-Canadian Physical Activity Strategy and to comment on whatever it is that the Ministers will announce.

7. Last week CAL conducted a Leger Survey of 1500 Canadians to poll their walking habits. We will be releasing this new data at the news conference to help convey our message.

Our message will be straight forward:

-Physical inactivity is causing a health crisis in Canada.

-CAL has concerns with the current confusion around federal government leadership in addressing the national crisis in physical activity. This lack of direction, coupled with jurisdictional questions within the federal government, is delaying the actions needed to confront the health crisis caused by physical inactivity.

-The Healthy Living Strategy identifies physical activity as one of two new areas of emphasis for Health Canada, but no strategy or resources have been put in place to support action for physical activity.

- The lack of priority attached to physical activity, the confusion around lead federal departments, and reduced resources for physical activity nationally have coincided with increased rates of physical inactivity in certain populations and increased rates of obesity.

- The 13 P/T Ministers have committed to an increase in physical activity of 10 percentage points in each province and territory by 2010. Many provinces and territories are beginning to make significant investments in physical activity, but federal efforts are lacking.

-The membership of CAL is well positioned to make a significant contribution to reducing physical inactivity in Canada and raising the profile of physical activity on the public agenda.

Whether the announceables are positive or negative, there may be a need to get the CAL membership to respond quickly following the meeting, beyond what we say at the News conference. Please be prepared for action as we work together to raise the profile of physical activity in Canada.

Stephen Grundy
Chief Operations Officer
Coalition for Active Living