Coalition For Active Living

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Board Updates August 23, 2005

A Word from your Chair
Since the last newsletter in March, there have been some important issues to report on.

The most recent and perhaps the most significant event to announce to our physical activity community is the consultation that took place to discuss where to house the proposed federal Physical Activity Unit. Currently, it is part of the Public Health Agency.

As many of you may recall, when Paul DeVillers was Secretary of State for Sport, he expressed interest in combining physical activity with sport as part of one Ministry. Recently, the PMO's office has requested that the Honourable DeVillers investigate the possibility and implications of such a union. CAL, along with other member organizations, was interviewed during this process. CAL's position focused on the need for ministerial leadership on physical activity and adequate resources for our community. CAL reiterated its long standing message that solutions to the physical inactivity crisis in this country do not rest within any one ministry or with one minister. Rather, a comprehensive approach must be adopted to increase the level of physical activity among Canadians and must include buy-in from many ministers. Should a move from the PHAC to a Ministry with Sport assist us in achieving these ends then the transition could prove to be beneficial. I appreciate that some of our member organizations have different opinions about the wisdom of this potential move in light of the collaboration that is required with the healthy living network of organizations. Collaboration on this issue will likely remain a challenge for our community. We anxiously await the release of the report and look forward to reading the recommendations made to the Prime Minister. Thanks to all of you who participated in this consultation.

On behalf of the CAL board, I hope you had an active and safe summer holiday.

Rick Bell
Chair, CAL Board of Directors