Coalition For Active Living

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Board Updates November 27, 2002


Many of the Coalition's advocacy initiatives have come to fruition in November. Here is a chronology of this incredible period of activity, including a brief summary of actions and reference to documents that accompany each event.

1. Sport Policy Training Camp: Nov. 1, 2002: Montreal
Steve Grundy and I attended a one-day session on Policy presented by Sport Matters. There were excellent speakers:

Leslie Seidle, a Research Associate with the Canadian Policy research Networks and formerly a director General of Strategic Policy with the Privy Council. He spoke about how policy is developed and the entry points for NGO input into that policy. His main message was that it is NOT a linear process any more, that the advocacy "arrows" can penetrate the system at several points in the process, not necessarily in any logical order. An example would be our presentation to the Senate. We came in at the end of the process and had significant impact.

Melodie Tilson is a public policy advocate, with extensive experience in the tobacco lobby, most recently in lobbying the City of Ottawa for a smoke-free bylaw. Her overheads are attached. Steve and I agreed that her presentation affirmed the work and the path that the Coalition is on.

Victor Lachance spoke about the Sport Matters mechanism and the advocacy work that they are undertaking and the organizational structure that is being developed. It was Victor's mention of the submission of a Financial Brief as a significant advocacy effort that sparked the action that was taken by the Coalition to ask Steve to pull together the CAL submission.

Ian Bird introduced the concept of an Online community. His presentation was similar to the one that he did for the CAL Board. However he now has a new web site that is worth checking out.

Related documents:
a. Sport Matters Handouts that were e-mailed to you
b. Melodie's ppt presentation: attached
c. Sport Matters Website

2. Brief to the Finance Committee

On Monday morning, Nov. 4th Steve did some digging around and found out that there was still time for the CAL to submit a Brief, but the deadline was Friday Nov. 8th. Steve had just completed a submission for Go for Green so knew how to go. Romanow Commission and the Six-point plan as the foundation documents. He worked through several drafts with input from Board members. Coincidentally I had organized a meeting of the Physical Activity NGO's, or the Caucus as they are known now for that Friday afternoon. These are organizations that, for the most part receive funds from the Health Canada Physical Activity Unit. Steve brought the final draft to the group, received some excellent feedback, made the edits and sent it off to the Finance Committee by 3:45 p.m.. On Monday I sent the Brief to the CAL members organizations and we received some very positive feedback. People couldn't believe that the Coalition was so bold as to ask for $500,000,000. In fact a couple of e-mails suggested that there was an extra "0". When they found out that indeed the amount was correct they were excited.

Related documents:
a. Brief to the Finance Committee

3. Meeting with Minister McLellan

Rick and Art were scheduled to meet with Minister McLellan on Thursday November 14th in Edmonton. I attended a CAAWS/Chatelaine magazine Walking Club event on Parliament Hill October 30, and actually walked along with Minister McLellan for about 10 minutes and chatted about the meeting. She is a long-time colleague of Art's so was looking forward to seeing him and meeting Rick. Rick huddled with Steve, Guy, Cathie, Garth and myself on Monday Nov. 11 to prep for the meeting. As a result Cathie, Steve and I prepared a ppt package for Rick to leave with the Minister and sent it on to him for his edit. And the meeting happened! Rick sent an e-mail to the Board describing the event and the implications. His assessment was that overall it accomplished the Coalition's goal of bringing to the Ministers attention the fact that there must be a well-resourced delivery system for physical activity in the country if she expects to deliver on her Healthy Living Agenda. On Nov. 13th, Rick sent out a Quick Update to the Coalition Members to keep them in the loop about the escalating activity.

Related documents:
a. CAL ppt
b. Rick's email to the Board
c. Nov. 13 Update

4. Presentation to the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology

On Nov. 13th we discovered, through our colleagues at Health Canada that Bill C-54, the Physical Activity and Sport Act was proceeding to 3rd reading in the Senate and was now C-12. This was a total shock, because we thought that it had died last June and was back in the House of Commons. Sport Matters, Athletes Can and the Commonwealth Games association had made a presentation to the committee on Nov. 12th. May 8, 2002, the Coalition send a request to present outlining concerns with Bill C-54 to the Mills committee and the request to speak was not entertained.

Rick asked me to find out if the Coalition could make a presentation. I called the he Committee clerk, Cathy Piccinin Thursday about noon and she said that if we wanted to be considered for a presentation the request had to come in that afternoon, because the last chance to speak would be Wednesday Nov. 20th. In 3 hours, the request was drafted, reviewed and submitted. Rick was notified late Friday afternoon that the request to speak had been granted: Wednesday Nov. 20 5:00-5:30 pm. Flight and accommodation arrangements were made, Rick rejigged his schedule and we pulled together a team to present with him: Guy (who was in Halifax until Tuesday night) and Jane Arkell from the ALACD. Wednesday morning they all met with Steve and I and hammered out the presentation. The CAHPERD office staff plugged in and helped by sharing computers, doing formatting and copying of the presentation material and generally being patient with the Coalition invasion of their space. The presentation was made, very positively received and the upshot is that there will be changes proposed to Bill C-12 that strengthen the Physical Activity component. Now we have to follow up on next steps with Bill C-12.

Relevant documents;
a) Request to present: Bill C-54
b) Request to present: Bill C-12
c) Presentation handout
d) Transcripts from Nov. 20 and Nov. 21st sessions.

5. Meeting with Daniele Besner and Randy Adams.

Because the Senate paid for Rick to come to Ottawa we figured that this was a perfect opportunity to pull together the meeting with Daniele and Randy to discuss the funding Application process that has gone off the rails yet again, the Healthy Living Summit and the Coalition's role and the additional requirement for funds to hold the consultation on the HC Physical Activity Policy. A breakfast meeting was held resulting in:

I sent a note to the Caucus members to give them an update on the funding immediately following the meeting.

I came across this tucked in my wallet the other day. "If it matters at all, it must matter completely". This required a huge, complete contribution from everyone involved, and we did it; as a team, with complete and positive support from our colleagues, families and friends. It was a magnificent effort!

Respectfully submitted,
Pat Hunt