Whitehorse, YT - DECEMBER 2011

Active Canada 20/20 Consultation: Whitehorse, Yukon

December 6, 2011


Overall Comments

  • The Active Canada 20/20 diagram on page 9 appears to be institutional, bureaucratic and structured… not very reflective of community
  • There is a general sense that pillar 2 is not as important as the other pillars, i.e. without the other pillars, social marketing is pointless
  • Without a supportive, built environment, it will be challenging to change/increase physical (PA) patterns
  • Overall document needs more emphasis on evidence-based
  • Some of the language in the document/pillars is abrasive (e.g. “must”)
  • The weak link in the overall document is how it connects to health care professionals and the overall health system
  • Connect this to existing strategies (e.g. Pan Canadian Healthy Living Strategy)

Pillars (Areas of Focus)

Pillar 1 – Policy Change and Implementation

Action 1 – A special task force of F/P/T governments should be immediately established to lead the development of a Canadian Physical Activity Policy, led by Health/Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Ministers. (This would be a distinct but parallel process to the Canadian Sport Policy and would be in consultation with F/P/T departments concerned with health, transportation, human resources, infrastructure, environments, business, heritage and tourism).

  • Clarification? – co-led by H/SPAR versus Ministers responsible for…
  • need to include Ministers of Education
  • Missing taxation, WCB
  • An “all of society” approach diffuses the responsibility
  • advocate for an “all of government” approach
  • Use encouraging language as compared to “government will” – this is more strategic for buy-in
  • Lacks clarity in terms of what is PA
  • What is out there that can be built on (e.g. Pan Canadian Healthy Living Strategy) Don’t agree – spinning wheels as soon as gets to “task force” – rather see dollars spent on education and programs
  • Missing areas – transportation, cost of getting people places
  • How people are taxed needs to be considered
  • All Departments could have PA as a core goals
  • Federation of Canadian Municipalities is missing – work with municipalities

Action 2 – Leading Canadian employers will develop, and or strengthen results oriented policies that support infrastructure and programs for employees to add physical activity to their daily lives, including active transportation to and from work. Employers and employees will be supported with tax incentives. Initially large employers (over 500 employees) will be specifically called on to implement polices to increase physical activity.  

  • What about smaller employers?
  • Need more information – what are some employers already doing?
  • change “develop” (5th word) to “implement”
  • tax incentives – do they really work for people who need them? Action is not really clear
  • Already things in place – don’t reinvent the wheel

Action 3 – Governments will address sub-populations with the greatest access issues, and target fiscal policies, incentives and subsidies to eliminate disparities in participation levels.

  • What are the ways of supporting this?
  • Should be “access for all” and not just for subgroups as people move in and out of the subgroups
  • Kudos for dealing with health equity issues but incorporate health equity principles
  • what about people on social assistance? Longer term funding required
  • Use “community development” strategy as well
  • Perhaps too narrow in the wording
  • NGO’s deliver the programs

Action 4 – Transportation departments (federal, provincial/territorial, municipal) will implement policy to prioritize Active Transport* for short distance trips in all communities.

  • Are First Nation/Aboriginal governments included?
  • Is this about infrastructure or transportation?
  • Where does “built environment” fit in?

Action 5 – School boards across Canada will adopt and implement Quality Daily Physical Education (QDPE) including daily physical activity, school sport and after school programming as well as active school transportation planning policies.

  • Implement this action
  • change wording to “support”
  • need clarity on role of School Boards – there is only one school board in Yukon for the French as a First Language Schools… no school boards for all other schools
  • “Physical Education” is too narrow and sport-based – how about QDPA (quality daily physical activity) rather than PE
  • too narrow – need other ways to promote PA

Action 6 – Renewal and implementation of the Canadian Sport Policy will bring priority to increasing physical activity as part of its sport participation goals.   

  • already going on… agree


Pillar 2 – Targeted Information and Public Education

Overall Comments

  • this pillar cannot operate alone – without an appropriate built environment, there is no point in social messaging
  • need to ensure positive messaging rather than increasing PA through guilt need to link to Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines
  • need to link to national organizations who will support the agenda (e.g. Weight Watchers)
  • any message or campaign needs to be consistent with the desired actions or with the policy intent
  • Education and awareness start at home! Need to start instilling attitudes and values at a very early age
  • where does screen time fit into this… average Internet usage and TV viewing for
  • leisure is at about 34 hours per week…
  • Most people do not have a good understanding of how PA affects their body
  • Need a central warehouse for good research-based evidence and information
  • Need to target messaging at the older age group and incorporate messages such as injury prevention
  • Need to focus on changing attitudes and behaviours such as the shift that happened with drinking and driving
  • Need to make people see physically inactivity as socially unacceptable
  • Promote the social and emotional benefits for PA
  • Campaigns are good to convince people, but convincing doesn’t always lead to doing. For “doing” there needs to be one-on-one and interpersonal communication and support.
  • What evidence is there to show that mass campaigns help people move through the stages of change?
  • Need to make better connections between mental well-being and physical well- being.

Specific Comments

  • Do actions 2 and 5 say almost the same thing?
  • Why is there so much planning?
  • Themes… it is pointless to have annual themes as it takes much longer to change behaviours. Themes should look more at things like preventing diabetes than at demographics.
  • Why is there an action targeting employers? Too specific…
  • Need to include policy makers as a target group for messaging; someone has to make tough decisions to support behavior change (e.g. spending money to install a sidewalk might not be a popular decision, introducing non-smoking bylaws was not popular… not popular but often necessary)
  • Encourage PA during work through workplace policies and legislation
  • Need to focus on the fact that we are all responsible to encourage PA… not only physicians, etc.
  • The inconsistent messaging, and more so the inconsistent nature of funding from governments to NGO’s to support PA, does not help support ongoing, long term increases in PA levels.
  • Need to get large groups like Heart and Stroke and Lung Association on board.
  • Need to improve statistics gathering across the country; particularly in the North.


Pillar 3 - High Quality Accessible Programs and Services

Overall Comments

  • QDPE should be the norm across the country but this is still not happening. High school students in a semester system do not get DPE, PE is one of the first things to be cancelled when other events arise at the elementary school level
  • Schools are one of the most important places to have an influence on behaviours and attitudes outside of the home!
  • Programs and Services need to be located within schools and within neighbourhoods… in places where people can access them without reliance on driving.
  • After School Programs (ASP) need to be accessible and easy to participate in…
  • one or two days per week does not work for parents who use daycare, school bussing policies do not support participation in ASP
  • Active School Travel planning policies need to be implemented across the country – need to shift thoughts, schedules, attitudes, etc.
  • Need a critical mass of people being active in order to shift to PA being the norm Implement rules (like WCB) that employers provide access to PA programs and services and that employees need to be fit for the job (a requirement like needing a degree or being able to speak both official languages)
  • “Increasing PA of residents” is too undefined… it is almost impossible to measure this so we never get there
  • need to improve support for transportation
  • need to involve the insurance industry – cost of insurance poses a huge barrier to equitable access and participation
  • need to improve access across the country to school facilities

Action 1 - Elementary and secondary schools, with the support of provincial Ministries of Education and the local school boards, must implement Quality Daily Physical Education (QDPE) including daily physical activity, school sport and after-school programming as well as active school transportation planning policies.

  • “must” comes across as abrasive include daycare
  • schools are a crucial piece to drive long-term change… it seems that 35 years ago we were focusing on schools; not enough has changed and it has actually become worse as far as QDPA is concerned
  • need to promote “active” classrooms and train PE teachers who have an understanding of unstructured play, being active outdoors, lifelong PA, etc.—not just sport

Action 2 - Municipal recreation and health departments will set targets for increasing physical activity of residents, as part of their planning and performance objectives.

  • need to include policy-makers, land use/planning departments… all should have increased PA as core goals similarly to how ActNow BC was a filter for all government programs and services in BC

Action 3 - Community schools and recreation will provide greater access for members of the community to use facilities in order to increase participation in sport and physical activity programs, and foster after school programs.

  • No comments

Action 4 - Staff, throughout the education system from pre-school to college and university levels, will be supported in adoption and utilization of physical education curriculum.

  • remove

Action 5 - Physical activity practitioners, companies and organizations will ensure outreach, readiness and welcoming access, to support Canadians who take steps to increase physical activity.

  • instead of PHC professionals, use “physicians” as many HCP already do this

Action 6 - Primary health care professionals value exercise, and prescribe advice and recommendations to their patients about the health benefits and need for physical activity. They are informed and able to refer patients to qualified exercise professionals.

  • No comments

Action 7 - Existing social networks and facilities will be utilized to deliver physical activity programming that is relevant and sensitive to the needs and values of subpopulations such as aboriginals, children and youth, new Canadians, girls and women, older adults and people with a disability.

  • question on meaning or intent of this action
  • more recent terminology than “at-risk” (just can’t think of what it is right now)
  • Why would this not be included in the previous action?

Action 8 - Specific strategies will be developed by all delivery organizations to encourage participation in physical activity programs by at-risk populations.

  • there is already significant evidence-based research

Action 9 - Large employers will implement comprehensive physical activity programs based on best practices.

  • remove – NCCP already deals with people who are sufficiently active

Action 10 - The National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) will investigate ways to promote “health enhancing physical activity” at all levels and for all sports.

  • No comments


Pillar 4 – Community Design and Social Infrastructure

Overall Comments

  • Anything that relies on HR Expertise is a big challenge in small and northern communities
  • Use schools better
  • Support program development and invest in people
  • Missing: NATURE
  • heavy focus on infrastructure
  • focus needed on unstructured play
  • need to create neighbourhoods conducive to safe, unstructured play and not only be about facilities
  • infrastructure – private developers are taking out all the trees
  • PA is not only about being active indoors or where there is infrastructure available
  • Action 1 - Every municipality will develop, review and revise municipal/local government master plans to ensure that opportunities for physical activity are explicitly included in all facets of the plan, and barriers to an active lifestyle are eliminated.

    For the North, missing support for implementation in unincorporated communities

    Embedded in daily lives (PA)

Action 2 - Within the municipal/local government master plan for physical activity, municipal/local governments will develop a strategic plan for transportation that explicitly places priority on active transportation.

  • Active transportation is a local issue and should be taken on by local governments
  • public transportation is necessary for older adults and for others without cars provide facilities at work: bike storage, showers
  • connect fees to use facilities to bus passes
  • in northern/winter cities, there is less time for activity so need to have active routes to work
  • needs to be simplified
  • needs to be included in local plans look at costs creatively

Action 3- Inactive segments of at-risk populations, such as Aboriginals, children and youth, new Canadians, girls and women, older adults and people with a disability should be an integral part of plans and strategies to increase physical activity.

  • low income and low literacy not included here
  • Clarity needed: should they be part of the process of developing plans or be in the plans…?

Action 4 - Governments will address the infrastructure deficit in order to ensure all Canadians have access to spaces and facilities where they can learn, experience and practice physically active pursuits.

  • must address O&M deficit for facilities 
  • Governments – so who will do it? F/P/T?

Action 5 - Communities, in partnership with other levels of government, will target human and financial investment in recreation and sport for underserviced areas such as rural, low income communities or isolated areas, or high density areas with inadequate facilities.

  • Questioned sustainability and cost of O&M

Action 6 - Communities will identify existing facilities, (public, private, and others) and develop plans to maximize community wide shared use in order to increase access by community members for physical activity.

  • Questioned sustainability and cost of O&M



Strategic Investments

  • Where is the support for non-profits
  • Need to emphasize partnerships and collaboration
  • Need to focus on creative financing: how can we sell PA differently? Really, it is our health care budget as we need to build a healthier population; PA can’t be viewed only as an add-on
  • Need to shift how we spend money at both a government and population level and redefine priorities
  • Caution regarding wording for public versus private sectors as the involvement of each will be motivated by very different factors


  • Disagree with the bullet that reads “establish a new…mechanism”
  • Need to encourage ownership
  • Need to shift how funds and support are provided to NGOs; it is impossible to make change and ensure consistency with short-term funding and when funding priorities are forever changing (e.g. a 3-year contribution agreement provides better service and support for increasing PA)
  • Capacity needs are across all sectors, including government; not just at the
    community level

Evidence and Knowledge Exchange

  • Monitoring the effectiveness of social marketing campaigns is challenging and costly
  • There is a need to better connect existing health data to physical activity
  • PA really should be with health as the results are in lowered rates of injury, chronic disease, etc.