Yellowknife, NT - NOVEMBER 2011

Active Canada 20/20 Consultation: Yellowknife, NT

November 22, 2011

C. Costas-Bradstreet
J. Spence
Geoff Ray

Pillars (Areas of Focus)

Pillar 1 – Policy Development, Change and Implementation

Overall Comments

  • Good pillar – as long as it filters down to community level; consequences tied to the policy? – Need to be evaluated
  • Wording: “promote existing successful policies”

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.)

  • Action 1 – supported

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 policies to increase physical activity.

  • Incentives through WCB; “leading Canadian employers” – who are they:  need to build a business case; >500 is a problem; what about smaller employers?; the larger mines in NWT have good programs; the role of workers comp? Injury prevention?

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.

  • Address the barriers to eliminate; specificity and implementation?; Evaluation? Programs and subsidies need to be relevant to the community and population – treadmills in small rural communities are useless; incentives and how they are perceived may vary across groups (populations)

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

  • Weather can be a critical factor for AT; vehicles may be a status symbol in certain cultures; costs may be prohibitive.

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.

  • Get common agenda for school boards and PA; business case needs to be made; role of free play in school; difficult to implement QDPE and after-school programming – problem for smaller schools and rural areas; DPA is a good philosophy

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

  • Action 6: not the sole solution


Pillar 2- Targeted Information and Public Education

  • Overall agreement with pillar

Action 1 - Long term planning and support for national information and education campaigns that are adequately funded, linked closely with national, provincial/territorial and major municipal campaigns, will be implemented.

  • Municipal priority – livable, well-designed communities vs PA – understand motivation at municipal level vs provincial – different lens!
  • Link to government priorities
  • Funding important to this pillar, including ongoing/consistent funding
  • Calls to Action: Canadians, Policy Makers, Government 

Action 2 - An annual priority theme will be set across jurisdictions to guide education and marketing campaigns. Examples of themes include: Aboriginals, children and youth, new Canadians, girls and women, older adults and people with a disability.

  • Annual theme – “Flavour of the year” – takes away long-term commitment
  • Annual theme can work, but priorities may change; annual can be a long duration in small communities.; need a changeover but annual may be too long.
  • Theme has to be relevant to all communities – e.g. new Canadians may not be an issue in remote communities
  • Rather than choosing “people” theme, choose a topic – walking, cycling or seasonal.
  • Need to target different groups, but not annually – everyone targeted – it is how we do it; with finite resources, need to strategize/prioritize – what is the most effective use of $
  • Coordination is key – not all are thinking about who has a stake in this. Key messages can be coordinated across different groups.
  • How do we define under-served?  E.g. boys and men; how do we target all populations and build in PA messages (PAG)

Action 3 - The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines will be broadly distributed and awareness will be increased among Canadians.

  • PAGs – e.g. food guide- most Canadians aware; need to do a better job with PA – new ones are still confusing – we have to better explain them.
  • PAGs – make them more compelling – need to bring them to life.
  • Ensure PAG are part of education curriculum
  • Need to add Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines
  • “Evidence-based guidelines” – this is the language of the health sector – is this relevant to other sectors?  IF so, it will inform the work they do vs. something else
  • Need to look at how they are distributed – creative messaging, targeted distribution – what does it mean to me (e.g. health domain, education, etc.).

Action 4 - A means will be identified to provide information regarding the benefits of physical activity to Canadian employers and employees. An education program targeting large employers will be implemented to stimulate workplace-based physical activity promotion.

  • Marketing – what is good for the company – Business Case needed – demonstrates benefits to company
  • Need to look at tax incentives and other incentives – allows to target all-sized companies/employers
  • Worker’s compensation – injury side – relationship to safety and health
  • Employers of all sizes should be targeted, but may require being more creative in the means used to reach them (e.g. using orgs like WCB, Canadian construction training module – make a component of it PA)
  • There is potentially more impact (negative) to a small company
  • How do we coordinate with different strategies and policies? – Need to talk the same language
  • Primary health care sector, educators, architects – education re incorporating PA into their work

Action 5 - Targeted outreach will take place that is relevant to the needs of sub-populations.

  • Celebration of uniqueness in the North
  • Need more communications/education – creativity is key – e.g. ambient materials, not just traditional pamphlets, etc.; make more use of social media

Action 6 - Decision and policy makers will be provided with current, reliable statistics on the status of physical activity levels in Canada.

  • Increase education to decision makers – connection with those making the policies
  • Last action – territories very different – stats are not relevant to the North.  How is info being completed? Is there enough info from the Territories?  Evidence is VERY important – need to know where we are to adjust programs, policies
  • Last bullet – broaden to all Canadians and celebrating successes – reporting back on progress – make it compelling; tell the stories; don’t sugar coat the message; them the good and the bad


Pillar 3 - High Quality, Accessible Programs and Services

Overall Comments

  • 5 and 9 similar
  • 7 and 8 can be combined.
  • Do we need standards/measure for accessibility?
  • Build a public health case for facility building and use
  • PACE program – info doesn’t = action. Health care needs to move people to action
  • Do we need standards for quality?
  • Accessible and high quality – may have different notion of what this means to different areas in the country.
  • Benefits of free play and nature/unstructured

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.

  • Schools not motivated or mandated re DPA/E – different approach – what’s important to a school board/principal? Re implementing QDPE – relationship to territorial priorities; PE not part of grading … need a business case.
  • QDPE – different than after-school programs; there is a step missing – need to create a bigger table – requires other stakeholders – e.g. rec, education, etc. Need a more integrated plan – inter-agency – separate these 2 action (action 1)
  • Assessment for all Kindergarten students – PA is an element of this one
  • Extend school day – then can increase time for PE/PA and /or recess; extended school day supports parents with kids after school
  • Colleges and university programs – what is their health component?
  • High quality is essential ; need a definition of high quality

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

  • Recreation – motivated differently  municipal governments not in business of increasing physical activity; rather than rec setting targets, work with PA stakeholders to ensure mutual objectives are being met
  • Must build facilities – more broad use
  • Language – health organizations vs. municipal – e.g. regional health vs municipal
  • PH – role in target setting

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.

  • “Lights on” – open gym – to decrease drug use
  • When places not used, why can’t they be used?
  • In NWT – there is access to schools but what about during the summer? Insurance issue
  • Persuade communities to look  beyond financial business case for facility use – e.g. artificial turf – longer time can be used
  • Also recognize need for spaces for unstructured play (e.g.  shooting baskets) – free play areas indoor and outdoor – children and nature focus
  • CGC-YK – designed for family use – structured and unstructured – need to look at design process - ++ rules – participation for all
  • Look at other factors that influence accessibility not just financial; transportation, volunteerism, lifestyle priorities/choices
  • Cost of programs – too proud to ask for subsidy
  • How do we take popular activities to different facilities/orgs
  • Liability issues MUST be addressed

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.

  • Intro PA guidelines as part of curriculum

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.

  • How do we action this??? How does this look?

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.

  • Need to focus on nurses – most trusted health professionals; what is their training?
  • Who are the qualified exercise professionals? Are they accessible? (In SK, govt. pays, same everywhere? Not a lot of these people. Don’t have a regulatory body for exercise practitioners
  • Practitioners and educators need to understand EDT

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.

  • Local capacity different in the North – a more transient population here
  • What do we do to reach teens? Hard to get them to rec facilities

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

  • Targeted populations and where our capacity exists is mismatched (less related to social determinants of health)

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

  • Not just large employers

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

  • NCCP – link to coaches – not just about PA and it’s a whole lifestyle approach (e.g. nutrition).
  • NCCP – tie to CS4L; could be very powerful – coaches have access to kids and parents – can engage parents.


Pillar 4 – Community Design and Social Infrastructure

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.

  • Common agenda issue once again; master plans were not originally designed with PA in mind
  • Small communities may not follow

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.

  • AT is a difficult issue for smaller communities – bears, mosquitoes and weather are more of an issue
  • Overall – support for this pillar; should be a priority. It is essential.  Inuvik is a good example; Yellowknife – no bus transportation to new PA facility

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.

  • Public health agenda should be followed/kept in mind on the recreation side; not just a fiscal decision; support for action 3

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.

  • Actions 4 and 5 – agreement; action 4 – “good luck with it”
  • These issues will not be solved in a 4-year term – could have a 20-year horizon but need to report something in a politician’s term.

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.

  • Traditional Aboriginal / Inuit sports should be supported and recognized

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.

  • Definitely needed; in general it works in NWT but could be improved. NGOs should be consulted/included in design of facilities; facility sharing works well in NWT communities; the only way thing can work!



Strategic Investments

Overall Comments

  • Common risk factor – chronic diseases – how do we better work together?
  • Investment – how are we making sure the $ goes where we want it and not wasted? – Accountability
  • Seeing a shift in having communities make decisions in NWT – evolving process
  • Need a compilation of strategies to enable action; sharing stories
  • Gas tax rebate

Action 1 - Governments (Federal, Provincial/Territorial, and Municipal) will identify physical activity as a priority and dedicate ongoing budgets to increase physical activity. This includes substantive investments in the voluntary sector delivery system that are clearly linked to expected results.

  • Need a shift in resources within government
  • Not just investment to NGOs but within govt. delivery system.

Action 2 - Investments in physical activity will support community development approaches to ensure ownership, relevance and sustained action.

  • Balanced approach – investment in long-term results; need benchmarks and report on them
  • Local level – more interested in sponsoring children/youth in North – fewer businesses, high competition for sponsorship and different causes; new companies moving in but not investing in community; smaller communities – no or few businesses in small communities – mostly government – who do NGOs go to for support?
  • North – vibrant voluntary sector – what is it? Is it organized? IS there an NGO? Is it an inter-agency group?  We need to think outside the box re the voluntary sector (e.g. no YMCA outside of Yellowknife)
  • Needs to be driven by community to make it not “us vs. them” but rather “we”.

Action 3 - Public and private sector employers will invest in increasing the physical activity levels of their employees.

  • Include teachers in schools as employees – helps facilitate connection with kids; look at schools as an office building
  • Change wording: “Invest in the health of their employees through PA” – need to consider the lens we’re looking through
  • Desire to see measurable results. Need to be sure we can provide those measures.
  • Ensure small companies have knowledge of how to do this – and the ability to take these actions. What is the role of WCB?

Action 4 - Business and industry will shift existing sponsorship and marketing efforts to invest in physical activity for Canadians.

  • Need to shift focus/resources upstream (less focus on care/consequences)
  • Understand what motivates companies to fund? What motivates companies to make donations to certain causes; target companies with physical activity professionals working there.
  • Need evidence and a business case



Action 1 - At the community level, decision makers responsible for recreation and parks, and public health will lead collaboration between transportation, planning, environment, sport, education, voluntary sector and other stakeholders in the development, implementation, sustaining and evaluation of strategies to increase physical activity.

  • Need for integrated community sustainability planning:
  • Engage all community groups
  • Define community needs and solutions – address access and barriers
  • Opportunity for strategic investments – other incentives
  • Role of NGO and government to support this work – e.g. training, share best practices, resources
  • This is the most important element to this strategy – needs to be integrated / avoid silos; support - incentives for community advisory committees that include all stakeholders/champions e.g. Hay River PA committee – will create specific plans; will have support from community govt. and F/P/T governments ($, HR, other)

Action 2 - Linkages will be strengthened between the F/P/T governments responsible for Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation, Health and Healthy Living, and other physical activity stakeholder groups (voluntary, private, municipal).

  • Need a voice of community govt. – they are the front line of delivery and will see impacts of policy directly.  E.g. NWT Association of Communities ; NWTRPA +stress the importance of the end-user in development of policy; F/P/T table that includes: health, education, red., sport, PA, transportation, justice

Action 3 - All delivery organizations and government jurisdictions will engage intermediary and end-user populations in planning processes and implementation of strategies.

  • Planning process needs to allow for flexibility and diversity of community priorities.

Evidence and Knowledge Exchange

Action 1 - The system for monitoring physical activity levels in Canada and the impacts of national and provincial/territorial strategies will be enhanced and maintained to ensure quality, relevant data is collected that is consistent and comparable for systemic measurement of progress toward the vision and goal of Active Canada 20/20.

  • No further comments

Action 2 - The effectiveness of social marketing and education campaigns will be monitored.

  • No further comments

Action 3 - The effectiveness of interventions, including community-based interventions and policy initiatives will be assessed as to their impact on individuals.

  • Need to be able to quantify and monitor PA – needed for evaluation
  • Information / findings need to get out to community and practitioners

Action 4 - Ongoing research will be conducted on barriers, determinants, prevalence, and correlates of physical activity.

  • No further comments

Action 5 - A new research agenda, informed by other research agendas will be developed to inform activities related to evidence and knowledge exchange.

  • Need for Northern-specific research