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Archived - Government of Canada Invests in the Creation of Healthy, Active Communities

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Funding to help improve walkability and outdoor recreation space in St. Thomas

July 30, 2015 - St. Thomas, ON - Public Health Agency of Canada

Today, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, announced funding of nearly $1 million for a project that will help residents of the City of St. Thomas lead healthier, more active lifestyles.

Through the Creating Connections project, the Government of Canada is partnering with Elgin St. Thomas Public Health and local developers to improve walkability in the City of St. Thomas. The project will engage families, community members and municipal officers to assess current walkability in the city and to identify and prioritize areas for improvement. The project will then work with local developers to create new trails, walking bridges and other improvements to make environments where residents live, learn and play more supportive of physical activity.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including regular physical activity and healthy eating, plays an important role in the well-being and quality of life of Canadians, and helps prevent chronic diseases like cancer, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Today's announcement highlights how the Government is working in partnership with community organizations across Canada to create innovative solutions for healthy living and chronic disease prevention.

Quick Facts

  • This project is funded through the Government of Canada's Multi-Sectoral Partnership Approach to Promote Healthy Living and Prevent Chronic Disease. Each year approximately $20 million is invested towards projects that address the common risk factors for chronic disease, including unhealthy eating, physical inactivity, and tobacco use.
  • The Public Health Agency of Canada is investing nearly $1 million in the Creating Connections project, while Elgin St. Thomas Public Health and other project partners are providing matched funding for a total investment of approximately $2 million over five years.
  • Community design that encourages and supports healthy living is now being recognized as a key factor in promoting physical activity, preventing obesity and addressing risk factors for chronic disease.
  • Obesity is a major public health problem since it can contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and some cancers.


"Many chronic diseases are preventable through regular physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle. This project will create a more supportive environment for residents of the City of St. Thomas by creating walkable, connected communities. Through this partnership, our Government is helping to support Canadians with innovative solutions that promote living healthier, more active lifestyles".
The Honourable Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health

"Elgin St. Thomas Public Health is pleased to be working with Public Health Agency of Canada, Doug Tarry Homes Ltd, Hayhoe Homes, Springwater Developments Inc and the City of St. Thomas in order to improve the health of our community. This funding announcement will result in a 5 year project to improve the walkability of St. Thomas and overall health of our community."
Dr. Joyce Lock
Medical Officer of Health

Associated Links

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Michael Bolkenius
Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
Federal Minister of Health

Public Health Agency of Canada
Media Relations

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