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Canadian Public Health Association

Canadian Public Health Week 2022

Canada’s public health associations hosted the inaugural “Canadian Public Health Week”, 4-8 April 2022. 

Public health is the invisible guardian of our health. The COVID-19 pandemic has made public health more visible and its efforts more appreciated. 

Canadian Public Health Week was a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our health and well-being.

This year, Canadian Public Health Week featured a series of free webinars focusing on the following topics:

A Vision to Transform Canada's Public Health System
The COVID-19 pandemic represents the biggest public health crisis that our country has confronted in a century. While our public health system and workforce extended itself to respond to COVID-19, public health was challenged in their capacity to address other important and public health issues. The pandemic has highlighted the strengths of our system but it has also exposed vulnerabilities. During this webinar, Dr. Theresa Tam discussed how we can join forces across communities and sectors to build the public health system that meets the needs of all people in Canada.

Speaker: Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada

Hosted by the Canadian Public Health Association.


Our Planet, Our Health, Our Public Health Responsibility
While the World Health Organization (WHO) has described climate change as the greatest threat to health in the 21st century, the reality is worse. We (and especially high-income countries such as Canada) have created what the United Nations calls the ‘triple crisis’ of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. While we approach, or have crossed, multiple planetary boundaries the WHO’s new Geneva Charter for Well-being “expresses the urgency of creating sustainable well-being societies, committed to achieving equitable health now and for future generations without breaching ecological limits”. Trevor Hancock discussed what is involved in keeping humans and the planet healthy through the creation of a Wellbeing society and the implications for the work of public health practitioners and organizations.

Speaker: Dr. Trevor Hancock, Retired Professor and Senior Scholar, School of Public Health and Social Policy, University of Victoria

Hosted by the Public Health Association of British Columbia.



The impact of COVID-19 on public health: Comparing experiences & sharing recommendations for the future
OPHA and alPHa discussed the findings of their recent reports on the impact of COVID-19 on public health programs and the health of Ontarians. OPHA & alPHa hosted an interactive session about Ontario’s experience and that of other jurisdictions, and explored what is needed to strengthen public health and promote optimal health for all.

John Atkinson, Executive Director, OPHA
Casidhe Gardiner, Policy & Program Officer, OPHA
Dr. Charles Gardner, Chair, Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health; Medical Officer of Health, Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit
Sandy Maxwell, Senior Policy and Program Strategist, OPHA
Loretta Ryan, Executive Director, alPHa
Pegeen Walsh, former Executive Director, OPHA

Hosted by the Ontario Public Health Association (OPHA) and the Association of Local Public Health Agencies (alPHa).



Advocacy for income as a social determinant of health: Lessons learned from the Basic Income and Decent Work movements
Recent experience with the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored how those living in poverty are disproportionately impacted by health threats. There is significant evidence that Basic Income will improve population health through economic security. Decent work is a movement to confront precarious employment and income inequity that provides public health with a unique opportunity for advocacy. The event reflected on lessons public health can apply when advocating to decrease income inequity as a means to improve health.

Dr. Evelyn Forget, Professor, School of Medicine, University of Manitoba; Academic Director, Manitoba Research Data Centre; Adjunct Scientist, Manitoba Centre for Health Policy
Carolina Jimenez, Knowledge Translation Specialist, National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health
Rebecca Cheff, Knowledge Translation Specialist, National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health

Hosted by the Manitoba Public Health Association.



Thursday 7 April

  • In Quebec, the week ran from 4-10 April and was known as La semaine de la santé durable : Les Québécois·es au cœur de l’économie. Throughout the week, the Association pour la santé publique du Québec discussed different facets of an economy designed by and for Quebecers. Beyond human activities related to the production, exchange, distribution and consumption of goods and services, they also focussed on the distribution of resources and their sustainable use.
  • On Thursday 7 April, to mark World Health Day, ASPQ had an entire day of programming.
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Canadian Public Health Week was presented by Canada’s public health associations.