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Canadian Public Health Association


A Call for Race-Based Data in Canadian Public Health Crises

January 5, 2022

Despite the link between health inequities and marginalized populations, there is a significant lack of race-based demographic data in Canada. This gap has been highlighted by previous public health crises and most recently by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has significantly affected many ethnic groups. Unfortunately, Canada has had sparse reporting of equity-related indicators for COVID-19, with a lack of reporting on outcomes according to factors like race/ethnicity, income, or education by any province or territory.1 At the same time, multiple sources have commented that COVID…


Climate change: From embryo to end of life

November 5, 2021

Intergenerational equity involves the distribution of health throughout time, placing emphasis in ensuring the well-being of current and future generations of populations (Summer & Smith, 2014). Intergenerational equity refers to all generations having the right to access the benefits of the same natural and cultural resources as prior generations, thus placing responsibility on the present generation to assist with conserving the planet and distributing health and wellbeing overtime (Summers & Smith, 2014; Venn, 2019). By fostering this goal, intergenerational equity utilizes a…

My life as a Bachelor of Public Health student during the COVID-19 pandemic

June 22, 2021

My alarm rings at 7 a.m. I hit snooze six times. My dog nudges me persistently. I roll out of bed. My body is stiff; my hips won’t bend and neither will my knees as I make my way down the stairs. I make coffee. I sit in front of my computer. I join back-to-back Teams meetings for school and work. With my camera turned off and microphone muted, I make lunch and eat. The day slips by. By dinner time, I disconnect. If I’m lucky, I go for a walk with the dog. I’m back on my computer doing homework until I force myself to stop at 9:30 p.m. I’ve given up on my social life. I’m in bed by 10 p.m…

An Exploration of Northern Gay Men’s Health

January 21, 2021

Despite the progress being made in Canada as it relates to the consideration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Two-Spirit + (LGBTQ2S+) health issues, the health and well-being of gay men in a northern Canadian context remains a difficult topic with which to grapple. A small pilot study that I conducted during my undergraduate degree looked at the health of gay men in the Northern Health region of British Columbia using two simultaneous approaches. First, through a targeted literature review and second, by carrying out four interviews with men of various ages and…


Justice in the time of COVID-19

July 2, 2020

As a public health student, advocate and professional, I find myself at a crossroads. On one hand, we are in the midst of a pandemic of historic proportions – something the world of modern medicine has yet to experience. At the same time, the centuries of oppression, racism and violence that public health professionals have long known to impact health and wellbeing have culminated in one of the largest social movements in recent history. We’re seeing our streets flooded with people protesting against systemic racism during a time when social distancing is needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Responding to these two public health issues are seemingly paradoxical.

Public Health and Police Violence

June 26, 2020

The murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis has fueled widespread protests supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. While police violence is often viewed as a political or social issue, its impact on public health is clear.

Despite general violence being classified as a public health issue for decades, very few studies examine the impacts of police violence on wellbeing (Lockhart, 2019). However, police violence is a social determinant of health. Black and Indigenous Canadians are particularly at risk, as represented by the recent deaths of Regis Korchinski-Paquet and…

The case of cancer drugs: An ongoing dilemma and the need for public engagement

June 25, 2020

Making coverage decisions – also known as “priority-setting” – for cancer drugs has become increasingly complex for governments. The rise in cancer cases means more services and treatments are needed. The introduction of innovative technologies has made it possible to detect cancers at an earlier stage, while improved treatment options mean people are living longer. Further, many new cancer drugs come to market with big price tags and some policymakers are worried that the costs might not justify the often-small increase in health benefits they provide (Woods, Coppes, & Coldman, 2015)…

The Ontario Premier’s Plan to Address Gun Violence

June 19, 2020

Over the past decade, gun violence in Canada has increased, and in 2019, Toronto, the largest city in Ontario, set a record for the number of shootings in a given year. In the country, gun violence results in hundreds of lives lost per year and places a significant burden on society, making it a public health crisis.

The COVID-19 Endgame: How the Credibility of Public Health Could be Won or Lost

June 8, 2020

Public health officials all over the world have been featured prominently alongside political leaders as recommended control measures have been put in place to help slow the COVID-19 pandemic. To save lives and minimize disease transmission, physical distancing and social isolation are having a tremendously deleterious effect on economies, as well as people’s social and mental health. The trust being placed in our public health institutions could be jeopardized if the endgame of this outbreak is not effectively directed and managed.   The endgame I am referring to is the…

An Integrated Public Health, Health Care, and Social System Approach to Chronic Disease Prevention

June 8, 2020

With rates of chronic disease and multimorbidity on the rise, there has been an increased focus on prevention and a push for personalized care in the treatment and management of health conditions. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to addressing chronic diseases, and treatments need to be grounded in an understanding of the social determinants of health (SDOH) that predispose people to certain health conditions. Public health focuses on prevention, emphasizing interventions that promote upstream approaches targeting the SDOH. However, the health care system is not designed to support…