Public Health Agency of Canada

Public Health Agency of Canada


February 16, 2009 13:26 ET

Government of Canada and New Brunswick Work Together to Promote Health and Wellness in the Province

SAINT JOHN, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwire - Feb. 16, 2009) - The Government of Canada and the Government of New Brunswick today announced support for a Provincial Wellness Network that will promote physical activity and healthy eating throughout the province.

"This Government recognizes that prevention is a key component of a modern Canadian health system," said Rodney Weston, Member of Parliament for Saint John, on behalf of federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq. "The initiative announced today will help New Brunswick families stay active and healthy thereby reducing the likelihood of illness and disease."

New Brunswick recognizes the challenges that its population is experiencing in the areas of weight, physical inactivity, and low intake of healthy foods, all of which are risk factors for chronic diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. In order to address these issues, many communities and regions have established local groups aimed at promoting community health at both the local and regional levels. These groups have been referred to as wellness networks.

The new Provincial Wellness Network, which will be operated by the Healthy Eating Physical Activity Coalition of New Brunswick (HEPAC), will create a sustainable, coordinated system for connecting and supporting local and regional wellness networks. It will allow them to access resources, tools and information within their own community, as well as to share with and learn from each other. Tools and resources available through this new system will include a website, newsletters, webinars, consultant support, and many other learning opportunities.

Canada's Government and the Government of New Brunswick are each providing $317,000 to the Canadian Cancer Society's New Brunswick Division to support the Provincial Wellness Network.

"The health and wellness of New Brunswickers is strongly influenced by increasing health awareness, which is resulting in shifts to healthier living," said Wellness, Culture and Sport Minister Hedard Albert. "We know that to be a self-sufficient province, we must be a healthy province. The actions taken by our current wellness networks move us ever closer to that vision. This initiative will enhance and complement these efforts."

"The Canadian Cancer Society in New Brunswick is very pleased with today's funding announcement," said Anne McTiernan-Gamble, Executive Director. "Research has demonstrated that people can lower their risk of cancer up to 35 per cent by eating well and being physically active. Preventing cancer and other diseases is exactly why efforts to support New Brunswickers on the path to wellness are so important. We look forward to partnering with HEPAC and the provincial government on this initiative."

HEPAC is a coalition of five government departments and seven non-government organizations working collaboratively to support the creation of environments in New Brunswick that promote healthy eating and physical activity. The coalition is currently co-chaired by the Canadian Cancer Society and the New Brunswick Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport.

Collaboration and partnerships between communities, governments and individuals are key to encouraging all Canadians to adopt healthy behaviours like regular physical activity and healthy eating, and to creating environments that maximize quality of life.

The Government of Canada is working with all provincial and territorial governments to support physical activity and healthy eating opportunities through bilateral agreements. These agreements allow governments to maximize their investments in healthy living and to address challenges in a co-ordinated manner.

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Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Health
    Josee Bellemare
    Press Secretary
    Public Health Agency of Canada
    Andrew McDermott
    Media Relations
    New Brunswick Wellness, Culture and Sport
    Danielle McFarlane