Public Health Agency of Canada

Public Health Agency of Canada

December 19, 2007 08:30 ET

Government of Canada Invests $424,000 in School Travel Planning Pilot Project

PETERBOROUGH, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 19, 2007) - Dean Del Mastro, Member of Parliament for Peterborough, today highlighted the Government of Canada's recent announcement to invest close to $424,000 to support Green Communities Canada's School Travel Planning Project. This project aims to encourage children and youth from across Canada to get active by walking or cycling safely to and from school. Mr. Del Mastro shared this news at Edmison Heights Public School on behalf of the Minister of Health, the Honourable Tony Clement.

"Unhealthy eating habits and physical inactivity are critical public health challenges that can increase the risk of developing many chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes and cancer," said Mr. Del Mastro. "The Government of Canada is working closely with provincial and territorial governments and non-government organizations such as Green Communities Canada to help make it easier for Canadians of all ages to be physically active and make healthier food choices."

With this project, Green Communities Canada will create an effective school travel planning policy for Canada. This policy will ensure that all children in Canada have improved access to supportive physical and social environments and the opportunity to increase their physical activity to and from school.

The funding will be used to establish tools - such as training materials - for the School Travel Planning process to be used at the local level. The organization will also pilot test the program in 12 schools in four provinces, and recommend subsequent revisions to fine tune the process.

The project will be funded through the Healthy Living Fund, which will provide $5.4 million over two years toward national projects delivered by non-government organizations to promote physical activity, healthy eating and healthy weights.

In addition to supporting projects through the Healthy Living Fund, the Government of Canada has also:

- Introduced Canada's first Children's Fitness Tax Credit to help parents with the costs of their children's organized physical activities;

- Revised the Canada Food Guide and released Canada's first ever Food Guide for First Nations, Inuit and Metis;

- Renewed funding for ParticipACTION;

- Provided annual SummerActive and WinterActive programs in communities across Canada; and

- Supported the Concerned Children's Advertisers' Long Live Kids campaign.

In Canada, obesity rates among adults have nearly doubled over the last 25 years and nearly tripled among children and youth. In addition to the health impact, the economic costs of physical inactivity and poor eating are significant. Direct and indirect costs associated with obesity have been estimated at $4.3 billion in 2001.

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Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Office of MP Dean Del Mastro
    Karen Feeley
    Public Health Agency of Canada
    Elizabeth Haydon Laughlin