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The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) was created in 2004 in order to lead federal efforts and cross-Canada action in preventing disease and injury, and promoting and protecting national and international public health. PHAC and Health Canada both focus their activities on how the key determinants of health (located in the economic, social and environmental pillars of SD), interact and impact the overriding goal of sustained health and well-being for Canadians. The two entities differ in their approach to reaching this goal, thus creating a “two-pronged” federal response to health and SD issues in Canada:
With these distinct approaches, activities in both SDSs provide complementary mechanisms to reach the goals shared by the two entities. Specific connections can also be drawn between the two strategies, including:
| Area of
| Health Canada
| Helping to create healthy social and physical environments is the first goal of Health Canada's SDS 4.
Activities include providing guidance, indicators and communication/awareness regarding pesticide use (by
the Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency), promoting a high level of environmental quality in communities
through environmental site assessments of health centres, guidelines on the health effects of noise for
environmental assessments, and education and awareness to promote healthy choices.
HC SDS IV: targets 1.3.5, 1.3.7, 1.3.6, 1.3.8, 1.3.9, 1.3.3, 1.3.4, 1.3.11, 1.3.12
| PHAC has a population-oriented approach to meeting the goal of healthy and sustainable communities. Because
of the potential impacts of a changing climate on the vectors of infectious disease and public health
emergencies, PHAC will create a committee to advise program and policy areas on the health implications of a
changing climate. PHAC's SDS includes an education program on infectious disease organisms that are
becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics, as well as a program to reduce the risks to human health
from foodborne and waterborne diseases arising from animals and the agro-environment.
PHAC SDS 2 targets: 1.1.3, 1.2.2, 1.2.3
| Health Canada's Health Products and Food Branch (HPFB) has several programs involved in ensuring a
healthy and sustained food supply for all Canadians. HPFB works towards minimizing health risk factors to
Canadians while maximizing safety with regard to health products and foods, and promotes conditions to
enable Canadians to make healthy choices and informed decisions about their health. Under its SDS 4, HC will
establish policies and standards under the Smart Regulations initiative including policies related to the
nutritional quality of foods (trans fats, food fortification, product-specific health claims).
HC SDS IV: targets 1.4.1, 1.4.2, 1.5.1, 1.5.2, 1.5.3
| PHAC is working with participating provinces and territories to help increase the proportion of Canadians
who participate in physical activity, eat healthier diets and have healthy weights.
PHAC SDS 2 target: 1.2.5
|First Nations Health|| HC has numerous targets in its SDS 4 that are focused on achieving equality in access to health care for
First Nations and Inuit communities. It will help build First Nations' capacity for water quality
monitoring to ensure these communities have continued access to sufficient quantities and a reliable quality
of drinking water and promote SD and environmental management in First Nations communities.
HC SDS IV: targets 1.2.1, 1.2.3, 1.3.1, 1.3.2, 1.3.4
| PHAC offers community-based programs directed at women, children and families living in conditions of risk.
One of these programs provides funds to local Aboriginal organizations to provide health promotion programs
for off-reserve children up to age 6.
PHAC SDS 2 target: 1.2.4
|Green Procurement|| Health Canada's SDS 4 puts forth several targets aimed at minimizing the environmental and health
effects of its physical operations and activities. Activities focusing on green procurement include
purchasing more energy-efficient computers and monitors, developing tracking tools to monitor green
purchases, providing a course on green procurement to all materiel managers and procurement personnel, and
developing a directive and action plan on responsible paper use.
HC SDS IV: targets 2.3.1, 2.3.2, 2.3.3, 2.6
| PHAC is already active in greening its operations and has included three targets in its SDS 2 to ensure that
it conducts its operations in a sustainable manner. PHAC's green procurement initiatives include
providing green procurement training to 75% of materiel managers, integrating green procurement into
training for acquisition cards, moving toward establishing effective and efficient green procurement
tracking processes, and committing to meet the Government of Canada standards for operations of office
PHAC SDS 2 targets: 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3
|Sustainable Transportation|| Health Canada's Office of Sustainable Development will follow sustainable transportation principles to
pilot a local business travel initiative. This target advocates travel planning and management that
considers environmental principles, economic requirements and employee needs, to rationalize local business
travel and improve the range of sustainable transportation services.
HC SDS 4: target: 2.5
| PHAC's SDS recognizes that integrating sustainable transportation programs into daily operational
practices can reduce environmental impacts, including the emission of greenhouse gases. This SDS proposes to
increase awareness of green travel options to 50% of all PHAC employees, in order to integrate sustainable
transportation programs into PHAC travel practices.
PHAC SDS 2 target: 2.1.4
|Integrating Sustainable Development
| Training policy planners and analysts in SD is necessary in order to strengthen federal governance and
decision making, one of the six government-wide priorities for the 2007-2009 Sustainable Development
Strategies. To achieve this, Health Canada will join with other departments and the Canada School of Public
Service to design and implement Government of Canada sustainable development training material.
HC SDS 4 target: 2.4.1
| PHAC's SDS 2 establishes a target aimed at ensuring that employees understand how their work relates to
SD. It calls for 75% of employees to understand how SD applies to their work. Other targets have been
designed to build the governance structures required to incorporate SD into PHAC decision-making: an SD
policy, mechanisms for planning and reporting on SD, incorporation of SD concepts into financial reviews and
use of existing management structures for oversight of the SD strategy.
PHAC SDS 2 targets: 3.1.2, 3.2.1, 3.3.1, 3.3.2, 3.3.3
Sustainable development means development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
It is a continually evolving concept based on the integration of social, economic and environmental concerns, which may be achieved by, among other things,
At their annual meeting in October 2005, federal, provincial and territorial Ministers of Health agreed on a set of goals for improving the health of Canadians. The Health Goals for Canada were developed collaboratively among Canadian governments, experts in public health and other areas, stakeholders and citizens. Ministers agreed that the goals would inform each provincial and territorial government in development of their own initiatives.
The goals statements are broad and meant to express the collective hopes and expectations of Canadians regarding their health. Rather than a detailed map that lays out exactly how to get there, the goals are intended to be guideposts indicating a path to improve the health and quality of life of Canadians. Quebec intends to determine its own objectives, standards and criteria.
As a nation, we aspire to a Canada in which every person is as healthy as they can be - physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Canada is a country where: