Coalition For Active Living

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Board Updates September 29, 2004


Dear CAL Members:

Welcome back to another busy fall from your Coalition for Active Living Board of Governors. I must apologize for the lack of communication since the spring. By way of explanation, we did not receive 2004 - 05 funding from Health Canada until the first part of July and therefore we not able to conduct more than a bare minimum of CAL business from April through to July, although we did manage to get our key election messages out. With summer vacations, we really didn't get this years CAL activities rolling until September.

Some of you may not be aware but we had two board members retire in the Spring. Cathie Kryzanowski decided to commit her energy and many talents to the Saskatchewan in Motion project. Cathie's has made a profound contribution to advancing physical activity in Canada. She was a Steward with Active Living Canada and then chaired the CAL Board at the inception of CAL. After stepping down as the CAL Chair she remained on the CAL board up until May of this year. Although we will miss Cathie around our board table we have not let her escape too far; she is co-chairing the CAL Advisory Council along with Pat Hunt. We want to wish Cathie all the best as she undertakes to get Saskatchewan in Motion. Judith Moodie also retired in spring. Judith was a CAL board member for 4 years. She carries on as the Director of the Alberta Centre for Active Living and we wish Judith all the very best and thank her for her contribution.

With every loss there is a gain. We have two relatively new CAL board members who should be reintroduced: Marie-Claire Pierce who is a Community Development Officer for the City of Moncton and Doug Cripps who is on faculty in Kinesiology and Health Studies at the University of Regina. Our newest board member is Patricia Morturano. Patricia is a Project Coordinator with the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Welcome Marie-Claire, Doug and Patricia. We look forward to your leadership over the next couple of years. And finally, we welcome back Steve Grundy for another year as the CAL Chief Operations Officer. Steve and his team have provided incredible professionalism to everything CAL does and we look forward to working with them this year.

Here are some of the highlights from the CAL board since my last president's message. The CAL Board decided to release the Pan Canadian Physical Activity Strategy in conjunction with the FPT Ministers of Sport, Recreation and Fitness meeting in Quebec City in April. At this meeting we provided all ministers and delegates with copies of the strategy, sponsored a Walk the Talk Walk early one morning and participated in a national press conference which highlighted the physical inactivity epidemic and some solutions to this problem from the strategy. CAL is most grateful to Dr.
Andrew Pipe and Guy Tanguay for their leadership in this media event.

We were also able to have a meeting with Health Minister Pettigrew , provided him with a personal copy of the Strategy and once again urged him to allocate the necessary resources so our member organizations could implement the strategy. We know that his tenure as Health Minister was short lived.

CAL had our fall board meeting in Ottawa September 10-12. The major item on the agenda was identifying the activities to be completed for the two projects funded by Health Canada. The two projects for which we received funding were Engaging Action on the Pan-Canadian Physical Activity Strategy and a Policy Watch initiative. The latter is to identify, communicate, and suggest possible responses to policies of national significance that are likely to influence the physical activity levels of Canadians. Some of the activities identified by the board are:

This is going to be another busy year ahead of us. CAL continues to be a loud voice on behalf of our member organizations. We have requested meetings with the new Minister of Health, the Minister of Public Health, the Chief Public Health Officer, and with the new Minister of Sport. CAL has been invited to co-author a paper with Sport Matters in response to an invitation by Minister Owen to provide a plan for resourcing the sport and physical activity initiatives. This paper is still in the development stage but we will provide the community with a copy once it is released.

Steve and I met with Claude Rocan and Daniele Besner after the board meeting to discuss the funding process which continues to be a major concern for member organizations that receive funding from Health Canada, levels of funding for the community, and the future of the Healthy Living Strategy. We were informed that all of the grants and contributions programs within Health Canada were under an internal review which was all Claude and Daniele were prepared to share on this matter. They informed us the Ruth Hawkins would take on the role of Director of the Physical Activity Unit since Randy Adams is on leave.

The CAL has been asked to be a member of the Intersectoral Healthy Living Network Coordinating Committee. This group will provide the support and promote the vision of the Healthy Living Strategy. This is a key opportunity for CAL to be a strong, consistent voice for our members and community. Another wonderful opportunity for CAL emerged from the Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance of Canada. CDPAC has identified Obesity Policy as a major project for 2004-05. I will co-chair this group of research and policy experts along with Kim Raine from the University of Alberta. The purpose of this project is to translate evidence from key research on obesity into practical policy options and tools that our community can use in their actions on Healthy Living. More on this later.

All in all, 2004-05 looks to be a year with some wonderful opportunities to advance our work and get more Canadians moving. I am very excited about the experts around the CAL board table. The board has heard the message from the AGM that we need to get better with our communications to you. This is the first in a series of messages that will share with you our activities and the results of our advocacy work. I want to take this opportunity to wish all of you a very successful year. Please let us know if there is anything that we can do to assist you in your work - and we will do the same with you.

Rick Bell, Chair
CAL Board of Governors

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