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B.C. opens phase two of local communities health grant

B.C. Health Minister Terry LakeSept. 25, 2013 — Local governments in British Columbia will soon be able to apply for a grant under the Healthy Communities Capacity Building Fund, which aims to help develop local policies and actions to improve the health of residents in various communities.

September 25, 2013  By Mari-Len De

B.C. Minister of Health Terry Lake has announced additional funding of
$375,000 for the Healthy Communities Capacity Building Fund will soon be
available for phase-two grants.

"Creating healthier communities
is a key component of encouraging healthy lifestyles and preventing
chronic diseases," said Lake. "This funding will help continue the great
work already started with phase one of this program. By helping local
communities implement their own policies to support health and
well-being, we can make a difference in the day-to-day lives of British

The Healthy Communities Capacity Building Fund was
first announced in March 2013, with initial funding of $200,000. Due to
the popularity of the program and quality of grant applications, that
amount was increased to $275,000. Application forms and criteria for
phase-two grants will be available online at the BC Healthy Communities
Society’s new website for local governments, PlanH, starting Nov. 26,
2013. The total funding for both phases of the Healthy Communities
Capacity Building Fund is $650,000, the ministry said.

"It is
important that the healthy choice is the easier choice for British
Columbians," said Michelle Stilwell, Parliamentary Secretary for Healthy
Living. "Communities that support healthy living make it easier for
families to make healthy choices every day at home and where they work,
learn and play."


During phase one implementation, the Regional
District of Okanagan-Similkameen received a grant to fund the inaugural
Okanagan-Similkameen Healthy Living Coalition Forum in Osoyoos. The
forum had over 90 participants from municipal and regional governments,
electoral areas, health authorities, the education sector and First
Nations communities, who worked to identify strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities, as well as the next steps for an analysis of current
healthy living programs, services and policies.

"As part of our
commitment to support leadership for healthier communities, we are
pleased to partner with the Government of British Columbia to launch
phase two of this local government grant program," said Jodi Mucha,
executive director, BC Healthy Communities Society.

"These grants
are an important way that local governments can collaborate with
partners and learn from each other, as well as plan for and encourage
the conditions that support healthier communities for all."

grants are intended to assist local government with expenses related to
hosting or participating in forums, workshops, dialogues or learning
events that support the development of healthy community partnerships,
policies and actions. Key focus areas for activities funded through
these grants include building local relationships and community
partnerships, increasing physical activity, increasing healthy eating
and food security, reducing tobacco use and exposure, and implementing
healthy community design.

Creating healthier communities is a key
component of Healthy Families BC, the Province’s strategy to provide
British Columbians with the tools and supports needed to live healthier
lives, the ministry said.

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