B.C. invests $375K to promote healthy communities

Mari-Len De Guzman
May 27, 2014
May 27, 2014 – Forty-nine local governments in British Columbia have received B.C. Healthy Community Capacity Building Fund grants ranging from $2,000 to $20,000 to assist with healthy community planning, projects and policy development.
 “Though B.C. is one of the healthiest provinces in Canada, we must continue to work together at all levels of government to foster health-minded citizens and communities,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “It is important for healthy living to start where we live, work, learn and play. These grants help support local governments to work collaboratively within their communities to make lasting change in the health of British Columbians.”

This round of grants marks the second year for the Healthy Communities Capacity Building Fund, which was first announced in March 2013. Co-ordinated by the BC Healthy Communities Society’s PlanH progam, 38 local governments received grants of up to $5,000 and 11 local governments received grants of up to $20,000 for a total of $375,000 this year. To date, government has invested $650,000 in the Healthy Community Capacity Building Fund.

“We know that by leading healthier lives we can dramatically reduce the occurrence of chronic disease,” said Michelle Stilwell, parliamentary secretary for Healthy Living. “Whether it is quitting smoking, starting a new activity that gets you moving or having healthier eating habits, I believe that the healthier choice needs to be the easier choice and we are committed to helping communities throughout B.C. to take those important steps to support their residents.”

This round of grants will help to fund a variety of projects, including:
·      a learning event led by the Snaw-naw-as First Nation community on food sustainability;
·      adding capacity to the Comox active travel to school program, which helps children to travel on bike or by foot safely to and from school;
·      welcoming new B.C. residents through the Smithers newcomers recreation and healthy eating accessibility project;
·      identifying gaps in youth services and expanding the services offered by the Mission collaborative youth health practices initiative, which provides meaningful, social and healthy activities for low-income and marginalized youth; and,
·      creating a long-term wellness strategy for the community of Wells.

“We are proud of our partnership with government to promote healthier communities and increase local government capacity,” said Jodi Mucha, executive director, BC Healthy Communities Society. “These grants support local governments to work with partners to develop innovative plans, policies and actions that improve the health and well-being of the local community. As part of the PlanH program, these grants also provide a great opportunity for a range of organizations to learn and work together to improve the health of British Columbians.”

Creating healthier communities is a key component of Healthy Families BC – the most extensive health promotion strategy in Canada.

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