Ophea is committed to working in partnership with government, non-government, and community partners to advocate for healthy public policy related to H&PE and healthy active living. We are also committed to playing a strong leadership role on related committees and at stakeholder events.
Ophea’s Advocacy Goal
To continue to advocate in partnership for the development and implementation of inclusive policies that enhance healthy active living.
Ophea's advocacy efforts in 2012-13 were made possible in part through funding from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario.
October 2012 - February 2013
As part of its advocacy efforts in 2012, Ophea released It’s Time to Move on Child and Youth Health, a report highlighting the critical state of child and youth health. The report emphasizes the potential impact that the full release and implementation of the revised health and physical education (H&PE) curriculum could have on the current state of child and youth health across the province. By addressing five key areas relating to child and youth health (sexual health, substance use, mental health, healthy eating and physical activity), the report highlights health issues and challenges facing our children and youth and emphasizes the ways in which the release of the revised Ontario H&PE curriculum could help to address these factors. Read the full report here.
January - March 2012
Better health is worth 0.5% was the message that Ophea, in collaboration with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadian Cancer Society and 24 other organizations from the Ontario Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance, sent to the Ontario government in an effort to ensure that at least 0.5% of the provincial budget went to health promotion. Through the repurposed Healthiest Province website, Ontario residents were provided with information on chronic disease prevention (CDP) and encouraged to make their voices heard and tell the government to act now to make Ontario the healthiest province by committing at least 0.5% (up from 0.35%) of the provincial budget towards CDP. The website reached over 15,000 letters/shares and meetings were hosted with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Deputy Minister Saad Rafi and Assistant Deputy Minister Kate Manson-Smith, policy makers with the Ministry of Finance, the NDP Health Critic France Gélinas, the Conservation Health Critic Elizabeth Witmer, and many other MPPs. Read the Better Health Statement to the Premier.
Ophea has been actively working as a member of the After School Collaborative Initiative. This initiative is a result of support from the Public Health Agency of Canada, in conjunction with Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport. Seven organizations (Boys and Girls Clubs Canada – Central Region, Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario, Evidence (First Work), Ontario Public Health Association, Ophea, Parks and Recreation Ontario, YMCA Ontario) are working to enhance the quality of Ontario’s after-school programs. Read the Collaborative's response to the 2011 Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth
Health and Physical Education (H&PE) is the key to making Ontario the healthiest province in Canada
This advocacy statement was developed with funding support from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario and reinforces Ophea's position that H&PE is the fastest, least expensive and most effective way to make Ontario the healthiest province. It includes research evidence and recommendations to support this position. Read the Statement
Controversy related to the Human Development and Sexual Health Topic within the 2010 H&PE Curriculum
Ophea came out in full support of the 2010 H&PE Curriculum when it was released in January 2010, and continued this support when the Ontario government withdrew the curriculum due to controversy regarding the Human Development and Sexual Health topic in April 2010. Ophea developed a Statement of Support for the H&PE Curriculum, which was signed onto by over 770 partners and stakeholders. Read the Statement of Support
The H&PE Curriculum was reinstated with the exception of the Human Development and Sexual Health topic, which was replaced by the Growth and Development content from the 1998 curriculum, until further consultations could be held. Ophea then disseminated an editorial statement to emphasize support for the curriculum as a holistic and integrated policy. Read the editorial
Healthy Schools. Healthy Communities. A Submission to the Government of Ontario
Ophea submitted considerations for the provincial budget to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. Our recommendation was that the provincial government provide ongoing funding support for the implementation of the many healthy schools and communities policies that they have developed in recent years. Read our submission
Ministry of Education Working Group on the Elementary Curriculum Supporting Learning and Teaching in Ontario’s Elementary Schools: Discussion Paper for a Province Wide Consultation
The Ministry of Education, in consultation with the Curriculum Council, appointed a working group to examine the elementary curriculum in general and to respond in particular to concerns that the curriculum is “overcrowded”. Educators and stakeholder groups were invited to provide input on this issue by completing an online survey. Read Ophea's response
Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card
Active Healthy Kids Canada release a yearly Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth. According to the 2009 Report Card, children who are physically active perform better in school than those who are not active. Disturbingly, despite the academic and health benefits of physical activity, for the third consecutive year, the 2009 Report Card assigned an F for Physical Activity Levels. Only 13% of Canadian children and youth are meeting the minimum recommendation of 90 minutes of physical activity a day. Ophea supports the key findings from the Report Card and believes that a shared responsibility among entire school communities is needed to improve the Grade.
Healthy Active Schools and Communities in Ontario: Contributing to the Government’s Aim of Getting Results for Ontario Families
Ophea submitted considerations for the provincial budget to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. Our recommendations included using integrated approaches to address health-related issues; supporting the implementation of the revised curriculum for H&PE in the context of a safe and healthy school; and a continued commitment to infrastructure, with specific attention placed on sustaining and enhancing school and community infrastructure to support health and learning opportunities for children, youth and their families. Read Ophea’s Pre-Budget Submission
Healthy Schools Matter: a discussion paper on making healthy schools a reality in Ontario schools.
Prepared by Ophea (Ontario Physical and Health Education Association), OASPHE (Ontario Association for the Supervision of Physical and Health Education) and the OHSC (Ontario Healthy Schools Coalition). Read the Healthy Schools Matter Discussion Paper