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Harper Government Invests in Ontario Healthy Living Project: Supporting Children and Youth to Be More Active After School

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 07/03/13 -- The Honourable Dr. Kellie Leitch, Member of Parliament for Simcoe-Grey, on behalf of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, today announced an investment for a project that will address the conditions that lead to physical inactivity and unhealthy weights in Ontario. The announcement was made at St. Alban's Boys and Girls Club in Toro

"The after-school hours are an excellent opportunity for children and youth to be active," said Dr. Leitch. "It is important for all sectors to work together in creating the environments that promote healthy living to reduce obesity and other risk factors that can lead to larger health problems. Everyone has a role to play."

With funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada's Healthy Living Fund, the ON After School project, sponsored by the Leisure Information Network, will increase the capacity of Ontario's After-School Program provider agencies, supervisors and front-line staff to deliver quality programs for children and youth in Grades 1 to 12.

The project will reach over 3,500 professionals at over 400 provincially-funded After-School Program sites in Ontario. The ON After School project will set up a web portal to provide resources, a listserv, RSS feeds, and a database of physical and nutrition activity ideas. A training platform will provide front-line staff and supervisors with resources for planning programs, supporting positive child and youth engagement, promoting diversity and building physical activity and healthy eating messages into programs. The Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport will provide oversight as a member of the advisory committee to ensure the project is in line with Ontario's After-School Program priorities.

"In a province where over a quarter of children and youth aged five to 19 years are overweight or obese, and only 14 per cent are achieving recommended activity levels, after-school programs in Ontario have expressed the need for access to practical resources," said Punch Jackson, Board Chair of the Leisure Information Network. "This project will help to address this gap."

The Public Health Agency of Canada and the Province of Ontario have a bilateral agreement to support healthy living initiatives for children and youth in the province. The project announced today falls under the Healthy Living Fund, which makes strategic investments to address the conditions that lead to unhealthy eating, physical inactivity and unhealthy weights.

A fact sheet is available at the following address: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/hp-ps/fs-fr/2013_0703bf-eng.php

Egalement offert en francais

Contacts:
Health Canada
Cailin Rodgers
Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
Federal Minister of Health
(613) 957-0200

Public Health Agency of Canada
Media Relations
(613) 957-2983

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