Board of Health Meeting Recap

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On Monday, April 3rd, the Ottawa Board of Health held its second meeting of 2017.

Updates were made to the Board on a number of emerging public health issues, including:

  • OPH participation in the annual Ontario Public Health Convention (TOPHC);
  • Health system transformation; and
  • A recent legal challenge to the City’s Water Pipe (Hookah) By-law.

The Board then considered the following substantive items:

Ottawa Public Health 2016 Annual Report

OPH released its 2016 Annual Report, which was formally received by the Board and will be rising to City Council on April 12th. This report highlights OPH’s many accomplishments from 2016.

Healthy Eating, Active Living: Protecting Vulnerable Populations Through Restrictions in Marketing of Foods and Beverages

At its meeting of February 13, 2017, the Ottawa Board of Health approved a Motion directing staff to bring forward a report outlining policy options at the municipal level further to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada’s “Report on Health of Canadians – The Kids Are Not Alright”, as well as a plan for engaging the community and stakeholders on same. This builds on OPH’s work with respect to Strategic Direction #1 – Inspire and Support Healthy Eating and Active Living.

In considering this report, the Board received a staff presentation and heard from 10 public delegations, all in support of the report recommendations.

From a public health perspective, OPH supports the restriction of marketing of food and beverages to children and youth and the initial steps taken by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and Health Canada in addressing this issue. As a result of the Board of Health’s approval of the above-referenced report, OPH will consult with the general public, community groups, City departments and various other stakeholders, on five (5) possible policy options at the municipal level. A subsequent report will be brought forward to the Board in the fall of 2017.

Update on Opioids and the Risk of Unintentional Overdoses in Ottawa

This “walk on” report provided updates on the recent work of the Overdose Prevention and Response Task Force as well as OPH’s response to opioids and the risk of unintentional overdoses in Ottawa. In considering this item, Board members received a staff presentation and heard from one (1) public delegation.

As a result of the Board’s approval of this report, the Chair of the Board of Health and the Medical Officer of Health will send a joint letter to the federal government in support of Bill C-224, the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act.

In addition to the above, the Board received the following reports without discussion:

You can watch the meeting on YouTube. Every meeting is webcast live and archived videos are posted online within days of the meeting.

If you have any questions regarding the Board of Health please feel free to contact me.