In my capacity as Chair of the Board of Health, I am happy to share that on Monday June 19th the Ottawa Board of Health held its third general meeting of 2017.
This BOH meeting along with others are recorded and available on YouTube should you be interested in watching a meeting in its entirety. This medium includes staff presentations and public delegations.
Reports were provided on the following items and are linked within the Meeting agenda here:
- Public Health Support for Actions that Promote Reconciliation and Advance Indigenous Health Equity: Update
- Update on Ottawa Public Health’s (OPH) Immunization Strategy
- Update on Ottawa Public Health’s Plan to Foster Mental Health in Our Community
- Legalization of Cannabis – A Public Health Approach to Minimize Harms of Use
- Harm Reduction and Overdose Prevention – Overview and Update
- 2017 Operating Budget Q1 – Board of Health for the City of Ottawa Health Unit Status ReportAlso at the meeting was a presentation on the Cannabis Act which outlines OPH’s approach to minimize the risk to public safety when the drug is legalized and regulated in 2018. This report provided an overview of Bills C-45 and C-46 as well as recommendations regulating edible cannabis products and strengthening restrictions on packaging and labelling. The report also outlined areas of provincial jurisdiction that are currently being monitored for future consideration by the Board of Health.
- In considering this report, the Board directed staff to include in the communication to the Federal Government, a public health perspective on:
- Issues within provincial jurisdiction such as minimum age and alignment with the Smoke Free Ontario Act; and
- Measures that should be in place prior to legalization, such as public education, health promotion and marketing.
Moreover, OPH’s presentation on Harm Reduction and Overdose Prevention provided a detailed update and overview of OPH work with respect to harm reduction and overdose prevention over the past year.
An effective response requires strong partnerships across many sectors. This report demonstrated OPH’s commitment to working in partnership with other levels of government and, at the local level, working closely with our school boards, community health centers, parent groups, first responders, hospitals, the regional coroner’s office, mental health professionals, neighbouring health units, the Champlain LHIN, as well as housing and homelessness groups.
In recent months, OPH has invested significant time and resources on overdose prevention and response, including leading and coordinating the Overdose Prevention and Response Task Force (ODPRTF). As such, OPH employees have worked with ODPRTF partners to enhance: public awareness and education; support for parents; naloxone distribution and training; surveillance and data reporting; early notification among partners, communications, as well as coordination and partnership.
I would like to thank all OPH Board members for their hard work thusfar in 2017 which continues to strive toward the safety and health of all residents. For all you do, thank you.