Journal Article

Health promotion policy in Canada: lessons forgotten, lessons still to learn<sup>†</sup>

Jacqueline Low and Luc Thériault

in Health Promotion International

Volume 23, issue 2, pages 200-206
Published in print June 2008 | ISSN: 0957-4824
Published online January 2008 | e-ISSN: 1460-2245 | DOI:
Health promotion policy in Canada: lessons forgotten, lessons still to learn†

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In this paper, we analyse Canadian health promotion discourse past and present, in the context of selected federal and provincial government policy initiatives. Principally, we examine the health promotion discourse articulated in A New Perspective on the Health of Canadians, Achieving Health for All: A Framework for Health Promotion, the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, Improving the Health of Canadians, and Canada Health Action: Building on the Legacy—Volume II—Synthesis reports and Issue papers. We argue that the health promotion lessons of the past 30 years contained within these reports have largely been forgotten, overlooked or disregarded in policy implementation. We conclude, as have many before us, that successful health promotion policy needs to reflect a collectivist rather than individualist ethos where responsibility for the health of Canadians is concerned. Moreover, it needs to be one that addresses the social determinants of health, including inequity, via the coordination of healthy public policy.

Keywords: health promotion; health policy; social determinants of health

Journal Article.  4259 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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