Ottawa (Ontario), March 3, 2022 – As Canada makes progress in the fight against COVID-19, Canadians are looking for new ways to stay healthy and safely access the services they need. To ensure that people can continue to benefit from everything communities have to offer, local governments and community partners are adapting their spaces and services in new ways that help keep residents safe and healthy, support economic recovery, create jobs, and build vibrant communities.
Today, Jennifer O’Connell, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities and Member of Parliament for Pickering-Uxbridge, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, joined Andrea Dicks, President of Community Foundations of Canada and Mary W. Rowe, President and CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute, to announce projects from the second round of funding under the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative (CHCI). Also in attendance were representatives from projects that are transforming public spaces across the country including Nicole Marcia and Jessica Barudin from The Yoga Outreach Society, Connie Baines from the Hamlet of Pond Inlet and Karine Boudreau from the Village de Petit-Rocher.
The Canada Healthy Communities Initiative is a $31-million investment to build safer spaces and ensure a higher quality of life for people across the country, by helping communities adapt to the challenges presented by COVID-19. The Canada Healthy Communities Initiative is supporting over 650 projects across the country, including in every province and territory. This investment will support Canadians to access public spaces and community services, gather at safe distances while respecting public health guidelines and get where they need to go.
The following three projects, with a combined investment of $341,750, demonstrate how investments in small-scale infrastructure can have a big impact on people and communities.
The Municipality of Pond Inlet in Nunavut will use this funding for a project that will strengthen the local food system by providing residents free access to fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables. Through the creation of a hydroponics community garden, the municipality will provide access to alternative to store-bought food and provide support the local Mittima Food Bank Society.
The Municipality of Petit-Rocher in New Brunswick will invest project funds to create an outdoor learning community complex. This facility will provide space for local organizations to host events, student classes, and a community garden where seniors can safely socialize. This facility will provide an accessible and safe space for those who are seeking safe outdoor options to learn, and socially connect with others in their community.
Funding for The First Nations Women’s Yoga Initiative, created by the Yoga Outreach Society in British Columbia, will help to create a training course for women and 2Spirit people to learn the skills to incorporate yoga and mindfulness-based practices into their lives, in combination with traditional Indigenous practices. The Yoga Outreach Society’s initiative will build strength-based approaches and capacity for healing and wellness within these communities by creating a network of Indigenous facilitators in the province that will expand access to the practice of yoga in a safe and culturally relevant manner.
In the face of the pandemic, communities have demonstrated their resilience and creativity. The Canada Healthy Communities Initiative is supporting communities as they move forward and create safe spaces for everyone.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, Canadians have demonstrated an incredible sense of solidarity and concern for each other. The context forced us to find creative ways to safely connect and gather as a community. Our Government collaborated with local and community partners like The Yoga Outreach Society, the Hamlet of Pond Inlet and the Village de Petit-Rocherto help them adapt and improve people’s quality of life. Projects like these are vital to strengthening communities and ensuring they are resilient today and for years to come.”Jennifer O’Connell, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities and Member of Parliament for Pickering-Uxbridge, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure, and Communities
“The Healthy Communities Initiative is supporting community-led organizations across Canada to bring people together in our communities both in-person and digitally while respecting public health measures. These projects show us the creativity and resourcefulness of communities as they create temporary and longer-lasting solutions that enable people to connect and access public spaces safely.”Andrea Dicks, President of Community Foundations of Canada
“The Canada Healthy Communities Initiative is broadening our understanding of what infrastructure truly is and can be: better and more equitable ways for people to connect, problem-solve, and create community-led places for everyone. The incredible response to the program from across Canada demonstrates how willing Canadians are to partner and work together for the benefit of their communities. These projects are an opportunity to help communities emerge from the pandemic more resilient, more accessible and more vibrant.”Mary Rowe, President and CEO, Canadian Urban Institute
- The Canada Healthy Communities Initiative was created to help communities adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and create safe ways for residents to access services and enjoy the outdoors. The Initiative is designed to fund eligible projects that fall under three main themes: creating safe and vibrant public spaces, improving mobility options, and digital solutions.
- Community Foundations of Canada was selected through an open call for applications to implement a national project. Together with its partners, including the Canadian Urban Institute, it is working with pan-Canadian networks to manage the funding process and serve the distinct needs of communities across Canada, including equity-seeking groups interested in applying.
- The second intake for projects was launched on May 14, 2021, and closed on June 25, 2021. The full list of funded projects is available on the Community Foundations of Canada website.
Jean-Sébastien Comeau, Press Secretary and Communications Advisor, Office of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities
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Jacqueline Reid, Director of Communications, Community Foundations of Canada
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