Leadership Centre

Supporting leadership capacity building within Ontario.

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Enhancing leadership competencies, facilitating thoughtful discussion and examination of leadership issues for public health professionals.

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Community Food Advisor

Promoting safe and nutritious food selection, preparation and storage practices.

Community Food Advisor website

Community Food Advisors work in their community to improve and promote safe and healthy food selection, preparation, and storage practices.

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Public Health and You

Your questions about public health answered...all in one place.

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Learn about why public health plays a vital role in ensuring the health of communities across Ontario!

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Ontario Public Health Association

Committed to improving the health of Ontarians.

OPHA website

Since 1949, OPHA has served as a catalyst for development in the Public Health sector.

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Nutrition Resource Centre

Credible public health nutrition at your fingertips.

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Strengthening the capacity of health professionals across all care settings and in all communities across Ontario.

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Contact Us

The OPHA is a not‐for‐profit member‐based association that provides leadership in advancing public health in Ontario. Our Association represents six public and community health disciplines and our membership represents many public health and community health professionals from Ontario. To learn more about us, our structure, strategic direction, or membership, please visit the following links:

The OPHA provides leadership on issues affecting the public's health and works to strengthen the impact of people who are active in public and community health throughout Ontario. For more information, please visit the following pages:

The OPHA creates and maintains advocacy initiatives with a province-wide perspective. For more information, please visit the following pages:

This section includes the latest news about the OPHA and its programs, upcoming OPHA events, and other news of interest to the public health sector. For more information, please visit the following pages:

The OPHA leads the development of expertise in public and community health through collaboration, consultation and partnerships. Learn more about our Constituent Societies here.

The OPHA leads the development of expertise in public and community health through collaboration, consultation and partnerships. Learn more about our Constituent Societies here.

The OPHA Member’s Lounge is a dedicated space reserved for our OPHA members to store and access important information and exclusive resources. The Lounge includes the following:

Next Agricultural Policy Framework

Next Agricultural Policy Framework

Next Agricultural Policy Framework
May 4, 2017
The Honorable Jeff Leal
Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food
and Rural Affairs
77 Grenville Street, 11th Floor
Toronto, ON, M7A 1B3 
Dear Minister Leal,
RE: Next Agricultural Policy Framework

On behalf of the Ontario Public Health Association, I wanted to congratulate you and your Ministry for encouraging innovation, competitiveness and market development in Canada's agri-food and agri-products sector through the Growing Forward Program. As I understand you will be meeting soon with your federal, provincial and territorial colleagues as well as Ontario’s agri-food stakeholders, I wanted to convey some suggestions as you consider the next phase of this national program.

OPHA has been championing the notion of Health In All Policies and calling on Ontario ministries to assess the health impact of their measures to ensure governmental policies and programs support the health and wellbeing of our citizens. Consequently, we urge you to place an emphasis on the importance of Ontarians choosing and having access to healthy and nutritious foods as you develop the next phase of Canada’s Agricultural Policy Framework.

Healthy diets and optimal nutrition are recognized as a key factors contributing to overall health and wellbeing and reduced rates of chronic diseases, including diabetes and obesity. In light of this fact, we call on your Ministry to ensure that programs, businesses and initiatives funded under the Next Agricultural Policy Framework support improved access to healthy and nutritious foods across the province, including Canada’s north. Financial and geographical barriers can prevent Ontarians from accessing food, let alone local food. Hence, we recommend that the new framework prioritize making healthy foods financially and geographically accessible.

As the host of the Nutrition Resource Centre (NRC), OPHA works to strengthen the capacity of health promotion professionals and community partners involved with food, healthy eating and nutrition across the province. The NRC recently worked with the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to update Ontario’s Student Nutrition Program Guidelines, and is currently undertaking a project to adapt these guidelines for Ontario’s Indigenous communities. The NRC also works closely with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to support the Healthy Kids Community Challenge, an initiative of the Healthy Kids Community Strategy.

As the past coordinator of the province-wide Community Food Advisor program and a partner in the creation of Ontario’s Food and Nutrition Strategy—a stakeholder-led and evidence-informed draft provincial food and nutrition strategy—the OPHA recognizes the importance of food literacy and knowledge when it comes to making healthier food choices. Therefore, we ask that the Next Agricultural Policy Framework also prioritize increasing food literacy and healthy food knowledge among all Ontarians. Programs and investments in nutrition programming are important and should not be overlooked when it comes to improving the long-term health of our citizens—including the most vulnerable.

We are encouraged by the work underway to develop this new Framework and welcome the opportunity to collaborate with your ministry on strategies to support Ontarians having greater access to healthy and local foods and knowledge surrounding health and nutrition.

Thank you for your consideration.

Ellen Wodchis
President, OPHA
About OPHA
Created in 1949, the Ontario Public Health Association (OPHA) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that brings together a broad spectrum of groups and individuals concerned about people’s health. OPHA’s members come from various backgrounds and sectors— from the various disciplines in public health, health care, academic, non-profit to the private sector. They are united by OPHA’s mission of providing leadership on issues affecting the public’s health and strengthening the impact of people active in public and community health throughout Ontario. This mission is achieved through professional development, information and analysis on issues effecting community and public health, access to multidisciplinary networks, advocacy on health public policy and the provision of expertise and consultation.