Public Health and the Clean Air Agenda

The Public Health Agency of Canada is actively engaged in addressing climate change by pursuing scientific research, risk assessment, monitoring and reporting of climate change factors that impact human health, considering the human-, animal-, and ecosystem interface (i.e. One Health). This information supports the Agency and other Government of Canada bodies to apply that knowledge to support the development of tools, guidelines and programs to help Canadians adapt to, and protect themselves from, changing climatic conditions. The Agency also communicates health risks to Canadians through focused reports and collaborates with other international and federal government bodies to support international efforts for reducing health risks.

Linkage to the FSDS and Clean Air Agenda (CAA) Program

Text Equivalent - Linkage to the FSDS and Clean Air Agenda (CAA) Program

Linkage to the FSDS and Clean Air Agenda (CAA) Program

The graphic diagram describing the linkage between the FSDS and Clean Air Agenda Program appears as a cascading series of four arrows, which follow from left to right across the page. The first arrow describes the Theme - addressing climate change and air quality; the second arrow to the right of the first arrow describes the Goal - climate change; the third arrow to the right of the second arrow describes the Target - climate change mitigation; and the fourth and last arrow to the right of the third arrow describes the Implementation Strategy - advancing knowledge and communication. Below this last arrow are two sub-activity boxes that describe programs related to the implementation strategy in chronological order: the first, Pilot Infectious Disease Impact and Response Systems from 2007-2011; and below that, the second sub-activity, Preventative Public Health Systems and Adaptation to Climate Change from 2011-2016.

Enlarge Linkage to the FSDS and Clean Air Agenda (CAA) Program

Linkages to the Program Alignment Architecture (PAA), Sub Sub-Activity 1.2.1.3: Food-borne, Environmental and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases

This program seeks to prevent and control infections in Canadians by analyzing risk factors and investigating, coordinating and responding to outbreaks associated with food-borne, environmental and zoonotic illness. The program is responsible for the development and sharing of science based decision making tools and information including national guidelines used by Canadian and international public health professionals to inform decision-making in the management of infectious diseases and risk factors in Canada, including emerging and re-emerging risks resulting from changes to behaviour, environment and other factors.

 

Planned and Actual Spending
Total Allocation (2011-16) $11.45M
Fiscal Year Planned Spending Actual Spending
2011-12 $1.9 See Planning for a Sustainable Future: The Public Health Agency of Canada's Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy 2011-2014 - 2011-12 Annual Progress Report
2012-13 $3.1 $2.6M
2013-14 $2.2 $1.8M
2014-15 $1.5 See: Public Health Agency of Canada - 2014-15 Departmental Performance Report

Figures exclude Public Works and Government Services Canada accommodation costs.

Program Descriptions

To support the Clear Air Agenda (CAA) program, the Agency is taking action to help Canadians become more resilient in the face of a changing climate through the 2007 – 2011: Pilot Infectious Disease Impact and Response Systems (PIDIRS) program. From 2007 to 2011, through academic research and support of regional adaptation pilot projects, the Agency has advanced the understanding of the health implications of climate change on water- and vector-borne infectious disease, specifically West Nile virus and Lyme disease.

To continue support under the CAA program, the Public Health Agency of Canada aims to expand research and further engage provincial/territorial/local (P/T/L) public health stakeholders to address climate change impacts by informing decision-making and assisting in the development of practical adaptation strategies to protect the health of Canadians. This will be achieved through the 2011 - 2016 Preventative Public Health Systems and Adaptation to Climate Change (PPHSACC) program, involving targeted research and development of enhanced surveillance methods, with particular attention to the importance of water quality, risk to vulnerable populations (e.g. elderly, children, northern populations), and public health outcomes. P/T/L public health will also be engaged to test and integrate practical adaptations (e.g. new/enhanced surveillance, risk assessment methods) to better detect, assess, and respond to emerging vector-, water-, and food-borne disease threats. Where possible and practical, a “One Health” approach that integrates the science of human-, animal- and ecosystem health will be taken.

 

2011-12 CAA Expected Results
Program Activity Expected Results Performance Indicators
2007 – 2011 PIDIRS Program Stakeholders are knowledgeable of research and decision-making tools pertaining to food-borne, environmental and zoonotic infectious diseases. # of science-based decision-making tools
# of reports / publications
2011 – 2016: PPHSACC Program Stakeholders are knowledgeable of research and decision-making tools pertaining to food-borne, environmental and zoonotic infectious diseases. # of science-based decision-making tools
# of reports / publications

2011-12 Performance Summary and Analysis of Program Activity

For more information on the 2007 – 2011 PIDIRS and 2011 - 2016 PPHSACC programs, please visit Planning for a Sustainable Future: The Public Health Agency of Canada's Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy 2011-2014’s 2011-12 Annual Progress Report.

2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 CAA Expected Results
CAA Program Expected Results Performance Indicators 2012-13 Performance Summary
2011 – 2016: PPHSACC Program Targeted communities and sectors recognize the need for adaptation Number of web-communications products on the public health risks associated with environmental change Met:

Communications products produced and published on dedicated web-site.
  • One fact sheet on climate change and public health
  • Three fact sheets on environmental public health topics
  • One report on climate change regional pilot projects
  • Two reports on regional dialogues with FPT stakeholders
  • General programmatic information on climate change
Number of presentations made on public health and environmental change Met:

Multiple presentations given to stakeholder groups, organizations and workshops, webinars and conferences.
  • 14 presentations
  • Four webinars
  • One workshop
Targeted communities and sectors are aware of relevant adaptation measures Number of presentations made on public health and environmental change Met:

Multiple presentations given to stakeholder groups, organizations and workshops, webinars and conferences.
  • 14 presentations
  • Four webinars
  • One workshop
Adaptation measures have been identified to address risks and opportunities arising from climate change Number of web-communications products available on the public health associated with environmental change. Met:

Communications products produced and published on dedicated web-site.
  • One fact sheet on climate change and public health
  • Three fact sheets on environmental public health topics
  • One report on climate change regional pilot projects
  • Two reports on regional dialogues with FPT stakeholders
  • General programmatic information on climate change
Number of information products and scientific publications produced. Met:
  • Four peer-review articles have been generated.
  • Two reports on regional dialogues with FPT stakeholders produced
  • One report on climate change regional pilot projects produced

The expected results of this program acknowledge the growing demand among Canadians for current knowledge and resources to better understand climate change impacts. Working with key stakeholders (e.g. public health, emergency management officials) to identify what is needed to inform and influence decision-making is essential to this process. The Public Health Agency of Canada (Agency) has a national leadership role to strengthen Canada’s public health capacity to anticipate and respond to the health risks associated with a changing climate. The 2012-13 Performance Summary demonstrates how the Agency has engaged stakeholders in multiple ways (e.g. dialogues, presentations, publications) to ensure they are knowledgeable of current research and decision-support tools available to minimize impacts and adapt to environmental changes.

Presentations: To enhance adaptive capacity the Agency presented formally to a variety of stakeholder groups and organizations on the impacts of environmental change on health. This included conferences, workshops, and stakeholder group meetings. Presentations of note include:

  • Emerging Vector-borne disease threats. Canadian Animal Health Laboratory Network, annual meeting
  • Climate change impacts on vector-borne diseases in Canada. Canadian Association on Gerontology annual meeting
  • Modelling Vector-borne Disease spread with Climate Change. Canadian Food Inspection Agency workshop
  • Seniors and Environmental Health: Peer-to-Peer Knowledge Transfer presentation at the Canadian Public Health Association Conference

Webinars: Web-based virtual meetings allowed for presentations by subject matter experts to a pan-Canadian audience on topics related health and environmental changes. These included:

  • “Emergency Preparedness Climate Change and Health”
  • “Current Perspectives: Children, the Environment and Public Health Considerations”
  • “State of Knowledge of Climate Change”
  • “One Health: The Landscape Outside Canada”

Workshop: Modeled after previous events, a capacity building workshop was held in Manitoba on the current knowledge and understanding of projected health impacts of climate change. Through subject matter expert presentations and participant dialogue, a better understanding of the public health professional role in adaptation was established.

Scientific publications: On-going, targeted research based on identified needs to address knowledge gaps is a key role for the Agency. Recent research has focused on the impact of climate change on the distribution and occurrence of infectious disease as well as the environmental impacts on respiratory health. Publications include:

  • Scientific manuscript: Lavigne, E., Gasparrini, A., Wang, X., Chen, H., Yagouti, A., Fleury DM., Cakmak, S. Extreme ambient temperatures and cardiorespiratory emergency department visits: a time series study in Toronto, Canada. Environmental Health. Status as of March 2013: Under review.
  • Scientific manuscript: Wang, X., Lavigne, E., Ouellette-kuntz, H., Chen, BE. Acute impacts of extreme temperature exposure on emergency room admissions related to mental and behavior disorders in the City of Toronto, Canada. Journal of Affective Disorders. Status as of March 2013. In press.
  • Rocheleau JP, Arsenault J, Lindsay LR, DiBernardo A, Kulkarni MA, Côté N, Michel P. Eastern equine encephalitis: high seroprevalence in horses of southern Quebec, Canada, 2012. In press. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases.
  • Wu X, Duvvuri VR, Lou Y, Ogden NH, Pelcat Y, Wu J. 2013 Developing a temperature-driven map of the basic reproductive number of the emerging tick vector of Lyme disease Ixodes scapularis in Canada. J Theor Biol. 319:50-61.

Web-based resources: Building on the engagement activities noted above, the Agency has produced a number of information products on the health risks associated with environmental change. Access to various fact sheets, regional dialogue reports, and publications are now available through a dedicated web-page to assist public health officials and the general public develop adaptation strategies.

2013-14 Performance Summary and Analysis of Program Activity

CAA Program Expected Results Performance Indicators 2013-14 Performance Summary
2011 – 2016: PPHSACC Program Increased collaboration on climate change adaptation Number of collaborations with organizations Met

Total of 16 formal collaborations:
  • Two stakeholder meetings with provincial and community governments.
  • Two (one national, one international) collaborations on climate change impacts on Indigenous peoples’ health.
  • One expert panel participant at international integrated risk assessment workshop.
  • Two stakeholder meetings with federal and municipal partners on climate change impacts on drinking water in Eastern Canada.
  • Six research collaborations national/international (includes: water related health risks, foodborne zoonoses, vector-borne disease, adaptation research oversight).
  • One research collaboration on the impacts of extreme temperature and aeroallergens on pregnancy outcomes.
  • One international research collaboration on the impacts of extreme temperatures on mortality.
  • One research collaboration with provincial partner to investigate the relationship between temperature extremes and adverse health outcomes.
Targeted communities and sectors recognize the need for adaptation Number of presentations requested on public health and environmental change Met:

Multiple presentations given to stakeholder groups, organizations and workshops, webinars and conferences.
  • 15 presentations
  • One webinar
Targeted communities and sectors are aware of relevant adaptation measures Number of science-based decision-making tools disseminated Met:

Three (3) communications products produced and published:
  • One pamphlet on preliminary acute gastrointestinal illness research results.
  • One Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change informational video.
  • One draft risk model distributed to Eastern Canada community stakeholders.
Number of reports disseminated Met:

Twenty one (21) reports disseminated:
  • 15 copies of the PIDIRS program report.
  • Two (2) regional dialogue reports.
  • Two (2) survey reports on climate change projects in the north.
  • One (1) report on results sharing held in an eastern Arctic community.
  • One (1) report on - Modèles pratiques de surveillance des maladies à transmission vectorielle dans le cadre des changements climatiques et écologiques.
Number of publications disseminated Met:

Five (5) publications disseminated:
  • One (1) PhD Dissertation.
  • Four (4) peer-review articles have been generated.
Adaptation measures have been identified to address risks and opportunities arising from climate change Number of stakeholders / organizations that identify the need to develop adaptation plans/strategies to address their needs Met:

Two (2) stakeholder group meetings to identify strategies:
  • Government (provincial, regional, and community) participants at a climate change workshop identified the need for knowledge translation strategies to be developed.
  • Participants from two eastern arctic communities participated in an intensive research training program.

The expected results of this program acknowledge the growing demand among Canadians for current knowledge and resources to better understand climate change impacts. Working with key stakeholders (e.g. public health, emergency management officials) to identify what is needed to inform and influence decision-making is essential to this process. The Public Health Agency of Canada (Agency) has a national leadership role to strengthen Canada’s public health capacity to anticipate and respond to the health risks associated with a changing climate. The 2013-14 Performance Summary demonstrates how the Agency has engaged stakeholders in multiple ways (e.g. dialogues, presentations, publications) to ensure they are knowledgeable of current research and decision-support tools available to minimize impacts and adapt to environmental changes.

Presentations: To enhance adaptive capacity the Agency presented formally to a variety of stakeholder groups and organizations on the impacts of environmental change on health. These included conferences, workshops, and stakeholder group meetings. Presentations of note include:

  • Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change Annual Meeting
  • Food Safety Scientific Risk Assessment for Human Populations: Expert Meeting on Integrated Risk Assessment Methodologies
  • International Conference France-Quebec-Africa: Adaptation to climate change and public health, can we do better?
  • Processes in the invasion of the vectors and agent of Lyme disease in Canada. Symposium on vector invasions, Entomology 2013
  • Emergence of Lyme in Canada: environmental drivers. Society of Vector Ecology International Meeting

Webinars: Web-based virtual meetings allowed for presentations by subject matter experts to a pan-Canadian audience on topics related to health and environmental changes. These included:

  • Risk Modelling Framework for Impacts of Climate Change on Food and Water Safety

Scientific publications: On-going, targeted research based on identified needs to address knowledge gaps is a key role for the Agency. Recent research has focused on the impact of climate change on the distribution and occurrence of infectious disease as well as the environmental impacts on respiratory health. Publications include:

  • Lavigne E., Gasparrini A., Wang X., Chen H., Yagouti A., Fleury M.D., Cakmak S. (2014). Extreme ambient temperatures and cardiorespiratory emergency room visits: assessing risk by comorbid health conditions in a time series study. Environmental Health; Feb 3; 13(1):5.
  • Ogden N.H., Mechai S., Margos, G. (2013). Changing geographic ranges of ticks and tick-borne pathogens: drivers, mechanisms and consequences for pathogen diversity. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology; 3:46.
  • Ogden N.H., Radojevic M., Wu X., Duvvuri V.R., Leighton P.A., Wu J. (2014) Estimated effects of projected climate change on the basic reproductive number of the tick vector of Lyme disease Ixodes scapularis. Environmental Health Perspectives, published online
  • Wang X., Lavigne E., Ouellette-Kuntz H., Chen B.E. (2014). Acute impacts of extreme temperature exposure on emergency room admissions related to mental and behavior disorders in Toronto, Canada. Journal of Affective Disorders; 155:154-61.

2014 -15 Performance Summary and Analysis of Program Activity

See: Public Health Agency of Canada - Departmental Performance Report 2014-15

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