Blog
  • December 28, 2011

    The end of the year is the perfect time to reflect, ponder and relax.  Well, at Air Aware we have no time to slow down. It's all hands on deck, full speed ahead. Running on momentum and positive energy we are zooming into the next year with so many things on the go we are just able to slow down enough for Santa, then we're back at it. We wouldn't be in this great position without the support of our numerous partners and collaborators.

    As 2011 comes to a close, we would like to take this opportunity to thank the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health and the Public Health Agency of Canada for their commitment to improving respiratory health in Canada.

    Without that commitment the National Lung Health Framework (NLHF) and successful programs like Air Aware would not be in place working to improve lung health in Canada today. Clean Air Champions’ Air Aware program is possible thanks to a generous contribution from the Public Health Agency of Canada which ends on March 31, 2012. 

    Did you know?

    • It is estimated that over eight million people are living with respiratory illness in Canada.
    • The World Health Organization anticipates that lung disease will soon be the third leading cause of death in the world.
    • Canada currently has one of the highest rates of asthma, and tuberculosis rates among Aboriginal people are more than 25 times higher than those of other people living in Canada.

    These trends cannot be ignored. Indeed, efforts must be made to slow and if possible, reverse these numbers. This is why we believe so strongly in the work we are doing with the Air Aware program and the very important messages we convey with the help of our Champions. It all comes down to being aware. Aware of how we are feeling. Aware of what we are breathing. Aware that we have options and that our actions can make a difference.

    The National Lung Health Framework, developed with support of the Federal Government and through extensive consultation with the respiratory health community, has been a critical catalyst for increased awareness of the issues, collaboration of efforts and focused action necessary to address this often preventable threat to our economic, social and physical well being.

    We have been working diligently since February 2011 to build a comprehensive, national program called Air Aware to deliver a critical message on air quality and lung health to youth across Canada.

    Air Aware bridges multiple sectors of public, involves multiple federal and provincial governments and agencies, aligns key messaging related to air quality and lung health, and maximizes results via our collaborative approach to programming.  Among our federal department supporters are Sport Canada and Environment Canada via the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI).  The AQHI is an instrumental element of the Air Aware program and vital tool that Canadians can learn to use in order to easily protect their health.

    Air Aware is the only program of its kind in Canada and targets tens of thousands of Canadians, primarily youth, between the ages of 10 and 18 in both the school and sport/recreation (sport/rec) sectors. With this program just launching in 2011-2012 it has the potential to reach hundreds of thousands of coaches, youth, parents and sport administrators in successive years of implementation.  

    Air Aware is fortunate to have excellent partners and supporters who have been instrumental in building a multi-sector based, national program. The list of current partners includes: Asthma Society of Canada, AllerGen (NCE), Anaphylaxis Canada, Canadian Network for Respiratory Care, Coaching Association of Canada, Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, Athletes CAN, National Coaching Institute, True Sport, Sport Matters, GreenLearning, Ontario Physical Health Education Association and multiple scientists and researchers affiliated with AllerGen NCE.

    We are proud to report that the Air Aware program is being incredibly well received across the country. We thank the Public Health Agency of Canada for recognizing the importance of Air Aware and its support to make this program possible. We are more confident than ever that this is a much needed program and one that all Canadians should have access to.

    Cheers!

    The Air Aware Team

     

    Posted In: Air Aware
  • December 1, 2011

    On November 28, 2011, The Honourable Peter Kent, P.C., M.P., Minister of the Environment, announced renewed funding for the Clean Air Regulatory Agenda. The Government will invest $600.8 million over the next 5 years in a continued effort for Clean Air.

    Clean Air Champions would like to congratulate and thank the Government for this decision, as clean air is our most precious resource! Funding for clean air initiatives cannot stop here. The Clean Air Regulatory Agenda will help reduce future air pollution, but there needs to be ongoing support for initiatives that address the health impacts of air pollution on the millions of Canadians living with or affected by respiratory illnesses.  

    Current funding for the National Lung Health Framework (NLHF) will end on March 31, 2012. We recognize and thank this government for its past commitment to the NLHF and its commitment to lung health in Canada. Without that commitment the NLHF and successful initiatives like ours that aim to improve lung health in Canada would not be in place. We encourage the government to keep supporting the NLHF so that this momentum can continue. In our case, we have been working diligently since February 2011 to build a comprehensive, national program called Air Aware to deliver a critical message on air quality, active living and respiratory health to youth across Canada. It typically takes several years to build a national program and develop the strategic partnerships needed to support the ongoing success of a program. We are proud to report that Air Aware is being incredibly well received.

    Air Aware is the only program of its kind in Canada and targets tens of thousands of Canadians, primarily youth between the ages of 10 and 18 in both the school and sport/recreation (sport/rec) sectors. With this program just launching in 2011-2012 it has the potential to reach hundreds of thousands of coaches, youth, parents and sport administrators in successive years of implementation. The research, undertaken in Air Aware Phase I, was instrumental in revealing that at present there are no resources, guidelines or protocols in the school or sport/rec sectors that address the issues of air quality and lung health.

    So please, let this funding for cleaner air continue. Clean Air Champions encourages the continued support of the National Lung Health Framework and the commitment to clean air!

    Cheers!

    Posted In: Health, Air Aware