Encouraging cycling as a regular form of exercise to improve newcomers’ overall health and wellness
VANCOUVER, BC, March 21, 2022 /CNW/ – Public Health Agency of Canada
Research shows that most immigrant adults coming to Canada tend to see their health decline after their arrival. This decline is due to decreased levels of physical activity, poor diet, stress, and social isolation. These can in turn lead them to become more prone to chronic diseases.
Today, Taleeb Noormohamed, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Granville, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, announced an investment of more than $970,000 to fund a project that supports increased physical activity and healthy living for immigrant populations in three cities. The project will implement innovative and integrated approaches to promote healthy living and address the common risk factors for chronic disease.
The Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia (ISSofBC) will use this funding for the “Newcomer Bike Mentorship Program,” which supports newcomers in making cycling a regular form of transportation during their settlement processes. The project will match immigrants and refugees with local cycling experts who will provide them with support, resources, ideas for activities, and organize group events.
Through this mentorship program, newcomers in Vancouver, Toronto and Halifax will have the opportunity to become familiar with their city’s cycling routes, rules, and culture while regularly exercising. By doing so, they will also learn about the life-long health and chronic disease prevention benefits from cycling as a regular form of exercise.
“Newcomers to Canada are an integral part of what makes our country so strong. Ensuring they maintain healthy behaviours after their arrival is also integral to their long-term health. Urban cycling is developing quickly in many Canadian cities and is making cycling a safe, affordable, and practical transportation mode and a great way to keep active. Through mentors, newcomers will get to know their new community better and develop healthy behaviours that will help reduce their risk of developing chronic disease.”
The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health
“Every year, thousands of immigrants choose to make Canada their forever home. This program will help newcomers stay active as they settle in Canada, while at the same time incorporating regular exercise into their routines and learning about the life-long health benefits of cycling.”
Taleeb Noormohamed Member of Parliament for Vancouver Granville, British Columbia
“ISSofBC is grateful for the opportunity to lead the multi-year National Newcomer Bike Host program, a unique program that brings together immigrant serving agencies and local cycling communities/volunteers in Halifax, Toronto and Vancouver with newcomers to Canada to learn and explore through their settlement process cycling, bike education, health promotion and healthy living.”
CEO, Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia
- Funding announced today is being distributed through the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Multi Sectoral Partnerships (MSP) program, which has invested $20 million a year since 2013 in innovative projects across the country that aim to lower Canadians’ risk of chronic disease by tackling common modifiable risk factors, namely unhealthy eating, smoking, and physical inactivity. The MSP is now known as the Healthy Canadians and Communities Fund.
- Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia’s mission is to help immigrants build a future in Canada by delivering educational, settlement and employment services, developing partnerships with local communities, and promoting an integrated and equitable community.
- Active transportation can be defined as using your own power to get from one place to another. This can include walking, cycling, running, and snowshoeing.
SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada
For further information: Contacts: Marie-France Proulx, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos Minister of Health, 613-957-0200; Media Relations, Public Health Agency of Canada, 613-957-2983, [email protected]; Public Inquiries: 613-957-2991, 1-866-225-0709