March 14 Board of Health Meeting Summary

Written by Communications, March 20, 2018

The Case for Smoke-Free Movies

Peer Leaders Logan Kelly and Meagan Lecompte gave a presentation about the importance of smoke-free movies. This refers to an initiative to remove on-screen tobacco use in movies rated for children (G, PG, PG-13, and 14A), and preventing youth from smoking by prohibiting unnecessary social exposure to tobacco use in movies. It also involves a tobacco prevention campaign aiming to inform parents about the risks of children seeing tobacco in film. Movies are one of the last bastions where the tobacco industry can attempt to normalize smoking and tobacco consumption. In 2014, research showed that 86% of all movies geared to youth included smoking. The Board of Health asked staff to help draft a motion to advance the advocacy of smoke-free movies to the province and the Ontario Film Review Board.

Presentation: Inaakonigewin Andaadad Aki: Michi Saagiig Treaties

The Board of Health watched the documentary film which looks at the various treaties the Michi Saagiig (Mississauga) participated in between 1781 and 1923. There are 46 treaties that cover the lands of Ontario, 18 of which include the Michi Saagiig. Interpreted by the People of Curve Lake First Nation, the film explores the early history of initial agreements made between the Crown (and later Canada) and the Michi Saagiig. The film highlights the residual impacts of these treaties, including the controversial Williams Treaties which covers approximately 13 million acres of present day Ontario, the effects of which are still being felt today. In many ways these treaties compromised long-term health outcomes by limiting Michi Saagiig access to traditional hunting and fishing grounds as important food sources. This was intensified with the flooding of many islands and wild rice harvesting areas throughout Central Ontario caused by the creation of the Trent Severn Waterway. This film provides crucial historical context to current public health issues affecting many Indigenous communities in Ontario, including Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations. Chief Phyllis Williams noted that the video is available for sale at the Curve Lake Cultural Centre, or by calling the Curve Lake First Nation Administration Office at 705-657-8045.

Update: Community Dental Health Centre Move to Jackson Square

Patti Fitzgerald, Manager presented an overview of progress to date on the upcoming move of the Community Dental Health Clinic from Peterborough Square to Jackson Square. A project manager has been hired, initial architectural plans are drafted, and Peterborough Public Health has submitted an application for a building permit in the hopes that demolition can start in April. The plan is to commence construction in April/May, and open the new clinic in June 2018 without minimal disruption in service to clients.

Assessing Attitudes for Developing Smoke-Free Policies on Post-Secondary Campuses

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act presently does not include post-secondary campuses in the legislation. Recent research indicates that up to 20% of smokers report having their first cigarette after the age of 18, after entering university or college. Although most begin to smoke during high school, they are usually considered occasional smokers at that time. It is during young adulthood that youth become regular or daily users. Smoking among young adults between the ages of 25 and 29 still remains higher than any other age group at 22.8%, and the smoking rate of 17.3% among 20 to 24 year olds is also concerning despite success in reducing smoking rates in general. In November 2017, 286 surveys were administered and preliminary survey results indicate that there is an appetite to explore smoke-free policies at Trent University. Peterborough Public Health intends to partner with staff and students at both Fleming College and Trent University to collect additional data assessing readiness for policy development.

Repeal of Section 43 of the Criminal Code Re: Corporal Punishment of Children

The Board of Health endorsed a motion passed by the Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Board of Health seeking that Section 43 of the Criminal Code be repealed. This change is also requested by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in one of their 94 Calls to Action. Section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada allows teachers and parents to use corporal punishment to discipline children, and reads as follows: “Every schoolteacher, parent or person standing in the place of a parent is justified in using force by way of correction toward a pupil or child, as the case may be, who is under his care, if the force does not exceed what is reasonable under the circumstances.” This position is consistent with previous Board of Health motions stating that public awareness strategies be developed and implemented to communicate the risks associated with physical punishment of children; and a clear message be given to all parents and caregivers that hurting children and youth is not an acceptable or effective method of managing their behaviour.

Next meeting:

The next Board of Health meeting will take place on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers, Township of Cavan Monaghan Municipal Office, located at 988 County Road 10, Millbrook, ON.