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Health Promotion in Canada: perspectives & future prospects - doi:10.5020/18061230.2007.p3

By Blake Poland


Thank-you for the opportunity to be with you today in this fascinating panel on the state of health promotion in Brazil, Canada and around the world. It is a great pleasure to be here, and to share my thoughts and reflections with you, not as na expert here to tell you how it ‘should’ be, but as a colleague interested in dialogue around points of mutual concern. I feel we have much to learn from what has been happening here in Brazil, and the work of Paolo Freire and many contemporary colleagues who continue this tradition of critical pedagogy for health (like my colleague and friend here at UNIFOR, Dr. Francisco Cavalcante Jr.). So in this spirit of friendship, dialogue and mutual learning, I will be very frank with you about the lessons learned in Canada, including some of our failures and mistakes which I hope you can successfully avoid. Also, I offer my apologies for not being able to speak with you in your own language. I wish to thank my friends Nicolas Ayres and Francisco Cavalcante Jr. For their assistance with translation. In addition to a brief overview of the development of health promotion in Canada, I would like to share some reflections on the social, political and economic context in which the field has evolved, both in Canada and internationally. I Will address three (3) key tensions I see in the field at the moment (from a Canadian perspective), and reflect on our successes and our failures. I will close with a few thoughts on future prospects and some of the challenges that I see that lie ahead. I would like to emphasize that any brief history of health promotion in Canada, and any assessment of its strengths, contributions and failures is inherently ‘subjective’ and idiosyncratic. Rather than repeat the work of other analysts and commentators (see for example – cite PHAC/HC docs), I offer my observations based on over a decade of involvement in the field (including involvement in the Critical Social Science and Health group at the University of Toronto), and in my capacity as Director of the Masters of Health Science program in health promotion at the University of Toronto. Doubtless, those with different interests, orientations, and practice backgrounds would come to (slightly or substantially) different conclusions

Topics: Medicine (General), R5-920, Public aspects of medicine, RA1-1270
Publisher: Universidade de Fortaleza
Year: 2012
DOI identifier: 10.5020/994
OAI identifier:
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