Government of Canada Supports Physical Activity, Healthy Eating, and Wellbeing for Students across Nova Scotia

UpLift partnership will reach up to 90,000 students in the province

May 10, 2019 – Amherst, NS – Public Health Agency of Canada

Enhancing the environments where children and youth learn, grow, and play is one of the ways we can help them thrive and help prevent the development of chronic diseases later in life.

Today, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, announced that the Public Health Agency of Canada will be investing up to $5 million in UpLift-an initiative to promote physical activity, healthy eating, and wellbeing among students across Nova Scotia, from primary to grade nine, by optimizing school community environments. The Minister made the announcement while visiting West Highlands Elementary School in Amherst, Nova Scotia, to participate in activities with students as part of the initiative.

The initiative will be led by Dalhousie University in collaboration with provincial partners and schools. Over the next five years, UpLift will reach up to 90,000 students at up to 360 schools across the seven English regional centres for education, the Francophone provincial school board, and schools within the Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey school system. Using Nova Scotia’s Health Promoting Schools model, schools will continue to explore new policies and practices that improve students’ wellbeing, encourage physically active school communities, and promote healthy food environments. A key component of UpLift will be supporting students to become change agents among their peers, leading by example, identifying solutions, and helping to implement actions that will contribute to healthy, vibrant, connected, safe, and empowering school communities.


“The Government of Canada knows that creating environments that promote physical activity and good food choices is crucial to laying the foundation for a lifetime of healthy living. That’s why we are proud to support UpLift, which will enhance the school environment for students across Nova Scotia by encouraging them to make healthier choices. These in turn will have a lasting impact on lowering their risk of developing chronic diseases.”

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

“We are facing a growing burden of chronic disease in Canada. Healthy living and the prevention of chronic diseases start with making good choices, including being physically active and becoming educated on healthy food options. However, it can be difficult to make healthy choices because of social and economic inequities experienced by many Canadians. Creating the conditions and the environment to support healthy living can have a significant positive impact on the health of individuals throughout their life.”
Dr. Theresa Tam
Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer

“Our children deserve to live healthy lives, and to be unburdened by chronic disease. Not only that, they deserve to have the opportunities to achieve their full potential, in their lives and careers, and be part of a brighter future for this province.”
Sara Kirk, PhD
Dalhousie University’s Healthy Populations Institute and UpLift co-lead

“We know that when children are nourished and active, they learn better, perform better, and behave better. Understanding that schools represent a critical setting where lifelong healthy habits can be formed, UpLift will focus heavily in the school setting, and will emphasize student leadership as an integral part of the process.”
Dr. Camille Hancock Friesen
Dalhousie Faculty of Medicine and UpLift co-lead

“Dalhousie is proud to be part of this important initiative. UpLift’s unique approach to health promotion allows schools, community agencies, local businesses, parents, and community members to all play a critical role in supporting the health and wellbeing of Nova Scotia’s children and adolescents.”
Dr. Alice Aiken
Vice President Research and Innovation at Dalhousie University

Quick Facts

  • The Public Health Agency of Canada is investing up to $5 million over five years in UpLift through its Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention Multi-sectoral Partnerships program.
  • This program supports innovative partnerships to promote healthy eating, physical activity, and wellness, as well as addresses the common risk factors that underlie major chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
  • The UpLift initiative is a partnership between Dalhousie University and Nova Scotia Health Authority along with the provincial Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, the Department of Health and Wellness, the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation, the QEII Foundation, and other partners from across the province.


Thierry Bélair
Office of Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

Media Relations

Public Health Agency of Canada
[email protected]

Public Inquiries:



NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More