OTTAWA: The Healthy Communities Initiative is a $31 million investment from the Government of Canada to transform public spaces in response to COVID-19.
Public spaces are the glue to our communities: they enable a feeling of belonging, of social cohesion and encourage our sense of collective identity.
COVID-19 has seriously constrained our access and use of these spaces in communities across Canada.
Impacts of the virus have also been extraordinarily uneven, underscoring inequalities across communities and disproportionately impacting those who are already experiencing vulnerability as a result of systemic inequalities.
In the face of these challenges, communities have been extraordinarily resourceful and resilient in improvising temporary and longer-lasting solutions to the challenges of COVID-19.
Many are undertaking work for immediate needs but also thinking about how to build pandemic-resilient spaces for the future. We are seeing new digital solutions, that allow people and communities to feel connected, safe and healthy all while respecting public health measures and norms such as physical distancing and mask-wearing.
The Healthy Communities Initiative will provide funding to a broad range of organizations, including local governments, charities, Indigenous communities and nonprofits, for projects, programming and services that help communities :
• create safe and vibrant public spaces,
• improve mobility options and
• provide innovative digital solutions to connect people and improve health. The first Healthy Communities Initiative ended on March 9. A second application round for the Healthy Communities Initiative will take place starting in May 2021.
If you’re interested in applying to the Healthy Communities Initiative we invite you to:
• Read the Applicant Guide to learn more about the Initiative and the application process;
• Visit the resource library to explore helpful tools including the Equity Guidance and a screencast of the application process;
• Sign up for community mobilization sessions to learn more about the themes of the Healthy Communities Initiative and best practices around project planning and applying for funding.