Canadian Public Health Association

A look at the Canadian Public Health Association “by the numbers.”

 Compiled by Sandy Klowak

Posted September 9, 2018

The Canadian Public Health Association was founded in 1910 to help control and prevent communicable diseases. Its mission is to maintain and improve the health of all Canadians through policy advice, research, and advocacy. Centenary celebrations include national campaigns to raise awareness of public health achievements.


Increased years of the average Canadian lifespan since the early 1900s, twenty-five years of which can be attributed to public health advances.


Deaths caused by a 1927 Montreal typhoid epidemic stemming from contaminated milk. In 1938, thanks to pressure from the CPHA and the Canadian Medical Association, Ontario was the first province to make the pasteurization of milk compulsory.


The year Canada introduced its first food guide, aimed at improving health and preventing nutritional deficiencies.


Number of Canadians paralyzed due to polio between 1949 and 1954. At the epidemic’s peak in 1953, five hundred Canadians died from the disease, but the introduction of the Salk and Sabin vaccines meant that ten years later there were no documented cases.


Estimated Canadian lives saved from the increased use of seat belts between 1989 and 2003.


Number of work-related injuries per thousand Canadians in 2006, down from forty per thousand in 1988.


The estimated percentage of Canadians over the age of fifteen who smoked regularly or occasionally in 2008, compared to roughly fifty per cent in 1965.

This “By The Numbers” originally appeared in the October-November 2010 issue of Canada’s History magazine.

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