The Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit is hoping municipalities in Muskoka will add healthy public policy into their bylaws. The health unit has been visiting municipalities post the elections, with Lake of Bays being the latest stop last week. Medical Officer of Health Charles Gardner says one way towns can help is have poverty reduction initiatives, which include municipalities seeking to have affordable housing within their official plans.

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Other areas that are important for municipalities to look at are food access. Gardner says this means access to affordable and nutritious foods within neighbourhoods.

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Other public policy items the health unit would like municipalities to implement in their official plans include alcohol control.

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Gardner also says having active transportation policies in place will help increase physical activity within a community. Gardner says the health unit wants to be involved in municipalities’ strategic planning to include content for healthy communities. Click here to view latest presentation to Lake of Bays council.