Healthy Public Policy Speaker Series explores policy ideas for creating improved health and well-being in B.C. communities

In collaboration with a selection of local and Indigenous government partners, BC Healthy Communities (BCHC) is hosting an ongoing speaker series to bring fresh ideas for healthy public policy to local and Indigenous government leaders in B.C.

One of the current focus areas of BCHC’s PlanH program is the importance of developing Healthy Public Policy at the local government level. Rather than directly addressing physical health or health care provision, these policies make changes to living conditions—such as housing, transportation and income—in order to improve a community’s overall health and well-being. As a part of these improved health and well-being outcomes, healthy public policies also positively impact issues directly within local government purview, including community safety, local economic activity, social service delivery, and sustainability. 

PlanH currently offers a dedicated grant stream to support Healthy Public Policy, as well as Healthy Public Policy page providing information and context about healthy public policy including ideas for action in this area from leading communities across the province. To further support these initiatives, our Creating Healthy Public Policy: Local Government Leaders Speaker Series provides current examples of best practices around healthy public policy in B.C.

In the series, healthy public policy leaders from local and Indigenous governments across the province discuss one policy implemented by their government, reflecting on why the policy was chosen, the implementation process, and the impacts they’ve seen as a result of adopting the policy. Designed for elected officials and staff in decision-making roles, each event in the series provides participants with the opportunity to explore whether a similar policy fits their community’s needs, and to consider the next steps needed to advance action towards adopting such a policy. 

Part I: Living Wage Policies

Part I of the series, Living Wage Policies, is now available for on-demand viewing. This session explores the City of Victoria’s experience in adopting a Living Wage policy in 2020. Living Wage policies have been enacted by 10 governments across the province, ranging from major metropolitan cities to smaller rural and Indigenous governments. These policies align minimum wages in an organization with the actual costs of living in a specific community.


  • Jodi Jensen, Head of Human Resources, City of Victoria 

  • Anastasia French, Campaigns and Operations Organiser, Living Wage for Families Campaign 

View the recording of this event here

Part II: Affordable Housing Land Acquisition Strategies

Part II of the series, Affordable Housing Land Acquisition Strategies, is now available for on-demand viewing. This session looks at Kelowna’s experience developing a strategy to support the acquisition of land that can be used for affordable housing. Housing affordability is a key issue for many local governments across the province, and its impacts can be felt across a community through secondary impacts such as homelessness, labour shortages, strained transportation networks, hampered local economic development and diminished participation in civic life. Many communities in B.C. are exploring the use of land acquisition strategies to proactively respond to these challenges, guide decision-making and help create property portfolios that lend themselves to the community’s strategic priorities and goals.


  • James Moore, Long Range Policy Planning Manager with the City of Kelowna

  • Arlene Janousek, Planner with the City of Kelowna

View the recording of this event here.

Part III: Regional Social Planning Services

Part III of the series, Regional Social Planning Services,  is now available for on-demand viewing. This session looks at the shared social planning approach undertaken jointly by the City of Powell River, qathet Regional District and Tla’amin Nation for the benefit of all their community members. Through the collaborative development and implementation of a Regional Social Planning Program, these three governments in the qathet Region are moving forward together.


  • Meriko Kubota, Regional Social Planner for the qathet Region

View the recording of this event here.


The Local Government Leaders Speaker Series focusing on Creating Healthy Public Policy is supported through PlanH, a partnership between BC Healthy Communities Society and the BC Ministry of Health and is informed by health authorities and other stakeholders. PlanH creates healthier communities by supporting partnerships across sectors, providing learning opportunities, resources, and consultation, and facilitating collaborative local action.


Share this article:

Subscribe to our newsletter