Public Release: 

Canada's government funds $1.6M in modern geography to support public health decisions

Natural Resources Canada



This release is available in French.

OTTAWA -- Decision makers are now able to use maps, satellite images, and other location-based or "geospatial" information and technologies over the Internet to tackle some of Canada's most pressing challenges, including public health. Through GeoConnections, Canada's New Government is supporting new research projects promoting this merger of geomatics with public health because of the obvious benefits to Canadians.

"I'm pleased to be able to announce today on behalf of my colleague, the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, that GeoConnections is co-funding 14 new geomatics projects in the public health field. These projects are another example of how our government is meeting the needs of Canada's public health care," said Minister Clement.

GeoConnections is providing approximately $1.6 million to help fund 14 research projects in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. Project partners are contributing another $2.1 million for a total of $3.7 million in funding.

"We expect these projects to help launch geomatics into the mainstream of public health research in Canada," said Clement.

The announcement was made at the Public Health Geomatics Conference in Ottawa. This first-ever conference is considered a milestone because it represents the merger of geomatics with public health in Canada.

Modern technology allows all types of geospatial data to be shared, merged and mapped online. Previously, only highly skilled geomatics professionals could undertake these activities. Now it can be done from the desktop of health care professionals anywhere.

For example, public health workers can use online tools to create a map enabling them to track and project the spread of zoonotic diseases (diseases carried by wildlife but spread to humans) by combining data about disease outbreaks in wildlife, wildlife habitat and human populations.

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GeoConnections is a national partnership program led by Natural Resources Canada. Additional information about this partnership program is available at www.geoconnections.org.

GeoConnections funding for these public health projects represents Canada's New Government's commitment to the development of knowledge, innovation and productivity in the natural resource sectors and elsewhere -- giving Canadians the advantage to succeed.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

GeoConnections is providing $1.6 million to co-fund 14 new geomatics projects in the public health field. Most of the projects involve the use of online data and mapping technologies to help public health researchers monitor diseases and other health issues using maps.

Media may contact:
Kathleen Olson
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-996-2007

The general public may contact:

Mon-Fri, 8:30-4:30 EDT
Telephone: 613-995-0947
TTY: 613-996-4397
(teletype for the hearing-impaired)
E-mail: questions@nrcan.gc.ca

The following media backgrounder is available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media:

GeoConnections Funding for Public Health Projects NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media.

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