Nova Scotia was the first province in Canada to establish a government department entirely focused on health promotion and protection. Already, we've taken a number of positive steps.
Chronic disease takes a physical and financial toll. The good news is that much of it can be prevented by adopting a healthier lifestyle. Over the last two years, more than 50 organizations have worked together to create a strategy to prevent chronic disease (PDF). We're using this information to develop a long-term plan for a healthier Nova Scotia.
Many Nova Scotians consume alcohol at safe levels. However, there are some whose behaviour is considered to be high-risk. To help ensure that those who choose to drink do so without harm, we have launched Canada's first provincial alcohol strategy.
Promoting better health means addressing addiction. We are improving our services and offering more programs to help Nova Scotians experiencing problems with alcohol and drug use. This includes drug-prevention curriculum for schools and provincial policies and programs to prevent and address problem gambling.
Life has become more sedentary, and today about half of all Nova Scotians must become more active to enjoy health benefits. But people sometimes face barriers to being active - lack of time, poor access to facilities, and costs. We tearing down these barriers and creating more opportunities for physical activity for our children. We're also inspiring them by playing host to the 2011 Canada Winter Games.