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Children’s Health & Environment Partnership
History and Background


In 2003, the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg (SPCW) Environment Committee started a project called the “Children’s Environmental Health Project”. The people who organized the project were from the following groups:

  • Social Planning Council of Winnipeg
  • Resource Conservation Manitoba
  • Manitoba Eco-Network
  • Klinic Community Health Centre
  • Campaign for Pesticide Reduction Winnipeg
  • Faculty of Environment at the University of Manitoba

Since 2003, the SPCW Environment Committee also worked with other organizations to bring resources and information to the Manitoba community. These included:

  • Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health and the Environment
  • Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment
  • City of Winnipeg Civic Environmental Committee
  • Seven Oaks Wellness Institute
  • Healthy Child Manitoba
  • South Riverdale Community Health Centre (Toronto)
  • Chemical Sensitivities Manitoba

For four years, the Children’s Environmental Health Project established interest in and opportunities for education on this issue. These included:

  • offering public workshops and handout materials on the topic of children’s health and environment;
  • organizing a conference called Exposed for Life which featured speaker and author, Sandra Steingraber;
  • hosting a roundtable or gathering of health care professionals to discuss the connection between health and environment; 
  • speaking and writing to the media on children’s environmental health issues; and,
  • arranged a public screening of the film Toxic Trespass with film producer Dorothy Goldin-Rosenberg.

The Children’s Environmental Health Project also had great success in influencing outcomes in government and policy. The organizations working on this project reviewed and commented on policy at the provincial and municipal levels and met with elected officials and government staff. This work helped contribute to:

  • the doubling of Manitoba Agriculture’s Organic Specialists; and,
  • the introduction of a private members bill by Member of Parliament Pat Martin to change the law so that the responsibility for pesticide safety is with industry and not the public.

In 2006, the SPCW Environment Committee made plans for a more formal Partnership so that all organizations could play an equal role and bring forward their expertise and resources. This is an important step in helping to protect our children’s environment and in advancing the state of child health and development in Manitoba.  

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