Brockville Receives World Health Organization Collaborating Centre Safe Community Designation

“A World Health Organization Designation Collaborating Centre as a Safe Community” was confirmed on Brockville, Ontario as the first such designation in Ontario, second in Canada, fourth in North America, and 58th globally.

Moa Sundstrom, Co-ordinator of the Karolinska Institute on Community Safety Promotion, (A World Health Collaborating Centre in Stockholm, Sweden) conferred the accreditation on the City of Brockville at a ceremony on August 15th, 2001 at the conclusion of an international project which saw 6 senior officials from Chaussy, Belarus visit Brockville for a week long Injury Prevention and Safety Program, to share in the knowledge and experience of their Canadian counterparts.

The Safe Community Coalition of Brockville and District, formed in 1997, was a pilot and the first of 26 Safe Community Coalitions in Canada with a goal to make their community “the safest in which to live, learn, work and play in Canada”.

Preventable injuries are responsible for 90% of serious injury and deaths, more than all other causes, whether in Canada or Belarus. The international safe community mentoring partnership will ee Brockville sustain support and information exchange via the internet with the newly created Safe Community Coalition of Chaussy, Belarus.

Safe Community Foundation of Canada founder, Paul Kells, along with President, Path Coursey, conferred the Honorary Safe community status on Chaussy, Belarus during the World Health ceremony.

A signing of a “Friendship” agreement between the Mayors of Brockville and Chaussy took place, further confirming the support of this Eastern Ontario city for Chaussy and its residents, who are the victims of the Chernobyl disaster. During the past four years, Brockville-based “Canadian Aid for Chernobyl” has provided more than $8 million Canadian in medical aid, clothing and supplies to Chaussy and also hosts 40 Belarus children annually for an 8-week respite where they are provided free medical and dental aid.

During their visit to Canada, the Belarus delegation received sector-specific safety presentations and visits with Safe Community Members, federal provincial, county and city governments, rural/agricultural/workplace, emergency services, health promotion/access center care, hospitals, senior care centres, social services, schools, day care and YM/YWCA, with respect to risk assessment and safety/injury prevention program initiatives for all community demographics.

At the conclusion of the World Health Designation ceremony, Safe Community Foundation Founder Paul Kells presented a “Key for Safety” to the 40 Belarussian children who were visiting in Brockville.

The Honourable Joe Jordan, MP, Leeds-Grenville; Jill Hutcheon, Ontario Deputy Minister of Labour; Brockville Mayor, Ben TeKamp; Her Excellency, Nina Mazai, Ambassador of the republic of Belarus; David Williams, President and CEO of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board; John Dalzell, Vice President, Canadian National; Elizabeth Mills, President/CEO, Ontario Service Safety Alliance; Maureen Shaw, President, Industrial Accident Prevention Association; Safe Community Foundation Founder, Paul Kells; S.C.F. President, Pat Coursey; and Moa Sundstrom, World Health Collaborating Centre on Community Safety Promotion, were joined by 350 invited guests including the Belarus delegation and representatives of Ontario’s Safe Community Coalitions.