2023-12-05 A Healthy Wellbeing

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[<br />

Quality of Life Subcommittee<br />

Dariel Bateman<br />

Beth Blowes<br />

Jeneane Fast<br />

City of Stratford Social Services Staff<br />

Leah Kennedy<br />

Joelle Lamport-Lewis<br />

Barb Leavitt<br />

Robin Spence Haffner<br />

Jennifer Rojas<br />

Nancy Summers<br />

Kathy Vassilakos<br />

Special thanks given to advisors<br />

from Huron Perth Public Health:<br />

Erica Clark, PhD<br />

Angela Willert<br />

The Social Research & Planning Council is funded by:<br />

City of Stratford, Town of St. Marys,<br />

County of Perth, through the Department of Social Services,<br />

the County of Huron, and United Way Perth-Huron.<br />

Thank you to all the community partners who<br />

contributed to this project. We value your contribution.<br />

Social Research & Planning Council<br />

United Centre, 32 Erie St., Stratford, ON N5A 2M4<br />

Tel: 519-271-7730<br />

Email: srpc@perthhuron.unitedway.ca<br />



Our physical and mental health and the quality of our social<br />

environment all play into our quality of life. As social creatures,<br />

we are intimately affected by our social ties. Factors including the<br />

safety of our neighbourhoods, community connections, the quality<br />

of our schools and the representativeness of our governments all<br />

work to determine our well-being.<br />

This report also describes factors contributing to individual health,<br />

such as adequate income, meaningful work, decent housing and<br />

healthy food. Shifting these conditions requires collective action<br />

across society to create equitable communities and policies<br />

enabling everyone to enjoy health and well-being.


Most People Rate Health as Good, Mental Health<br />

Even Better<br />

Based on 2020 data, 56% of people in Perth and 58% in Huron<br />

reported their general health as either “excellent” or “very good.”<br />

Numbers were higher for self-reported mental health, with 86%<br />

of people in Perth and 90% of people in Huron reporting it as<br />

“excellent” or “very good.” 1<br />

Self-reported mental health is very important in predicting<br />

overall health and is a key indicator of quality of life. Mental<br />

health means more than an absence of mental illness. It<br />

reflects our emotional, social, and psychological well-being and<br />

influences how we manage stress, make healthy decisions and<br />

relate to other people. 2<br />

Huron Perth Helpline<br />

& Crisis Response Team<br />

https://211ontario.ca/<br />

service/71107338/huron-perthhealthcare-alliance-mental-healthservices-huron-perth-helpline-andcrisis-response-team-sgh-specialservices-unit-stratford/<br />

Page 4 A <strong>Healthy</strong> Well-Being

Many Youth Struggle With Mental Health, Worse in<br />

Pandemic<br />

Based at the University of Waterloo, the COMPASS project is an<br />

ongoing study of high school health policies and student health<br />

behaviours in Ontario and Alberta schools. COMPASS stands for<br />

Cannabis use, Obesity, Mental health, Physical activity, Alcohol<br />

use, Smoking and Sedentary behaviour. In 2020–2021, 61% of youth<br />

in Perth-Huron reported that their mental or emotional health as<br />

excellent, very good, or good, 59% reported their life is purposeful<br />

and meaningful and 65% were optimistic about their future. These<br />

numbers are positive, although perhaps not as positive as we would<br />

like. 3 As these numbers were collected during the height of the<br />

COVID-19 pandemic, it is likely they were significantly impacted by<br />

that context.<br />

Among youth, 30% reported feeling depressed most days in the last<br />

week and 38% felt nervous, anxious or on edge most days in the<br />

last two weeks. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, 51% reported<br />

their anxiety had increased and 54% reported their loneliness had<br />

increased due to the pandemic. 4 According to the 2021 Ontario<br />

Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS)* conducted by the<br />

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 42% of students in Ontario<br />

reported that they wanted to speak to someone about a mental health<br />

problem in the past year but did not know who to go to. 5<br />

When accessing mental health services and programs for<br />

youth, wait times can be lengthy, ranging anywhere from two<br />

to eight months. Some local service providers are trying to<br />

address this. For instance, the Huron-Perth Centre has a “Timely<br />

Access Team,” which leads to wait times of two weeks or less for initial<br />

consultation for families. Many clients are later referred to counselling<br />

& therapy for long-term service. The typical wait time for this program<br />

is four months but can range anywhere from two to eight months. 6<br />

According to the OSDUHS, there are some significant sex differences<br />

in students’ physical and mental health. Female students are more<br />

likely to report elevated stress, indicate psychological stress and<br />

rate their mental health as fair or poor. Female students are also<br />

more likely to report an unmet need for mental health support. They<br />

are more likely to perceive themselves as “too fat”, be preoccupied<br />

with their weight or body shape and skip meals for health or weight<br />

related reasons. Female students are more likely to use prescription<br />

opioids nonmedically while male students are more likely to use<br />

cough and cold medicine nonmedically. Male students are more likely<br />

to cyberbully others, indicate a video gaming problem and gamble<br />

money. Female students report spending more time on social media<br />

and indicate a problem with technology use. 7<br />

Climate anxiety is distress<br />

felt about climate change<br />

and its impact on the<br />

environment and the<br />

existence of humans. It can<br />

cause intrusive thoughts or<br />

feelings of distress about<br />

the future of the world and<br />

descendants. 8<br />

*The OSDUHS reports on<br />

Ontario numbers. The following<br />

statistics are not specific to the<br />

Perth-Huron region<br />

24%<br />

of Ontario students<br />

report being worried<br />

about climate change<br />

50%<br />

of Ontario students<br />

are depressed about<br />

the future because of<br />

climate change

70%+<br />

of Perth-Huron residents<br />

report they are either<br />

“satisfied” or “very satisfied”<br />

with their work/life balance.<br />

Most People Are Satisfied With Their Work/Life<br />

Balance<br />

Overall, the majority (70%–75%) of Perth-Huron residents report<br />

they are either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their work/life<br />

balance. The following chart displays reasons among those who are<br />

not satisfied. 9<br />

This positivity is somewhat surprising, given that many in Perth-<br />

Huron work long hours. The federal standard for hours of work is<br />

40 hours per week. In Perth, approximately 37% of people work<br />

more than 41 hours a week. In Huron, 39% work more than 41 hours.<br />

Evidence suggests that long work hours may impair personal health,<br />

jeopardize safety and increase stress. 10 People in Stratford work<br />

more hours per week with 50% of people report working 41<br />

or more hours per week and 19% working over 50 hours per<br />

week — more than the provincial maximum of 48. These hours<br />

reflect residents’ main job and do not include hours working other<br />

jobs, such as with farm operators. 11 StatsCanada reports that 49.2%<br />

of farm operators in Ontario worked off the farm in 2020, compared<br />

to 3.8% nationally. Most of the increase is from part-time off-farm<br />

employment, an increase of 1.8% from the previous census. <strong>12</strong><br />

Graph 1: Reasons for Dissatisfaction with Work/Life Balance<br />

Source: Environics Analytics. Community Life 2021.<br />

Employment related reasons<br />

Reason for Dissatisfaction<br />

Not enough time for other activities<br />

Too much time spent on job<br />

Not enough time for family<br />

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70%<br />

Huron Perth Stratford<br />

Percent of People Dissatisfied

Activity Levels Decrease With Age, Down Overall<br />

According to the 24-Hour Movement Guidelines, adults need to be<br />

engaged in at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity<br />

physical activity per week to be considered physically active.<br />

Muscle-strengthening activities should be done at least twice a<br />

week using major muscle groups. 13 The following table displays selfreported<br />

physical activity levels of the population over <strong>12</strong> years of<br />

age. A large proportion of Perth-Huron residents ages <strong>12</strong>–36 report<br />

they are sufficiently active. For adults over 36, the number who selfreport<br />

meeting the recommendation decreased. 14<br />

Graph 2: Percentage of People at or Above Recommended Physical Activity Levels<br />

Source: Environics Analytics. Community Life 2021.<br />

90%<br />

80%<br />

70%<br />

60%<br />

Percentage<br />

50%<br />

40%<br />

30%<br />

20%<br />

10%<br />

0%<br />

2016 2017 2018 2020<br />

Year<br />

<strong>12</strong> to 36 36 and Over<br />

Most Youth Get Enough Physical Activity<br />

Youth ages five to 17 should engage in 60 minutes of<br />

moderate to vigorous physical activity per day. According<br />

to COMPASS data from 2020–2021, 70% of secondary<br />

school-aged youth in the region met this guideline. This<br />

is an 8% decrease from the previous year, suggesting<br />

COVID-19 reduced activity levels for some youth. On the<br />

other hand, 26% of youth reported that their physical<br />

activity levels had increased due to the COVID-19<br />

pandemic.” 15<br />

Page 7 A <strong>Healthy</strong> Well-Being

94%<br />

of youth spend more<br />

than two hours a<br />

day on recreational<br />

screen time<br />

Youth Use Screens More Than Recommended<br />

According to the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines, youth<br />

aged five to 13 should have nine to 11 hours of uninterrupted sleep<br />

per night and those aged 14 to 17 should have eight to 10 hours.<br />

Among youth, 59% are meeting these guidelines. No more than<br />

two hours a day should be spent on recreational screen<br />

time but only 6% of youth in our region meet this limit. Given<br />

potential links between screen use, reduced sleep and depression/<br />

16, 17, 18<br />

anxiety, this should give us cause for concern.<br />


Relevant partners including individuals,<br />

community organizations and the education<br />

sector come together and find solutions for<br />

decreasing recreational screen time for youth.<br />

97%<br />

of people report being<br />

either moderately<br />

satisfied or very satisfied<br />

with their lives<br />

People Are Generally Very Satisfied With Their Lives<br />

Self-reported life satisfaction is one of the most direct measures<br />

of quality of life. Low levels of life satisfaction are associated with<br />

poor mental health. In Perth, 97% of people report being either<br />

moderately satisfied or very satisfied with their lives with no<br />

difference across age groups. In Huron, this number is 97% for<br />

people under 36 and 98% for people 36 and over. These numbers<br />

are slightly higher than across Ontario, where 96% of people under<br />

35 and 92% of people 35 and over report they are satisfied with their<br />

lives. 19

Perth-Huron is Less Stressed Than the Province<br />

The following chart displays the perceived levels of life stress by individuals<br />

from 2016 to 2020. Numbers were consistent for both Perth and Huron.<br />

There is not a significant difference in perceived stress among men<br />

compared to women, although numbers are slightly higher for women. In<br />

comparison to Ontario as a whole, people in Perth and Huron reported<br />

feeling less stressed. Across all age groups in both Perth and Huron,<br />

less than 20% of individuals reported finding life to be quite or extremely<br />

stressful. In Ontario, these numbers were generally in the low 20s but rose<br />

to 30% for individuals over 35. 20<br />

Exercise provides physical and mental health benefits and increases overall<br />

well-being for any age group. Activity reduces depression and stress,<br />

increases energy levels and improves sleep. Having the opportunity to<br />

engage in activities with others provides social interactions.<br />

Graph 3: Percentage of People that Rate Life Stress as Not at All or Not Very Stressful<br />

Source: Environics Analytics. Community Life 2021.<br />

42%<br />

41%<br />

40%<br />

39%<br />

Percentage<br />

38%<br />

37%<br />

36%<br />

35%<br />

34%<br />

33%<br />

32%<br />

Under 36 Over 36<br />

Age<br />

Perth<br />

Huron<br />

Page 9 A <strong>Healthy</strong> Well-Being


Service clubs, non-profits and municipalities<br />

continue and expand funding of free recreational<br />

programs, particularly for youth, increasing barrierfree<br />

opportunities for activity and social interaction.<br />

Active travel can significantly increase the level of regular physical<br />

activity. Research consistently shows those who walk, cycle or use<br />

public transport generally have higher total daily physical activity<br />

levels than those who drive a car. 21<br />


Municipal governments address declining physical<br />

activity levels by supporting the inclusion of active<br />

modes of transportation in municipal infrastructure<br />

plans, creating communities where active forms of<br />

transportation are safe, easy and appealing.<br />

Municipal governments use an equity and inclusion<br />

lens when designing new parks to enable physical<br />

activity opportunities for children and youth of all<br />

abilities, in addition to providing a gathering space<br />

for the entire community.<br />

Libraries across Perth-Huron continue supporting<br />

and expanding lending programs including passes<br />

and equipment to access parks and recreational<br />

opportunities.<br />

Page 10 A <strong>Healthy</strong> Well-Being

Incidence of Chronic Diseases<br />

Chronic diseases are non-communicable (not passed from person-to-person), typically<br />

last for longer than one year, develop slowly over time, require ongoing medical treatment<br />

and may limit a person’s ability to perform daily activities. Chronic diseases result from<br />

several factors — some known and some unknown, some modifiable and some nonmodifiable<br />

— such as age. Conditions include cardiovascular diseases (heart disease and<br />

stroke), cancer, diabetes, arthritis, back problems, asthma and chronic depression. They<br />

are the leading cause of death and disability in Ontario, causing about three-quarters of<br />

deaths in 2015. Chronic diseases reduce quality and length of life and are a burden on the<br />

healthcare system as they are expensive to treat.<br />

Tobacco use, physical inactivity, harmful use of alcohol and poor nutrition are risk<br />

factors for chronic diseases. Poor nutrition can be a result of food insecurity —<br />

the lack of access to nutritious foods — and impact a person’s ability to follow<br />

healthy eating guidelines. Smoking any substance is a major cause of chronic<br />

disease. Meanwhile, alcohol is the leading preventable cause of death, disability and<br />

social problems. This includes certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, liver disease,<br />

unintentional injuries and violence. 22 In Ontario, evidence shows that individuals in higher<br />

income groups are more likely to drink and undertake risky drinking than those in lowincome<br />

groups. However, individuals with low incomes experience more frequent and<br />

severe consequences associated with alcohol consumption compared to those with<br />

higher income. Some of the consequences include loss of income and employment and<br />

barriers to healthcare access. 23<br />

In January <strong>2023</strong>, Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol and Health was published by the<br />

Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction. Drinking alcohol comes with risks.<br />

Consuming seven or more standard drinks per week increases the risk of developing<br />

heart disease or stroke and each additional standard drink increases the risk of alcoholrelated<br />

consequences (certain cancers and heart disease). Health risks increase more<br />

steeply for females than males. Reducing alcohol consumption can have positive impacts<br />

on health.<br />

Poor nutrition can be a<br />

result of food insecurity<br />

— the lack of access to<br />

nutritious foods — and<br />

impact a person’s ability<br />

to follow healthy eating<br />


Graph 4: Alcohol Sales in Ontario<br />

Source:Statistics Canada. Table 10-10-0010-01. Sales of alcoholic beverages types by liquor<br />

authorities and other retail outlets, by value, volume, and absolute volume.<br />

Thousands<br />

1180<br />

1160<br />

1140<br />

1<strong>12</strong>0<br />

Number of Sales<br />

1100<br />

1080<br />

1060<br />

1040<br />

1020<br />

1000<br />

980<br />

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022<br />

Year<br />


Provincial governments work in collaboration with<br />

community partners to implement policies that<br />

strengthen alcohol advertising and marketing<br />

regulations, increase restrictions on the physical<br />

availability of alcohol and adopt minimum prices for<br />

alcohol. All alcoholic beverages should also have<br />

mandatory labelling including the number of drinks<br />

in a container and health warnings.

Asthma Rates Have Decreased<br />

Asthma is one of the two major chronic lower respiratory diseases.<br />

The main causes of asthma can vary from family history and allergies<br />

to smoking and viral respiratory infections. Triggers for people with<br />

asthma include air pollution, weather and air temperatures, allergies<br />

and physical activity.<br />

In Perth and Huron, the incidence rates of asthma tend to be highest<br />

for those aged zero to 19. The numbers in Perth-Huron are lower than<br />

those in Ontario overall and have declined over the past decade.<br />

This decline may be related to improved air quality, as indicated by<br />

a decrease in air quality alerts leading up to 2019. 24 Increased severe<br />

weather events, such as wildfires, will have a negative impact on<br />

numbers.<br />

Graph 5: Incidence of Asthma for Youth Under 19<br />

Source: Huron Perth Public Health<br />

250<br />

200<br />

Number of New Cases<br />

150<br />

100<br />

50<br />

0<br />

2010 2011 20<strong>12</strong> 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019<br />

Year<br />

Page 13 A <strong>Healthy</strong> Well-Being

Diabetes Rates Are Highest For Ages 45–64<br />

Diabetes occurs when the body is not able to make enough insulin<br />

or use it effectively to regulate blood sugar levels. Diabetes is chronic<br />

and increases one’s risk of disability and the development of other<br />

chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease. Research suggests<br />

50–60% of type 2 diabetes (pre-diabetes) cases can be prevented by<br />

modifying risk factors such as physical activity, healthy eating and<br />

not smoking. 25 Type 2 diabetes is typically first diagnosed between<br />

the ages 45–64. The numbers in Perth and Huron are lower than<br />

those in Ontario overall. 26<br />

Graph 6: Incidence of Diabetes by Age<br />

Source:Huron-Perth Public Health<br />

400<br />

350<br />

Number of New Cases<br />

300<br />

250<br />

200<br />

150<br />

100<br />

50<br />

0<br />

2010 2011 20<strong>12</strong> 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019<br />

Year<br />

20-44 45-64 65-74 75+

Hypertension Less Common Than Across Province<br />

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, increases the risk of heart<br />

attacks and strokes. Treating hypertension requires adopting<br />

healthy lifestyle behaviours such as healthy eating (75% of<br />

sodium {salt} intake comes from processed foods and nonhome<br />

cooked foods), physical activity, not smoking and<br />

learning to manage stress. Hypertension is commonly diagnosed<br />

in people aged 45–64.<br />

The numbers in Perth and Huron are lower than those in Ontario<br />

overall. 27 Although Perth-Huron residents are, on average, healthier<br />

in this respect than the provincial population, there is still room to<br />

decrease preventable deaths due to cardiovascular conditions and<br />

their complications.<br />

Treating hypertension<br />

requires adopting<br />

healthy lifestyle<br />

behaviours such as;<br />

• <strong>Healthy</strong> eating<br />

• Physical activity<br />

• Not smoking and<br />

• Learning to manage<br />

stress.<br />

Graph 5: Incidence of Hypertension by Age<br />

Source: Huron Perth Public Health<br />

700<br />

600<br />

Number of New Cases<br />

500<br />

400<br />

300<br />

200<br />

100<br />

0<br />

2010 2011 20<strong>12</strong> 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019<br />

Year<br />

20-44 45-64 65-74 75+<br />


The Ontario Ministry of Education promotes<br />

eating well by including mandatory curriculum<br />

teaching on how to shop and prepare food.<br />

Page 15 A <strong>Healthy</strong> Well-Being

Vaping Has Increased in Youth<br />

In Perth-Huron, 10% of youth are current smokers and 31% have<br />

not smoked but are susceptible to begin in the future. Meanwhile,<br />

underage drinking increases the risk of heavy consumption of alcohol<br />

in adulthood. 28 Among local youth, 24% reported binge drinking in<br />

the past month. Smoking and alcohol consumption were exacerbated<br />

by the COVID-19 pandemic as 21% reported their alcohol intake<br />

increased due to the pandemic and 14% reported their vaping use<br />

increased. In the case of vaping, 26% of youth indicated they vaped in<br />

the last 30 days. 29<br />

The best prevention measures often have nothing to do with<br />

substance use.<br />

Efforts to improve overall youth health and well-being and reduce<br />

social and health inequities can go a long way toward minimizing the<br />

risk of substance-related harms. These include healthy relationships,<br />

community connections, access to high-quality education and a safe<br />

community and school environment. 30<br />

Policy actions can be used to reduce the availability of substances<br />

and shift social norms.<br />


The municipal government ban non-tobacco<br />

flavoured vaping products (”vape”) and restrict<br />

advertising and promotion.<br />

All levels of government, along with workplaces,<br />

create smoke-free and vape-free spaces.<br />

Community and government-funded organizations<br />

ensure there are vaping cessation support<br />

programs for youth and adults.<br />

Governments, academics, and public health<br />

officials should continue studying public health<br />

measures to reduce risky behaviour in youth,<br />

including harm reduction or further restricting or<br />

banning products which disproportionately appeal<br />

to youth.<br />

Page 17 A <strong>Healthy</strong> Well-Being

Graph 6: Risky Behaviours in Youth (%)<br />

Source: COMPASS<br />

40%<br />

35%<br />

30%<br />

Percentage<br />

25%<br />

20%<br />

15%<br />

10%<br />

5%<br />

0%<br />

20<strong>12</strong>-13 2019-20 2020-2021<br />

Year<br />

Binge Drinking Vaping Cannabis

Opioid-Related Emergency Department Visits<br />

and Deaths Have Risen<br />

Opioids include drugs like codeine, fentanyl, morphine and heroin. They<br />

are potent drugs and in a medical context they are primarily used to<br />

treat pain. However, they are often illegally produced and obtained for<br />

recreation and self-medication. Fentanyl (and drugs similar to fentanyl)<br />

is the most common opioid in unregulated drug supplies in Canada.<br />

The prevalence of fentanyl is a major driver of the opioid crisis due to<br />

its very high potency, which significantly increases the risk of overdose<br />

(opioid toxicity) and death. The opioid crisis impacts individuals and<br />

communities. 31 The following chart displays rates of opioid-related<br />

emergency department visits and deaths in Huron and Perth. 32<br />

The emergency department visits shown within the chart don’t<br />

show the true impact of overdose events in the community<br />

as many individuals aren’t seen in an emergency room. Front<br />

line service providers such as EMS, police, fire fighters, along<br />

with community members, are reversing overdoses by giving<br />

naloxone. This may not be recorded in emergency department<br />

visits. Opioids aren’t the only substance impacting quality of life for<br />

Perth-Huron residents; methamphetamine, cocaine, alcohol and<br />

cannabis are frequently used substances. In addition, sedatives (such<br />

as benzodiazepines) and xylazines (animal tranquilizer) are further<br />

contaminating the unregulated drug supply and increasing the toxicity<br />

of drugs and causing death.<br />

Graph 7: Rate (per 100,000) of Opioid-Related Emergency Department Vists and Deaths<br />

Source: Public Health Ontario<br />

60<br />

50<br />

40<br />

30<br />

20<br />

10<br />

0<br />

2011 20<strong>12</strong> 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021<br />

Rate of Deaths Rate of ED Visits Linear (Rate of Deaths) Linear (Rate of ED Visits)<br />

Page 19 A <strong>Healthy</strong> Well-Being


Education level is a significant predictor of quality of life.<br />

Investments in education bring social returns to individuals and<br />

society and reduce income inequality. More highly educated<br />

people are healthier, more active socially and better paid.<br />

Knowledge spillovers from education generate social benefits<br />

such as reduction in crime, improved health outcomes and<br />

intergenerational effects. 33 Level of education also predicts<br />

democratic participation and education for future generations.<br />

Perth-Huron Has Fewer Residents With Bachelor’s Degrees<br />

or Higher, But Higher Than Province For Apprenticeship,<br />

College or CEGEP Certificates or Diplomas<br />

The following table displays the highest level of education people aged 25 to<br />

64 in Perth and Huron have achieved. Compared to the province, a greater<br />

percentage of people in Perth and Huron do not have a high school diploma,<br />

and a greater proportion of people who obtain a high school diploma and<br />

do not pursue further education. The most notable difference is the smaller<br />

proportion of residents with bachelor’s degrees, or higher in Perth-Huron<br />

as compared to the province. Career opportunities and the local workforce<br />

demand for skills align well with education and training in the skilled trades. 34<br />

Graph 7: Highest Education in Perth, Huron, and Ontario<br />

Source: Statistics Canada. <strong>2023</strong>. (table). Census Profile. 2021 Census of Population.<br />

40%<br />

35%<br />

30%<br />

25%<br />

20%<br />

15%<br />

10%<br />

5%<br />

0%<br />

Perth Huron Ontario<br />

No certificate, diploma or degree<br />

High (secondary) school diploma or equivalency certificate<br />

Non-apprenticeship trades certificate or diploma<br />

Apprenticeship certificate<br />

College, CEGEP or other non-university certificate or diploma<br />

Bachelor's degree or higher<br />

Page 21 A <strong>Healthy</strong> Well-Being

Perth-Huron High School Graduation<br />

Rates are Close to Provincial Rates<br />

To graduate with an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD),<br />

students are required to complete 30 credits, successfully pass a<br />

literacy requirement (for instance, the Ontario Secondary School<br />

Literacy Test) and complete 40 community volunteer hours. Ontario<br />

students who have 16 or more credits at the end of Grade 10 are on<br />

track to graduate with their peers in four years. At the end of the 2019-<br />

20 school year, 78% of Grade 10 students in the Avon Maitland District<br />

School Board (AMDSB) had 16 or more credits (compared to 81% in<br />

Ontario). As of 2021, 86% of AMDSB students graduated in five years or<br />

less and 94% of HPCDSB (Huron Perth Catholic District School Board)<br />

students (compared to 89% in Ontario). 35<br />

Social factors, such as family income and educational achievement<br />

levels of parents, increase the symptoms of academic risk for children,<br />

such as absenteeism and poor grades. Early literacy skills affect wellbeing<br />

in general and academic performance in particular. The best<br />

approach to increasing early literacy may be through income supports<br />

for low income households, since early development rates rise with<br />

income and increased access to early childhood learning resources.<br />

94%<br />

of HPCDSB<br />

students graduate<br />

in five years or less<br />

86%<br />

of AMDSB students<br />

graduate in five<br />

years or less<br />

According to a 2021-2022 report from the AMDSB and numbers from<br />

the HPCDSB, these were the four-year graduation rates:<br />

Four-Year 20<strong>12</strong>/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19<br />

AMDSB<br />

HPCDSB<br />

68%<br />

89%<br />

71%<br />

91%<br />

71%<br />

89%<br />

73%<br />

88%<br />

79%<br />

9<strong>05</strong><br />

82%<br />

87%<br />

Ontario 80% 80% 81% 82% 82% N/A N/A<br />

Table 1: Graduation Rates<br />

Source: AMDSB; HPCDSB<br />

80%<br />

89%<br />

Unless otherwise stated, these results are for the cohort of students who entered<br />

Grade 9 in 2018-19 (and graduated in 2021-22 in a four-year completion).<br />

AMDSB and HPCDSB Compared to Provincial Standards<br />

Graduation rates are important indicators because people who do<br />

not attain a high school diploma are significantly disadvantaged<br />

throughout their lives. An approach targeting students at risk of<br />

not completing high school early on in their high school career<br />

is effective. Graduation coaches can provide support to students<br />

and ensure successful graduation.


Provincial government increase<br />

resources and implement sustainable<br />

funding for graduation coach roles.<br />

Indicators AMDSB Huron Perth CDSB<br />

Credit Accumulation by the<br />

End of Grade 10<br />

78% of students at the end<br />

of Grade 10 were on track to<br />

graduate<br />

88% of students at the end<br />

of Grade 10 were on track to<br />

graduate<br />

Progress in Credit<br />

Accumulation by the End of<br />

Grade 10 (2016–2019)<br />

1% decrease of who<br />

accumulated 16 or more credits<br />

at the end of Grade 10<br />

1% decrease of who accumulated<br />

16 or more credits at the end of<br />

Grade 10<br />

Credit Accumulation by the<br />

end of Grade 11<br />

79% of Grade 11 students were<br />

on track to graduate<br />

89% of Grade 11 students were<br />

on track to graduate<br />

Progress in Credit<br />

Accumulation by the End<br />

of Grade 11 (2016–2019)<br />

3% increase in students who<br />

were on track to graduate by<br />

the end of Grade 11<br />

No change in students who were<br />

on track to graduate by the end of<br />

Grade 11<br />

Four-Year Graduation Rate<br />

79.3% of students graduated<br />

within four years<br />

90.3% of students graduated<br />

within four years<br />

Five-Year Graduation Rate<br />

86.1% of students graduated<br />

within five years<br />

93.8% of students graduated<br />

within five years<br />

Progress in the Four-Year<br />

Graduation Rate (2016-2019)<br />

8.2% increase in four-year<br />

graduation rates<br />

1.9% increase in five-year<br />

graduation rates<br />

Progress in the Five-Year<br />

Graduation Rate (2016-2019)<br />

0.6% increase in five-year<br />

graduation rates<br />

0.3% increase in five-year<br />

graduation rates<br />

Table 2: Graduation Indicators<br />

Source: Ontario Ministry of Education<br />

Page 23 A <strong>Healthy</strong> Well-Being

Factors that Influence<br />

High School Graduation<br />

Low Family<br />

Income<br />

Low Educational<br />

Acheivement Levels<br />

of Parents<br />

Absenteeism<br />

& Poor Grades<br />

Increase<br />

risk of<br />

Increase<br />

risk of<br />

Less likely<br />

to graduate<br />

Source: Craig Riddell, Investing in human capital: Policy priorities for Canada 2018<br />

Ontario uses the EQAO (Education Quality and Accountability<br />

Office) — an independent Crown agency operating at<br />

arm’s length from government — to review the quality and<br />

effectiveness of public education in the province. EQAO<br />

testing is meant to compare large groups of students from<br />

many different communities and cultures and provides broad<br />

information that can be used at a macro level to improve<br />

the education system. Unfortunately, EQAO results are often<br />

misused to compare and rank schools or as a measure of<br />

success and when that is not their purpose.<br />

The current EQAO testing is limited to reading, writing and<br />

math, but today’s education goes far beyond this and includes<br />

problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity. School boards,<br />

schools, teachers, and parents need to be able to understand<br />

how students are developing the whole spectrum of skills<br />

and knowledge needed to thrive to thrive personally and<br />

professionally. 36 The provincial government use a broader<br />


assessment strategy which includes transferrable<br />

skills and competencies that are already part of the<br />

curriculum to better reflect and track the full scope<br />

of learning.

than Indigenous men.<br />


Research shows that people who report a strong sense of<br />

community belonging are happier and less lonely, have a greater<br />

sense of safety and security, and are more likely to be involved<br />

in their community and volunteer. 37<br />

Huron-Perth Centre<br />

provides free services to<br />

support the mental health<br />

of children and youth.<br />

hpcentre.on.ca<br />

77%+<br />

reported feeling<br />

either a very strong<br />

or somewhat strong<br />

sense of belonging.<br />

Connectedness<br />

Majority of students feel happy to be at their school<br />

School environment has a big impact on the experience<br />

students and staff have. A positive environment can promote<br />

good mental health, higher self-esteem and improve<br />

performance. In Perth and Huron, 86% of students feel that they<br />

are treated fairly by their teachers, while 66% feel close to the<br />

people at their school, 62% feel they are a part of their school<br />

and 68% feel happy to be at their school. 38<br />

Most people report a strong sense of belonging<br />

In Perth-Huron, the majority of residents reported feeling a<br />

strong sense of belonging in their local communities. In Perth,<br />

77% reported feeling either a very strong or somewhat strong<br />

sense of belonging. In Huron, 80% of people felt this way. 39<br />

A socially connected community is a place where everyone feels<br />

they belong. It’s a place where people know their neighbours<br />

and are motivated to get involved, build relationships and<br />

contribute to the creation of strong social networks.<br />


Municipal government and community organizations<br />

work with community members to identify opportunities<br />

to improve social infrastructure such as parks, libraries<br />

and recreation centres.<br />

Page 25 A <strong>Healthy</strong> Well-Being


Civic engagement means involvement in social and political life.<br />

It shows how people participate in activities that benefit their<br />

communities more broadly.<br />

CIVIX<br />

civix.ca/home/<br />

Municipal Voter Turnout is Low Overall,<br />

Higher in Huron<br />

The next chart displays voter turnout in the last three municipal<br />

elections and numbers are broken down by municipality in each<br />

county. Generally, voter turnout in Huron is higher than in both<br />

Perth and the province. With a few exceptions in some of our<br />

municipalities, municipal voter turnout has declined.<br />

Voter turnout across Canada is low, including in Perth-Huron.<br />

Programs to increase civic engagement/voter turnout should<br />

be enhanced with particular consideration given to children,<br />

youth and young adults. Many young children first learn about<br />

elections by entering the voting booth with their parents.<br />

Programs should focus on getting young people to vote for the<br />

first time since people who vote in the first election after they<br />

turn 18 are likely to vote again. 40<br />


All levels of government ensure polling stations offer<br />

learning opportunities for children (such as activity<br />

pages about voting) to increase awareness among<br />

future voters.<br />

MPs, MPPs, schools and libraries should collaborate,<br />

engage and excite children about the electoral<br />

process during election periods. Schools, libraries<br />

and other community spaces could collaborate with<br />

organizations such as CIVIX to host mock elections/<br />

polls and other fun programs for children and youth to<br />

educate them about voting.<br />

Federal and provincial voter registration websites<br />

should include resources for young voters to increase<br />

engagement. This could include things such as short<br />

video clips of their peers explaining why voting is<br />

important.<br />

Page 27 A <strong>Healthy</strong> Well-Being

Graph 8: Voter Turnout (%) by Municipality<br />

Source: Individual municipalities<br />

St. Marys<br />

Stratford<br />

West Perth<br />

Perth East<br />

Perth South<br />

North Perth<br />

Howick<br />

Bluewater<br />

Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh<br />

Central Huron<br />

Goderich<br />


Morris-Turnberry<br />

Huron East<br />

South Huron<br />

North Huron<br />

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70%<br />

Page 28 A <strong>Healthy</strong> Well-Being<br />

2022 2018 2014

Most Municipal Candidates Are Male,<br />

Huron Saw More Female Candidates Than Perth<br />

Political leadership has considerable influence on well-being.<br />

Political candidates and leaders should represent a diversity of<br />

residents. A diversity in representation helps create a culture<br />

that nurtures civic engagement. In general, most candidates<br />

for local office are male, especially in Perth County. In the last<br />

municipal election, Huron saw more female candidates than<br />

Perth. The following charts display this data. 41<br />

Graph 9: Female Candidates in Huron & Perth 2022 Municipal Elections<br />

Source: AMO<br />

Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh<br />

Bluewater<br />

Central Huron<br />

Goderich<br />

Howick<br />

Huron East<br />

Morris-Turnberry<br />

North Huron<br />

South Huron<br />

North Perth<br />

Perth East<br />

Perth South<br />

St Marys<br />


Stratford<br />

West Perth<br />

0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50%

Four municipalities (South Huron, Central Huron, Goderich and North<br />

Huron) in Huron and two municipalities (Perth East and North Perth) in<br />

Perth had more female candidates in the 2022 elections than in 2018. In<br />

Goderich, the percentage of female candidates increased from below<br />

20% to almost 40%. A grassroots movement in Goderich, Engaged<br />

Women of Huron, began in 2019 to address the low numbers of women<br />

running in elections. The group may have contributed to the increase in<br />

females running and elected in the 2022 Huron municipal elections.<br />

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) offers a Canadian<br />

Women in Local Leadership (CanWILL) program to foster diversity and<br />

gender parity on municipal councils. This three-year project, funded by<br />

the federal government, will end in 2024. CanWILL funds local partners<br />

to help women run for local government leadership, with a focus<br />

on under-represented groups like racialized, young and LGBTQ2S+<br />

community members.<br />


The federal government should continue funding<br />

programs to increase women’s participation in municipal<br />

leadership.<br />

Grassroots organizations in Perth-Huron should seek<br />

funding to support more diverse candidates.

Volunteering can be a<br />

way to combat loneliness<br />

or isolation and build<br />

community connections.<br />

Visit United Way<br />

(perthhuron.unitedway.ca/<br />

get-involved/volunteer) to<br />

learn about volunteering<br />

in Perth-Huron.<br />

Most People Volunteer For at Least One<br />

Organization<br />

Volunteering enriches lives by providing opportunities to<br />

socialize, develop skills, give back to others and contribute to the<br />

local economy.<br />

Most volunteers participated in school or community groups (16%<br />

in Perth and 17% in Huron), religious groups (14% in Perth and<br />

13% in Huron), cultural or educational groups (14% in Perth and<br />

13% in Huron) and sports or recreational groups (20% in Perth<br />

and 21% in Huron). 42<br />

In Perth, 46% of people who volunteer do so at least once a week.<br />

In Huron, 43% do so. Most people who volunteer do it more than<br />

five hours a month (63% in Perth and 65% in Huron). 43<br />

None 1 2 3 4 5 or more<br />

Perth 37% 30% 14% 13% 3% 3%<br />

Huron 33% 31% 15% 15% 4% 3%<br />

Table 3: Number of Agencies Individuals Volunteer With<br />

Source: Environics Analytics<br />

Human rights as defined by<br />

the United Nations Human<br />

Rights Council (UNHRC) are<br />

universal rights that we have<br />

because we exist. They are<br />

inherent to our humanity.<br />

Perth-Huron Residents Trust Their Neighbours<br />

More Than Ontario in General<br />

Residents are evenly split in their general trust of people. In<br />

Perth, 46% of residents believe most people can be trusted and<br />

47% in Huron believe the same. However, most people believe<br />

others in their neighbourhoods can be trusted. On a sliding<br />

scale of one (cannot be trusted at all) to five (can be trusted<br />

a lot), most people chose three to five (moderate to high) for<br />

people in their neighbourhoods. Similar results can be seen for<br />

trust in local merchants and business people. 44

Most People Think Values Are Shared<br />

to a Great Extent in Canada<br />

Shared values are extremely important as they help people<br />

come together as a cohesive group. They guide how a society<br />

perceives and understands the world, and provide common<br />

ground for resolving disagreements and seeking justice.<br />

However, a strong sense of shared values might also be<br />

damaging if society stops working to maintain or reinforce them.<br />

If we take our values for granted, we might overlook injustice or<br />

ignore times when we fall short.<br />

In Perth, 93% of people think human rights are a shared value to<br />

a great or moderate extent in Canada. In Huron, 94% think so. In<br />

Perth, 92% think ethnic and cultural diversity is a shared value<br />

in Canada to a great or moderate extent, while 93% in Huron<br />

think the same. Gender equality is seen as a shared value to a<br />

great or moderate extent in Canada by 92% of people in Perth<br />

and 91% in Huron. 45

SAFETY<br />

Living in safe communities is essential for well-being and<br />

personal security is a large component. If people feel safe<br />

walking in the dark in their neighbourhoods and communities,<br />

this reflects personal safety.<br />

In our region we have the Huron Perth Helpline and Crisis<br />

Response Team. This is a 24-hour, mobile, in-person crisis<br />

service. The team of plainclothes officers and mental health<br />

professionals offers face-to-face assessment in homes, schools,<br />

doctor offices and hospital emergency departments. The service<br />

can effectively manage mental health crises and de-escalate<br />

situations.<br />

Most Residents Feel Safe in Their Community<br />

In Perth, almost 76% of survey respondents indicated they felt<br />

either “very safe” or “safe” in their local communities. People<br />

indicated the following would make them feel safer: a priority<br />

placed on crime prevention, addressing drug use and addiction<br />

prevalence, more proactive policing, protection against sex<br />

trafficking; addressing discrimination based on ageism,<br />

sexism, homophobia, and racism within the public and police<br />

organizations, efforts toward theft protection, and increased<br />

accountability and responsibility of police. 46<br />

In Huron, 75% of respondents indicated they were either<br />

“very satisfied” or “satisfied” with their personal safety in their<br />

community. Those who were not satisfied listed the following<br />

as initiatives that would make them feel safer: an in-town police<br />

force, restrictions or by-laws for short-term rentals and hotels,<br />

an educated and engaged community, mental health and<br />

substance use reports, drug enforcement, streetlights and alarm<br />

systems and more severe sentences for convicts. 47<br />

80%<br />

of people in Huron<br />

feel safe walking<br />

after dark<br />

54%<br />

of people in Perth<br />

feel safe walking<br />

after dark<br />

52%<br />

of people in Stratford<br />

feel safe walking after<br />

dark<br />


Service providers and community organizations<br />

work collaboratively to reduce the stigma related<br />

to mental health and addictions.<br />

Page 33 A <strong>Healthy</strong> Well-Being

Crime<br />

The incidence and severity of crime in a community influences<br />

its safety and the comfort of its population. The Crime<br />

Severity Index (CSI) measures how much crime the police are<br />

responding to and the severity of the crime. It measures the<br />

overall seriousness of crime by tracking the prevalence of crime<br />

and the seriousness of crimes committed. In the table below, any<br />

number below 55 is considered to be better than the provincial<br />

average over the past 11 years. 48<br />

20<strong>12</strong> 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021<br />

Perth 53.04 54.97 52.26 49.95 51.36 37.7 42.57 48.65 42.61 62.36<br />

Stratford 52.89 57.59 56.62 55.6 97.89 86.23 85.18 63.57 59.82 63.61<br />

Huron 68.92 54.71 67.45 47.44 46.92 85.16 81.53 78.98 65.54 76.88<br />

Table 3: Regional Crime Severity<br />

Source: Statistics Canada, Crime Severity Index.<br />

Most Students Feel Safe at School<br />

Overall, 82% of students report feeling safe at school. Bullying<br />

may or may not cause a person to feel physically unsafe. Forms<br />

of bullying include physical abuse, verbal abuse, exclusion<br />

or online harassment, and can cause long-term and serious<br />

damage. 49 In 2020-2021, 15% of high school students in the<br />

region reported being bullied in the past month: 11% were<br />

verbally attacked, 6% were victims of cyber-attacks and 2%<br />

were physically attacked. The most frequently reported cause<br />

of bullying is weight-based. In Ontario as a whole, 30% of<br />

students reported being cyberbullied at least once in the past<br />

year. 50 Youth who experience bullying are more likely to report<br />

getting detentions, suspensions and failing grades. They are also<br />

more likely to skip class and carry weapons. Bullying can have<br />

lifelong consequences and impact physical and mental health<br />

as well as future relationships. 51<br />

Kids Help Phone<br />


Road Safety Influenced by High Vehicle<br />

Use in a Rural Area<br />

The way towns are designed has a large influence on both<br />

road safety and well-being. In rural areas, people don’t have<br />

the option of public transportation. Large distances between<br />

communities don’t allow for active transportation and lead to a<br />

higher volume of road traffic.<br />

There are more collisions in Perth-Huron than across the<br />

province<br />

Overall, the incidence rate of motor vehicle collisions is higher<br />

in Perth-Huron than across Ontario. Traffic speed increases the<br />

risk of collisions and the severity of collisions.<br />

Graph 9: Number of New Emergency Department Visits for Motor Vehicle Collisions<br />

Source: Huron Perth Public Health<br />

1400<br />

<strong>12</strong>00<br />

1000<br />

800<br />

600<br />

400<br />

200<br />

0<br />

2011 20<strong>12</strong> 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020<br />


All levels of government continue working<br />

towards a Vision Zero and Safe Systems<br />

approach to road safety including safe<br />

speeds, road design, vehicles, land use<br />

planning as well as post-crash care.<br />

Vision Zero is an international<br />

evidence-based traffic strategy<br />

first implemented in Sweden in<br />

the 1990s. The goal is to ensure<br />

that mistakes do not result in a<br />

crash or if a crash does occur,<br />

that its effects are mitigated to<br />

prevent deaths or life-changing<br />

injuries. 52<br />

Page 35 A <strong>Healthy</strong> Well-Being

School Bus-Related Incidents Have Risen<br />

From 2019 to 2022, 81 school bus-related incidents were reported to Stratford Police, who also<br />

cover St. Marys and Perth South. This includes incidents where drivers pass a school bus with<br />

its lights flashing and stop-arm extended. Of these, 66 took place within Stratford. The following<br />

graph shows the incidents by year. On average, most incidents took place in October and the<br />

least took place in February and June. In 2022, however, the highest months were September and<br />

October and the lowest spanned January to March. Over the course of four years, the number of<br />

school bus incidents rose, with a jump of more than 10 incidents between 2021 and 2022.<br />

In Huron, there was a spike in incidents in 2019 with 14 reported. The most reported in that year<br />

occurred in April, May, June and September with three each month. All reported incidents in 2020<br />

and 2021 occurred in the fall. Reports show that school bus stop-arm cameras can reduce illegal<br />

or irresponsible passes by vehicles. In Suffolk County, New York, for example, there was a 60%<br />

reduction in incidents over five years. 53<br />

Graph 10: School Bus-Related Incidents<br />

Source: OPP and Stratford Police.<br />

30<br />

25<br />

20<br />

15<br />

10<br />

5<br />

0<br />

2019 2020 2021 2022<br />

Perth*<br />

Huron<br />


Federal and provincial governments consider<br />

funding the installation of school bus stop-arm<br />

cameras to enforce school bus-related infractions<br />

and collect better data on incidents.<br />

Community services raise awareness among<br />

drivers by increasing the number of public safety<br />

messages on local media around school bus<br />

safety rules prior to the start of the school year.

Additional Capacity is Needed to Stop Domestic<br />

and Sexual Violence<br />

The following table displays intimate partner violence numbers<br />

in Perth and Huron as reported by Stop VAW (Violence<br />

Against Women) and DART (Domestic Assault Review Team)<br />

respectively.<br />

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)<br />

includes violent offences that occur<br />

between current and former legally<br />

married spouses, common-law<br />

partners, boyfriends and girlfriends<br />

and other kinds of intimate partners.<br />

(as defined by Stats Canada). IPV is<br />

a prevalent form of gender-based<br />

violence.<br />

Perth<br />

2020<br />

Huron<br />

2020<br />

Perth<br />

2021<br />

Huron<br />

2021<br />

Perth<br />

2022<br />

Huron<br />

2022<br />

Police intimate partner violence calls 726 658 940 617 564 423<br />

Intimate partner violence charges 276 225 168 168 218 74<br />

Table 3: Reported Intimate Violence Occurances<br />

Source: Stop VAW and DART.<br />

While intimate partner violence calls appear to be declining,<br />

information from our women’s shelters and second stage<br />

housing providers indicates there has been an increase<br />

in the acuity and complexity of gender-based violence<br />

cases. The lack of shelter space means hundreds of women<br />

have been unable to stay in emergency shelters. Instead, they<br />

are supported in finding alternatives and sometimes referred to<br />

another county. The lack of shelter space is exacerbated by the<br />

lack of affordable housing for women and families to transition<br />

into, thus increasing stays in shelters and second stage housing.<br />

Also, because Perth-Huron does not have a sexual assault<br />

centre, there is additional demand for services offered by<br />

shelters.<br />

Femicide is becoming an increasingly critical issue since the<br />

COVID-19 pandemic, with one woman or girl dying every<br />

two days in Canada. 54 In Perth, the numbers are relatively low,<br />

with the last femicide taking place in 20<strong>12</strong>. In Huron, however,<br />

the numbers are more concerning.<br />

1 woman dies<br />

every two days<br />

in Canada<br />

Femicide is defined as the<br />

intentional killing of females,<br />

primarily by men, because<br />

they are female. Femicide risk<br />

is increased by other social<br />

identities such sexual orientation,<br />

ethnicity and Indigeneity.<br />

(Canadian Femicide Observatory<br />

for Justice and Accountability)<br />

2004 2007 2008 2010 2014 2018 2020 2021 2022 Totals<br />

Homicide 1 1 2 1 5<br />

Attempt Murder 1 1 1 1 1 1 6<br />

Table 3: Reported Intimate Violence Occurances in Huron<br />

Source: OPP<br />

Page 37 A <strong>Healthy</strong> Well-Being


The province should improve educational curricula<br />

around healthy relationships, gender expression, what<br />

constitutes violence, risk factors and warning signs,<br />

particularly to reach youth early in life.<br />

Provincial and municipal governments should<br />

acknowledge the gravity of IPV by providing sustainable<br />

funding for advocacy, education and coordination of<br />

gender-based violence services, and among systems<br />

that survivors frequently interact with, especially health<br />

and justice. This coordinated, advocate-based approach<br />

would better support the needs of gender-based<br />

violence survivors and strengthen the identification of<br />

at-risk individuals. 55<br />

The 2015 murders of three Ontario women in Renfrew County were followed<br />

by 86 recommendations made by the jury to prevent IPV, called The Renfrew<br />

Recommendations. Amongst the 86 recommendations is a call for the public to learn<br />

about risk factors and warning signs of IPV. Neighbours, Friends and Families training<br />

provides information on how to support anyone who is concerned about IPV. Visit<br />


Most Indigenous Residents, Immigrants<br />

and Visible Minorities Have Faced Recent<br />

Discrimination<br />

According to the 2021 report on discrimination by the Huron<br />

County Immigration Partnership, Indigenous peoples are the<br />

most likely to experience discrimination in Perth and Huron,<br />

followed by Immigrants and visible minorities. In the three<br />

years prior to the survey, 81% of Indigenous people, 68% of<br />

immigrants and visible minorities, and 49% of white people<br />

who are not immigrants reported experiencing discrimination.<br />

When looking at immigrants and visible minorities, Black people<br />

(86%) reported experiencing discrimination more than other<br />

ethnicities.<br />

For immigrants and visible minorities, discrimination was<br />

experienced when applying for a job or promotion (43%), at<br />

work (42%), in a store, bank or restaurant (38%) and while<br />

using public areas such as parks (35%). For Indigenous people,<br />

discrimination was experienced while using libraries, community<br />

centres and arenas (61%), when attending school or classes<br />

(61%), while using public areas such as parks (60%) and when<br />

participation in clubs, meetings or organizations (55%). White<br />

non-immigrants experienced discrimination when applying for<br />

a job or promotion (28%), at their jobs (24%), in a store, bank<br />

or restaurant (22%) and while using public areas such as parks<br />

(21%).<br />

Immigrants and visible minorities were most likely to report<br />

experiencing discrimination based on race or skin colour (48%),<br />

ethnicity or culture (36%) and status as an immigrant (36%).<br />

Indigenous people reported experiencing discrimination based<br />

on Indigenous identity (42%), ethnicity or culture (34%), and<br />

race or skin colour (32%). White non-immigrants reported<br />

experiencing discrimination based on gender (37%), physical<br />

appearance (33%) and age (30%).<br />

In terms of specific types of discrimination experienced,<br />

inappropriate jokes and derogatory language were most<br />

frequently mentioned by all three groups, followed by verbal<br />

abuse and threat. Indigenous people also reported experiencing<br />

physical threat. These findings suggest anti-discrimination<br />

initiatives in Perth-Huron would do well to specifically target<br />

these forms of discrimination, especially since inappropriate<br />

jokes and derogatory language might be discounted as trivial.<br />

Percentage of<br />

Respondents<br />

Who Experienced<br />

Discrimination in the past<br />

three years (2018-2021)<br />

69%<br />

Immigrants &<br />

Visible Minorities<br />

81%<br />

Indigenous<br />

Peoples<br />

49%<br />

White Non-<br />

Immigrants<br />

Page 39 A <strong>Healthy</strong> Well-Being

Factors Increasing Likelihood of Discrimination in Perth and Huron<br />

People who have full-time/<br />

self-employed status<br />

People aged 18–35<br />

People whose highest<br />

level of education was<br />

secondary school or lower<br />

People living in the region<br />

for less than 10 years<br />


Municipal leadership in Perth-Huron, in partnership with other<br />

municipalities and regional community services, support the<br />

development of a discrimination reporting and referral tool geared<br />

towards recording and reporting accounts of discrimination, as well as<br />

directing people affected by discrimination to community resources and<br />

supports.<br />

Workplaces, local government, non-profits and community organizations<br />

should engage in diversity education and training focused on reducing<br />

and preventing discrimination, with an emphasis on countering<br />

stereotypes, encouraging perspective-taking and finding common<br />

ground. 56<br />

Community Safety and Well-Being (CSWB) Plans convene local service<br />

providers and municipalities to work across sectors and organizations to<br />

improve the safety and well-being of their communities. The provincial<br />

government has shown leadership in mandating CSWB Plans but they<br />

did not supply the funding to implement local strategies to ensure safe,<br />

healthy, equitable and connected communities in Perth and Huron.<br />

The provincial government funds the implementation of Community<br />

Safety and Well-Being Plans. Persistent and complex issues in the<br />

community, such as high rates of discrimination, gender-based violence,<br />

opioid use and rising youth mental health challenges, could be tackled<br />

more effectively by CSWB leadership with dedicated funding.

Recommendation<br />

Individual /<br />

Community<br />

Organizations<br />

& Businesses<br />

Municipal<br />

Gov.<br />

Provincial<br />

/Federal<br />

Gov.<br />

1<br />

2<br />

3<br />

4<br />

5<br />

6<br />

7<br />

8<br />

9<br />

Individuals, community organizations, the education<br />

sector and other relevant partners find solutions<br />

related to decreasing recreational screen time for<br />

youth. (p.8)<br />

Service clubs, non-profits and municipalities<br />

continue and expand funding of free recreational<br />

programs, particularly for youth, increasing barrierfree<br />

opportunities for activity and social interaction.<br />

(p.10)<br />

Municipal governments address declining physical<br />

activity levels through supporting the inclusion of<br />

active modes of transportation in infrastructure plans.<br />

(p.10)<br />

Municipal governments use an equity and inclusion<br />

lens when designing new parks to enable physical<br />

activity opportunities for children and youth of all<br />

abilities, in addition to providing a gathering space<br />

for the entire community. (p.10)<br />

Libraries across Perth-Huron continue supporting<br />

and expanding lending programs including passes<br />

and equipment to access parks and recreational<br />

opportunities. (p.10)<br />

The Ontario Ministry of Education promote eating<br />

well by including mandatory curriculum teaching<br />

how to shop and prepare food. (p.15)<br />

Provincial governments work in collaboration<br />

with community partners to implement policies<br />

that strengthen alcohol regulations and introduce<br />

mandatory labelling. (p.<strong>12</strong>)<br />

The municipal government ban non-tobacco<br />

flavoured vaping products (”vape”) and restrict<br />

advertising and promotion. (p.17)<br />

All levels of government, along with workplaces,<br />

create smoke-free and vape-free spaces. (p.17)<br />

Page 41 A <strong>Healthy</strong> Well-Being

Recommendation<br />

Individual /<br />

Community<br />

Organizations<br />

& Businesses<br />

Municipal<br />

Gov.<br />

Provincial<br />

/Federal<br />

Gov.<br />

10<br />

11<br />

<strong>12</strong><br />

13<br />

14<br />

15<br />

16<br />

17<br />

18<br />

19<br />

Community and government-funded organizations<br />

ensure there are vaping cessation programs for<br />

youth and adults. (p.17)<br />

Governments, academics and public health officials<br />

continue studying public health measures to reduce<br />

risky behaviour in youth, including harm reduction<br />

and further restricting or banning products which<br />

disproportionately appeal to youth. (p.17)<br />

The provincial government increases resources and<br />

implements sustainable funding for graduation coach<br />

roles. (p.23)<br />

The provincial government uses a broader<br />

assessment strategy including transferrable skills<br />

and competencies that are already part of the<br />

curriculum to better reflect and track the full scope of<br />

learning. (p.24)<br />

Municipal government and community organizations<br />

work with community members to identify<br />

opportunities to enhance social infrastructure such<br />

as parks, libraries and recreation centres. (p.25)<br />

All levels of government ensure polling stations<br />

offer learning opportunities for children to increase<br />

awareness among future voters. (p.27)<br />

MPs, MPPs, schools and libraries collaborate, engage<br />

and excite children about the electoral process<br />

during election periods. (p.27)<br />

Federal and provincial voter registration websites<br />

should include resources for young voters to increase<br />

engagement. (p.27)<br />

The federal government should continue funding<br />

programs to increase women’s participation in<br />

municipal leadership. (p.30)<br />

Grassroots organizations in Perth-Huron should seek<br />

funding to support more diverse candidates. (p.30)

Recommendation<br />

Individual /<br />

Community<br />

Organizations<br />

& Businesses<br />

Municipal<br />

Gov.<br />

Provincial<br />

/Federal<br />

Gov.<br />

20<br />

21<br />

22<br />

23<br />

24<br />

25<br />

26<br />

27<br />

28<br />

Service providers and community organizations work<br />

collaboratively to reduce the stigma related to mental<br />

health and addictions. (p.33)<br />

Federal and provincial governments consider funding<br />

the installation of school bus stop-arm cameras to<br />

enforce school-bus-related infractions and collect<br />

better data on incidents. (p.36)<br />

Community services raise awareness among drivers<br />

by increasing the number of public safety messages<br />

on local media around school bus safety rules prior<br />

to the start of the school year. (p.36)<br />

All levels of government continue working towards<br />

a Vision Zero and Safe Systems approach to road<br />

safety including safe speeds, road design, vehicles,<br />

land use planning as well as post-crash care. (p.35)<br />

Province should improve educational curricula<br />

around healthy relationships, gender expression,<br />

what constitutes violence, risk factors and warning<br />

signs, particularly to reach youth early in life. (p.38)<br />

Provincial and municipal governments should<br />

provide sustainable funding for advocacy, education<br />

and coordination of VAW services, and among<br />

systems that survivors frequently interact with. (p.38)<br />

Municipal leadership in Perth-Huron, in<br />

partnership with other municipalities and regional<br />

community services, support the development of<br />

a discrimination reporting and referral tool geared<br />

towards recording and reporting accounts of<br />

discrimination, as well as directing people affected by<br />

discrimination to community resources and supports.<br />

(p.40)<br />

Workplaces, local government, non-profits, and<br />

community organizations engage in diversity<br />

education and training focused on reducing and<br />

preventing discrimination, with an emphasis on<br />

countering stereotypes, encouraging perspectivetaking<br />

and finding common ground. (p.40)<br />

The provincial government funds the implementation<br />

of Community Safety and Well-Being Plans. (p.40)<br />

Page 43 A <strong>Healthy</strong> Well-Being

Additional Resources<br />

Findings from the 2021 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey<br />

Library Special Collections and Lending Programs in Perth-Huron<br />

North Perth Public Library<br />

Stratford Public Library<br />

West Perth Public Library<br />

Perth East Public Library<br />

St. Marys Public Library<br />

Huron County Library<br />

Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol and Health<br />

CIVIX Canada<br />

AMDSB Anonymous Reporting Tool<br />

211 Ontario<br />

Vision Zero<br />

Western University’s Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children<br />

Discrimination Experienced by Immigrants, Visible Minorities, and Indigenous Peoples in Huron-Perth<br />

About the SRPC<br />

The Social Research & Planning Council (SRPC), operated by United Way Perth-<br />

Huron, is comprised of community representatives who are dedicated to the collection,<br />

analysis and distribution of information relating to social trends and issues in Perth and<br />

Huron Counties. The SRPC approaches its work in two ways:<br />

1. Commissioning research into specific social issues.<br />

2. Developing recommendations for community improvement based on local findings<br />

and working collaboratively with community members to implement change.

References<br />

1 Environics. Community Life. 2021<br />

2 Lombardo, P., Jones, W., Wang, L., Shen, X., &amp; Goldner, E. M. (2018, March <strong>12</strong>). The fundamental<br />

association between Mental Health and Life Satisfaction: Results from successive waves of a canadian<br />

national survey - BMC public health. BioMed Central. https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/<br />

articles/10.1186/s<strong>12</strong>889-018-5235-x<br />

3 Leatherdale, Scott (2021). COMPASS. University of Waterloo<br />

4 Leatherdale, Scott (2021). COMPASS. University of Waterloo<br />

5 The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health | Camh. (n.d.). https://www.camh.ca/-/media/files/pdf---<br />

osduhs/2021-osduhs-report-summary-pdf.pdf<br />

6 Huron Perth Centre<br />

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8 The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health | Camh. (n.d.). https://www.camh.ca/-/media/files/pdf---<br />

osduhs/2021-osduhs-report-summary-pdf.pdf<br />

9 Environics. Community Life. 2021<br />

10 Environics. Community Life. 2021<br />

11 Statistics Canada<br />

<strong>12</strong> Environics. Community Life. 2021<br />

13 https://csepguidelines.ca/guidelines/adults-18-64/<br />

14 COMPASS<br />

15 Environics. Community Life. 2021<br />

16 Environics. Community Life. 2021<br />

17 Leatherdale, Scott (2021). COMPASS. University of Waterloo<br />

18 https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.<strong>2023</strong>.1101594/full --MISSING HYPERLINK<br />

19 Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), 2016 - 2018, 2020<br />

20 Canadian Health Survey<br />

21 (Chakrabarti and Shin, 2017; Mackett and Brown, 2011; Oh et al., 2018; Rissel et al., 20<strong>12</strong>;<br />

Wood Johnson, 2009).<br />

22 Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol and Health: Final Report (ccsa.ca)<br />

23 https://opha.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Alcohol-and-Social-Determinants-of-Health.<br />

pdf Alcohol-and-Social-Determinants-of-Health.pdf (opha.on.ca)<br />

24 Huron Perth Public Health<br />

25 The Burden of Chronic Diseases in Ontario (publichealthontario.ca)<br />

26 Huron Perth Public Health<br />

27 Huron Perth Public Health<br />

28 Leatherdale, Scott (2021). COMPASS. University of Waterloo<br />

29 Leatherdale, Scott (2021). COMPASS. University of Waterloo<br />

30 Blueprint for Action: Preventing substance-related harms among youth through a<br />

Comprehensive School Health approach - Canada.ca<br />

31 https://www.ccsa.ca/opioids<br />

32 https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/Data-and-Analysis/Substance-Use/Interactive-Opioid-

Tool<br />

33 Riddle, C. (2018, June 15). Investing in human capital: Policy priorities for Canada. IRPP.<br />

https://irpp.org/fr/research-studies/investing-in-human-capital/<br />

34 https://www<strong>12</strong>.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2021/dppd/prof/<br />

details/page.cfm?Lang=E&SearchText=huron&DGUIDlist=2021A00033531,<br />

2021A00033540&GENDERlist=1,2,3&STATISTIClist=1&HEADERlist=0#Note76<br />

35 https://www.app.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/bpr/allBoards.asp?chosenIndicator=11#:~:text=As%20of%20<br />

August%2031%2C%202021,per%20cent%20in%20four%20years.<br />

36 https://peopleforeducation.ca/new-approach-to-provincial-assement/<br />

37 https://uwaterloo.ca/canadian-index-wellbeing/what-we-do/domains-and-indicators/<br />

percentage-population-reports-very-or-somewhat-strong-sense<br />

38 Leatherdale, Scott (2021). COMPASS. University of Waterloo<br />

39 Environics. Community Life. 2021<br />

40 https://electionsanddemocracy.ca/canadas-elections/youth-voting-trends --MISSING<br />


41 AMO<br />

42 Environics. Community Life. 2021<br />

43 Environics. Community Life. 2021<br />

44 Environics. Community Life. 2021<br />

45 Environics. Community Life. 2021<br />

46 CSWB<br />

47 CSWB<br />

48 Crime severity index and weighted clearance rates, police services in Ontario (statcan.gc.ca)<br />

49 https://www.bullyingcanada.ca/what-should-parents-know-about-bullying<br />

50 https://www.camh.ca/-/media/files/pdf---osduhs/2021-osduhs-report-summary-pdf.pdf<br />

51 Leatherdale, Scott (2021). COMPASS. University of Waterloo<br />

52 https://pub-oxfordcounty.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=2918<br />

53 https://www.mychoice.ca/blog/do-school-buses-have-cameras-in-ontario/#:~:text=What%20are%20<br />

the%20laws%20regarding,a%20ticket%20in%20their%20mail.<br />

54 www.femicidein canada.ca<br />

55 https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/reports-publications/healthpromotion-chronic-disease-prevention-canada-research-policy-practice/vol-43-no-4-<strong>2023</strong>/<br />

recommendations-canada-national-action-plan-end-gender-based-violence-perspectives-leadersservice-providers-survivors-covid-19-pandemic.html#fn37violence-perspectives-leaders-serviceproviders-survivors-covid-19-pandemic.html#fn37—<br />

56 Huron County Immigration Partnership, Discrimination Experienced by Immigrants, Visible<br />

Minorities, and Indigenous Peoples in Huron-Perth, https://www.huroncounty.ca/wp-content/<br />

uploads/2021/11/2021-11-16-Report-Discrimination-Huron_Perth.pdf<br />

Page 46 A <strong>Healthy</strong> Well-Being


Areeba Ahmad<br />

Kristin Crane<br />

Will Wellington<br />


Chad Alberico<br />

DESIGN<br />

Sonya Heyen<br />



Fred Gonder<br />

Copyright © The Social Research & Planning<br />

Council <strong>2023</strong>. This work is copyrighted. It<br />

may be reproduced in whole or in part for<br />

educational use subject to the inclusion of an<br />

acknowledgement of the source.<br />

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