Province Releases Thrive!, Plan for Healthier Nova Scotia

Published by the Premier's Office and the Department of Health/Wellness

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The province is addressing childhood obesity and preventable chronic disease with a plan that focuses on healthy eating and physical activity. Premier Darrell Dexter and Health and Wellness Minister David Wilson released Thrive: a plan for a healthier Nova Scotia. The government-wide effort has 34 main points and $2.045-million in new funding for 2012-13.


For the first time, Nova Scotia has a plan that makes health a government-wide priority. Thrive! builds on the great work already underway across the province. It supports, shares and celebrates our successes -- and it calls upon government and its partners to show leadership. Premier Darrell Dexter

We all know that poor diet and physical inactivity are putting children, youth and families at risk for preventable health conditions and diseases. This plan lays out actions that we can take to reshape the places where we live, learn, work, commute and play. The choices we make are shaped by the choices we have. We want to make it easier for children, youth and families to be healthy. Health and Wellness Minister David Wilson

As a pediatric cardiologist, I see the impact unhealthy lifestyles have on youth and their health. If we want a healthier tomorrow for our children, the time to act is now. Dr. John Finley, president of Doctors Nova Scotia

This plan is about changing the way we live. Everyone must do their part to make Nova Scotia a place where children, families and all Nova Scotians can thrive. Premier Darrell Dexter

Quick Facts

  • Key actions in 2012-13 include:
    • consulting schools and school boards to determine what's needed to provide 30 minutes of quality daily physical education, and developing a plan and budget
    • designing new after-school programs to target junior high students living in rural and remote communities
    • expanding the Municipal Physical Activity Leadership program in municipalities and Mi'kmaq communities
    • providing new grants to community-based organizations that support breast feeding
    • supporting baby-friendly designation at hospital and community health facilities
    • developing a provincial active transportation policy and implementation plan
    • increasing food knowledge and skills and working with partners to develop a provincial food literacy plan
    • launching a new program to provide children, youth, and families with opportunities for free access to sport and recreation facilities
    • supporting healthy food policy in public institutions, including regulated child care and public schools, and, with partners, expand into health-care facilities, sport and recreation settings, and universities and colleges
  • In Nova Scotia, one-in-three youth, age 2 to 17, are overweight or obese and many more young people are at risk for a lifetime of health issues because of unhealthy lifestyles.
  • To develop Thrive! A plan for a healthier Nova Scotia, the province reviewed literature, best practices and activities across government, received advice from task teams and a scientific advisory panel and consulted interested groups and the public.

Learn More

Media Contacts

Annabel Bruce
Health and Wellness
Cell: 902-240-4640
Brooke Armstrong
Premier's Office
Cell: 902-499-8819


Participants in the Bear River First Nations YUM healthy eating program which teaches how to cook nutritional meals and make good food choices.
Download high-res version
Citadel High School students in Halifax head off to take part in a gardening program to grow vegetables.
Download high-res version
Two girls smile as they take part in Alta gymnastics' physical education program Tumblebugs for 3 to 5 year olds.
Download high-res version
Participants in Doctors Nova Scotia's Kids Run program learn how to properly stretch.
Download high-res version
A mother and son prepare to bike in Bridgewater as part of a healthy communities program.
Download high-res version
Dr. John Chiasson, chair of the Doctors Nova Scotia board of directors, readies for one of the groups numerous, and popular events in its run series.
Download high-res version
People spread through the Famers' Market for the Thrive! announcement.
Download high-res version
Premier Darrell Dexter announces the plan to curb childhood obesity.
Download high-res version
A rhythmic gymnastics groups performs at the announcement.
Download high-res version
Premier Darrell Dexter is scrummed after announcing Thrive! Will receive $2.045-million in new funding for 2012-13.
Download high-res version
Premier Darrell Dexter talks to members of the rhythmic gymnastic group that performed at the announcement.
Download high-res version


Thrive Launch at Seaport Farmer's Market
Minister Jennex talks about the Thrive! Campaign
Dr. John Finley, President of Doctors Nova Scotia speaks at the Thrive! Launch
Minister MacDonell speaks at the Thrive! launch in Halifax
Lisa Matte, Canadian Diabetes Assoc. talks about the Thrive! campaign
Minister Landry talks about the Thrive! Campaign


Premier Darrell Dexter says Thrive builds on successes and work already underway.
Premier Dexter joined several cabinet ministers in pledging to make the province a place where people can Thrive
Health and Wellness Minister David Wilson says we have to work together for the plan to be successful.
Doctors Nova Scotia president Dr. John Finley welcomes the plan because he see the effects of childhood obesity everyday.
Education Minister Ramona Jennex says we need to be more active and aware of what we eat.
Justice Minister Ross Landry says exercise gives him energy and makes him feel good.
Lisa Matte, Canadian Diabetes Association, says one of the more important pieces of the plan is that more than one government department is involved.