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  • News
  • March 10, 2016

Men’s Health Awareness Week Gets All-Party Support

Beaches-East York MPP Arthur Potts’ Private Members Bill moves toward approval




MARCH 10, 2016


Today the MPP for Beaches-East York Arthur Potts’ Private Members Bill 170, An Act to proclaim the week immediately preceding the third Sunday in June as Men’s Health Awareness Week, was read for the second time. We are pleased to announce that it received all party support.

The purpose of Men’s Health Awareness Week is heighten understanding and awareness of preventable health problems, and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.

Men’s health is an integral component of population health. Men’s health doesn’t just affect men themselves. Ontario families, communities, businesses and society are all impacted by the state of men’s health.

June is a special and significant month for men and their families. With the third Sunday in June recognized internationally as Father’s Day, this week provides an opportunity for Ontario’s families, communities, and employers to proactively raise awareness around, and actively engage in, improving men’s health.

By proclaiming the week immediately preceding Father’s Day as Men’s Health Awareness Week in Ontario, the province recognizes the importance of attaining and maintaining positive health outcomes for men across the province.



“This is wonderful idea to move off “men should know better” to a more realistic and humane perception that men don’t know enough about their health which they take for granted and they die sooner than they need to. Harry Rosen has got us to be aware of prostate cancer. This will take us to a greater awareness of men’s issues. It has become a problem in the US with male middle age suicides increasing. For example instead of isolating and denying depression it will be liberating to acknowledge these issues without judgment and shame. There are so many other areas where we need a wake-up call.”

- Nigel Turner RP, Program Director for Anger Management and Domestic Abuse at Just for Today


"The Ontario Lung Association calls on all members of provincial parliament to support passage of the private member’s bill proposed by Arthur Potts, MPP (Beaches-East York) for an Act Proclaiming Men’s Health Awareness Week. Among the specific health challenges facing the men of our province is their persistently high incidence of tobacco use. Currently, 20 per cent of males 12 years and older smoke, compared to only 12 per cent of females. Because smoking is still the leading cause of preventable illness and death in our province, The Lung Association advocates for improved access to free smoking cessation programs for all Ontarians. "

- George Habib, President and CEO, Ontario Lung Association.


“Whereas the Ontario provincial government is proposing to declare the week immediately preceding the third Sunday in June as Men’s Health Awareness Week, Prostate Cancer Canada, the leading national organization dedicated to the elimination of the disease, offers its full support on behalf of the many Ontarians affected by the most common cancer in men.

One in eight Canadian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. In Ontario alone, there were an estimated 9,700 new cases of the disease in 2015. During the same timeframe, there were an estimated 1,600 deaths across the province.

A core message Prostate Cancer Canada wishes to impart on the citizens of Ontario during Men’s Health Awareness Week is that, when detected early, prostate cancer is over 90 per cent treatable. Men are encouraged to initiate a conversation with their doctor about their personal risk and getting a baseline prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test to measure for change over time. Of the utmost importance in the early detection of prostate cancer is diagnosing the disease prior to the onset of symptoms to greatly increase the likelihood of survival. When a diagnosis is made and the cancer is not at first deemed to be aggressive, active surveillance can be introduced to avoid over-treating the disease.”

Finally, Prostate Cancer Canada would use Men’s Health Awareness Week as a formal opportunity to thank Ontarians for their ongoing generosity and commitment. Without the dedicated donations of individuals and organizations, we could not have made the strides we have made toward improving the way we detect, treat, and care for those affected by prostate cancer. With millions of dollars already invested in researchers and institutions across Ontario, including the University Health Network, Western University, and McMaster, we are making great progress in each of these areas. With continued support, we will remain well positioned to build on our momentum and empower the best and brightest minds Ontario has to offer in the field of prostate cancer research to create a better tomorrow for men and their families. Men’s Health Awareness Week would provide a strong platform upon which to reinforce this message.”

- Rocco Rossi,  President and CEO of Prostate Cancer Canada


“The Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors commends MPP Potts for his unwavering commitment to the importance of men’s health awareness.  The proposed men’s health awareness week will serve as a reminder to our brothers, fathers, grandfathers, uncles, nephews, and male friends and colleagues of the importance of their health.  Naturopathic Medicine places a distinct focus on health and wellness, encouraging patient empowerment in healthcare.”

- Maggie Head, Senior Manager, Policy, Government and Media Relations


“By passing this Act the Ontario Government recognizes that men’s health is an important piece of the Family health puzzle. My goal to start a men’s health social movement will be given a significant lift with this important recognition. My thank you to MPP Arthur Potts and the members of the Ontario Legislature for being the 1st Province in Canada to take this important step.”

- Dr. Larry Goldenberg, Order of Canada recipient and Founder, Canadian Men’s Health Foundation


“This bill acknowledges that men are a key piece of the family health puzzle, and shows that the Ontario government is serious about supporting preventative healthcare initiatives.  Inspiring men with positive actions and gender based health messaging will help men become better fathers, partners, teammates, sons, friends, colleagues and leaders.”

Adam Kreek, Olympic Gold Medalist and Champion with the Canadian Men's Health Foundation



  • As it stands today, in comparison to women, men are 79% more likely to die from heart disease; 40% more likely to die from cancer; 57% more likely to die from type 2 diabetes; and 4 times more likely to commit suicide
  • Small changes can make a big difference as 70% of men’s health conditions are caused by unhealthy lifestyle behaviours that men can prevent
  • The results of poor mental health can be deadly. Globally, a man dies every minute from suicide. Men, regardless of age group, often don't recognize when they’re experiencing a mental health issue, and may not be comfortable asking for help. The uncomfortable truth is that some stereotypical forms of masculinity are killing men.
  • Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide, with more than 1.1 million cases recorded in 2012. Even when successful, treatment can take a toll on the physical and mental health of those affected. We should be working towards a day where no man dies of prostate cancer.
  • In most cases (better than 95%) a diagnosis of testicular cancer means established treatments and a good outcome. Unfortunately, there are a small proportion of men and boys who do not face that good outcome, and more needs to be done to support these men through diagnosis and treatment and into a long and healthy life after cancer.



For More Information Contact:


David Bellmore

Executive Assistant

Office of MPP Arthur Potts



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