What People Are Saying

“This wonderful document, Social Determinants of Health: The Canadian Facts is about us, Canadian society, and what we need to put faces and voices to the inequities – and the health inequities in particular – that exist in our midst. Only when we see a concrete description of these complex and challenging problems, when we read about their various expressions in all the regions of the country and among the many sub-groups making up Canada, can we move to action.”
   – Hon. Monique Bégin, PC, FRSC, OC from the Foreword.
      (Member of WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health, and Former Minister
      of National Health & Welfare of Canada)

“Perhaps now more than ever, Canadians need a straightforward reminder of what is really important to health. The Canadian Facts reminds us that as we worry about the sustainability of the health care system, what we really need to focus on is how to keep people healthy in the first place. Investing in the underlying determinants of health and creating equal opportunities for all for health is fundamental to a prosperous and just society. Kudos to the authors for continuing to make readily accessible the up-to-date Canadian Facts underlying this critical message.”
    – Penny Sutcliffe, MD, MHSc, FRCPC, Medical Officer of Health/Chief
       Executive Officer, Public Health Sudbury & Districts

“Dennis Raphael, Toba Bryant, Juha Mikkonen and Alexander Raphael have created the go-to guide to social determinants of health in Canada. I consult it regularly, and consider it an essential tool for research, education, and advocacy.  I regularly recommend it to clinicians, students, policymakers, journalists and health system designers. It has been a game-changer, providing us with a simple, reliable guide to defining and understanding the social determinants of health.  This book should be the first off the shelf for anyone looking to reduce health inequities in Canada.”
    – Gary Bloch, Family Physician, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto; Associate
       Professor, University of Toronto

“The Canadian Facts Second Edition is a pivotal document, succinctly demonstrating the evidence of Canadian public policy makers’ staunch and persistent resistance to action on the social determinants of health. Canada is at a tipping point in terms of neoliberal public policy denial of the facts of worsening wealth inequality and the racialization and marginalization of poverty in our country. The Canadian Facts are the facts of social murder and structural violence laid bare for all of us, especially those with governance power, to wake up and take responsibility and action. The entire document is a call to action to decrease and halt injustices and name the beneficiaries of market-driven and morally bankrupt wealth accumulation in Canada—the hidden side of worsening inequality and its entirely avoidable consequences. The Canadian Facts demonstrates that other countries have successfully tackled wealth distribution for the collective and  compassionate good of all. We can too.”
    – Elizabeth McGibbon, Professor, St. Francis Xavier University

“Under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,
everyone has rights ‘to an adequate standard of living’ and ‘the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.’ Nonetheless, the evidence for comprehensive action on the social determinants of health is overwhelming. Like highly skilled trial lawyers, the authors have assembled this evidence, concisely, clearly and compellingly, into a single document. As a result, the prospect of realizing the rights that constitute an international standard for a decent human life is that much brighter. Bravo!”
    – Rob Rainer, Former Executive Director, Canada Without Poverty

“The Canadian Facts so succinctly described in this readable little book are not nice ones. But beneath the intersecting pathways by which social injustices become health inequalities lies the most sobering message: Things are getting worse. We have lived through three decades where the predatory greed of unregulated markets has allowed (and still allows) some to accumulate ever larger hordes of wealth and power while denying others a fair share of the resources they need to be healthy. This book is a fast-fact reference and an invitation for Canadian health workers to join with social movement activists elsewhere to reclaim for the public good some of these appropriated resources. “
    – Ronald Labonté, Professor and Distinguished Research Chair in Globalization
       and Health Equity, University of Ottawa

“With unusual clarity and insight, this informative resource will help change the way readers think about health. It renders visible how underlying social and economic environments influence health outcomes even more than personal behaviors, genetic profiles, or access to healthcare. Solutions, it reminds us, lie not in new medical advances or even ‘right choices,’ but in the political arena: struggling for the social changes that can provide every resident the opportunity to live a healthy and fulfilling life.”
    – Larry Adelman, creator and executive producer, Unnatural Causes: Is
       Inequality Making Us Sick?