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Health and environment at GC

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is committed to a healthy population. This extends to how we plan GC to enhance your experience and promote healthy, sustainable communities wherever we meet.

CMA Physician Health Logo


Healthy food


Personal health care


Jump-start your day in the nation’s capital! Join family, friends and colleagues for a walk/run through Ottawa, or join a yoga session on the grounds of Parliament Hill. It’s fun – and a great way to see Ottawa.

Walk the Doc
Westin Ottawa main lobby
Aug. 18-20, 6 am

Join the Canadian Physician Health Institute (CPHI), a national program of the CMA and CMF, for a healthy start to each conference day. Various route options are led by Academy of Medicine Ottawa and MD Physician Services (MDPS) representatives. Come and explore the scenic downtown area!

The first 100 participants receive a complimentary ‘Walk the Doc’ T-shirt courtesy of CPHI, and a water bottle courtesy of MDPS. Complimentary towels, water provided by Westin Ottawa.

Yoga on the Hill
Spouse/Companion Hospitality Centre
Westin Ottawa, Governor General Ballroom 1
Wed., Aug. 20, 11:30 am – 1 pm

Academy of Medicine Ottawa (AMO) invites spouses and companions to a free yoga session on the grounds of Parliament Hill. Bring a yoga mat or a towel, and meet Dawna Ramsay, AMO executive director, at the hospitality centre to walk to the Hill.

Participation is voluntary. You acknowledge that part of the risk involved in undertaking activities is relative to your own state of fitness or health (physical, mental or emotional), and the awareness, care and skill with which you conduct yourself in that activity. You acknowledge that choosing to participate in these activities brings with it an assumption by you of the risks associated with your participation.

Healthy food

Providing fresh, healthy, seasonal and local food

  • At GC, the CMA is using local ingredients from area producers (including Westin Ottawa’s rooftop gardens), wines from Niagara and Prince Edward County and organic produce such as eggs.
  • We require screening of all seafood to ensure it is caught or farmed sustainably, ensuring the long-term health and stability of species and ecosystems.
  • We have selected well-labeled, healthy menu options addressing dietary and allergy needs.


Reducing pollution

  • Ottawa Convention Centre is the only LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold convention centre in Canada. The Westin Ottawa is the first Starwood Hotel to have received Five Green Keys ratings from Green Key Global and the Hotel Association of Canada. The Fairmont Chateau Laurier has earned Four Green Keys for energy and water conservation, waste management and community outreach.
  • We’re minimizing landfill-destined waste by reducing onsite materials (more materials online), ensuring event discards are recycled, composted and donated, reducing signage and printing on recycled materials.
  • We will reduce air pollution by minimizing landfill use overall, and utilizing virtual technologies to reach broader CMA membership virtually (through webcasting, online polling and moderated chat room) to engage members without them needing to fly to attend GC.
  • Food for this event is sourced locally to reduce the carbon footprint from shipping.
  • Shuttles that conform to no-idling policies, thus reducing air pollution, are the conference mass transportation of choice.
  • We’ve selected venues and hotels that employ low-emitting construction and maintenance materials and green-certified cleaning products that purchase cleaner-burning green power.
  • Check out the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) booth to learn more about strategies to address climate change and its impact on human health.

Supporting programs that help vulnerable communities

  • At GC, we’re serving ethically sourced, certified organic coffee that complies with independently verified C.A.F.E. (Coffee and Farmer Equity) practices, including fair wages and hours of work, worker access to housing, potable water and sanitation, education, medical care and safety training.
  • Through the La Tablée des Chefs program Westin Ottawa, the Ottawa Convention Centre and CMA will recover unused nutritious prepared food for local shelters in Ottawa. In 2013, CMA influenced expansion of this program to three venues in Calgary.

Caring for our host community

  • We encourage GC visitors and participants to opt into hotel towel and sheet reuse programs; Westin Ottawa’s program saves 50 gallons of water per night and eliminates seven ounces of chemicals from the environment.
  • Choose Westin Ottawa’s Bullfrog-powered green energy guest room option.
  • Reduce personal waste by reusing paper onsite, and taking advantage of online documents. Bring and reuse a beverage container, and take part in onsite recycling and composting.
  • Take only the food you need, and if you attend events regularly ask organizers what they’re doing to recover leftover food.
  • Complete the GC evaluation to let us know what you think about our healthy, sustainable practices, and use hotel comment cards to tell hotels you support green guest room practices.

Personal health care

A bilingual walk-in clinic located 1.3 km (approximately 10 blocks/15-minute walk) from Westin Ottawa and the Ottawa Convention Centre will see out-of-province patients ($50 charge, reimbursed by your provincial/territorial health service).

Visit Rideau Friel Medical Clinic for clinic hours, or call 613-789-7707.

Walking map

Defibrillators are located on all floors of the OCC and the first floor lobby at the Westin Ottawa.