Inspired by our community to accelerate National Health and Fitness Bill

John Weston, M.P.
(West Vancouver – Sunshine Coast – Sea to Sky Country)
Sept. 29, 2014

Yesterday was a crowning moment for the effort to promote health and fitness in Canada.  MP’s of all parties joined together to commit themselves and their parties to appoint the first Saturday in June as National Health and Fitness Day.  The mover of the Bill in the Senate, Senator Nancy Greene Raine, Canada’s Top Female Athlete of the 20th Century, smiled from the Gallery in the House of Commons as I paid tribute yesterday to all the people in our community and across the country who have decided to reverse the trend of inactivity and make Canada the “Fittest Nation on Earth”.  As in the case of my previous Bill, I managed to trade with MP’s who were not prepared to proceed with their legislation in order to accelerate consideration of our Bill.

As mentioned in my remarks yesterday, the people of our riding inspired this Bill.  Friends, neighbours, teachers, children, and business and other leaders in our community model good practices of healthy physical activity for a nation.  Bill S-211 is an Act to promote those practices, while establishing a national day to promote health and fitness for all Canadians.  It is designed to pave the way to make health and fitness core values today and, in the future, as part of Canada’s 150th Birthday celebrations, in 2017.

Senator Raine and I envisioned the NHFD Initiative as we engaged in the public discussion of what positive legacies could arise from the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games.  Readers will recall most of the Games occurred in our backyard.  How ironic therefore that Canada’s Public Health Agency recently put a $7-billion annual price tag on health care for cardiovascular problems and diabetes arising from obesity and inactivity.

This Bill has support across all parties; 155 cities; Participaction; and other agencies.   Together, we will become the Fittest Nation on Earth!

John Weston, M.P.

West Vancouver – Sunshine Coast – Sea to Sky Country

Watch video of 2nd reading of Bill S-211 here:

Photo Caption: Senator Nancy Raine, Elio Antunes, President and CEO for ParticipACTION, MP Weston