November 18, 2013
Check Against Delivery
I would like to begin by thanking Ryerson University for hosting us today and everyone in attendance for taking part in such a wonderful effort.
And a special thank you to Stephen and his entire team, for bringing together, this incredible group of people today, to talk about how collectively, we can all work together keep our children and youth active and healthy.
As adults and parents, and of course as we age, we understand why it is important to lead a healthy and active life. But this isn't always the case for children and youth.
Physical activity is an important part of healthy living at any stage of life, and it's absolutely crucial for kids.
Today, about one in three Canadian children are overweight or obese. On average, only 12% of Canadian children take part in enough physical activity. The economic cost of obesity in 2008 was $4.6 billion.
All of us here today agree that these numbers are FAR too high and we need to do more.
We all have a role to play in keeping our kids active and healthy.
In the recent Speech from the Throne, our Government made it clear that we are supporting innovative actions among many different sectors, including governments, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, as well as other partners.
Since 2006, our Government invested nearly $200 million in obesity related research. We have also introduced the children's fitness tax credit which helps more young Canadians to get involved in sport and physical activity.
Most recently, in Budget 2013, tariffs on sports and athletic equipment were eliminated to make it easier for families to stay active.
But, no government, company, school, organization or individual can solve this problem alone.
By working collaboratively across all sectors to promote programs and activities that support healthy living, physical activity and chronic disease prevention, we can all make a difference.
The Active at School campaign is a great initiative because it promotes awareness about the critical importance of daily physical activity in the lives of young Canadians.
Awareness and momentum is building.
Today, I pledge to all of you here, my support and our Government's support.
Let's work together.
Let's build on these partnerships.
Let us TRULY make in difference in the lives of our children and youth.
On behalf of the Government of Canada, we applaud Canadian Tire and all the organizations here today for shining a spotlight on this very important issue.
Strong and healthy kids can only make for a stronger and healthier Canada.Thank you.