An MP update from: West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country

Health Minister Rona Ambrose’s visit to our riding March 21st reminded our audience of the leadership role people here play in health initiatives that have national impact.  The occasion was a community event co-hosted by the West Van Chamber of Commerce, which now includes Bowen Island. An engaged audience of over 70 people heard the Minister touch on health and economic benefits related to the following initiatives in which members of our community have on behalf of our riding encouraged me to take a leadership role.  Summarized on my website, these include:

Promoting Healthy Physical Activity
The Parliamentary Fitness Initiative grew directly from our riding’s role in the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games, for which West Vancouver and Whistler were Host Cities.  With this inspiration in mind, I invite Parliamentarians of all parties to walk, run or swim once weekly to encourage all Canadians to be more active, to combat obesity, and to stem the flow of harmful, chronic diseases related to inactivity.  Both CBC and CTV have covered the Initiative recently

National Health & Fitness Day
The Minister also talked about the work Senator Nancy Greene Raine and I are doing to get a bill passed that encourages cities across Canada to follow the leadership of West Vancouver, Bowen Island, Lions Bay, and other local governments that have proclaimed the first Saturday in June as “National Health and Fitness Day”.  Seven new cities proclaimed last week, bringing our total to 79. Our list of endorsers is constantly growing.  Making Canada the “fittest nation on earth” is a goal shared by Minister Ambrose; I was on hand in Toronto in February to witness her announcement of a great partnership, Active at School, with Canadian Tire.  www.ThePlayExchange.ca is another public-private partnership, this one with CBC.

Prescription Drug Abuse
The Minister and I have reflected constituents’ concern about rising prescription drug abuse.  I’m proud that, with support of West Van Police Chief Pete Lepine and others,  the Second Annual National Prescription Drug Drop-off Day will be May 10th, bringing together pharmacists, police chiefs and others across Canada to educate people on safe disposal of their pharmaceuticals.  Our efforts contributed to the Government’s decision to put over $44 million into Budget 2014 in this area.
Recovery from Substance Abuse
The Minister has listened to constituents like Lorinda Strang and AnnMarie McCullough, of Bowen’s Orchard Recovery Centre, who have been instrumental in getting recovery from substance abuse onto the national agenda.

Autism and Other Conditions
People in our riding such as Leonora Gregory-Collura, from the Sunshine Coast, who organize the Annual International Naturally Autistic People Awards Convention, shine a light on the condition, and create opportunity for medical advances.  I was pleased last week to be able to recognize their efforts in the House of Commons.

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