When it comes to fitness, the Member of Parliament for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country likes to lead by example.
John Weston announced a new national initiative on Saturday, June 2 at the Whistler Half Marathon awards ceremony. He has sponsored a private member's bill in parliament that calls for the creation of National Health and Fitness Day, which Weston proposes for the first weekend in June each year.
"I'm just so proud of this riding because, of all of the places across Canada, 12 of 12 communities have all said National Health and Fitness Day is for us," Weston said at the Whistler Half Marathon finish line after completing the 21km race. "We're going to make this the fittest nation on Earth."
According to Weston, the goal of the national day of fitness is to encourage all Canadians to adopt healthier lifestyles.
The 12 local government bodies in Weston's federal riding have all agreed to support his private member's bill by declaring their own health and fitness days and by offering access to local recreational facilities at no cost, or a reduced cost, during the first weekend of June.
"I hope that National Health and Fitness Day will be supported, and that it will achieve its objective of getting more Canadians to participate in fitness and sports activities," said B.C. Senator Nancy Greene-Raine through a news release issued by Weston. "The more we can do to encourage Canadians to be physically active, the more we will help prevent chronic disease and start to reduce the escalating health care costs. In a country like Canada with abundant opportunities for physical activity, both indoors and out, we must do everything possible to get Canadians to be active."
The next step for Weston's initiative is to introduce the private member's bill in the House of Commons. So far in this parliamentary session more than 200 private member's bills have been introduced. Most private member's bills never become law.