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National Health and Fitness Day

Excerpt from Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

National Health and Fitness Day

Hon. Marty Deacon: Good afternoon, honourable senators. As the sun shines, there is certainly a solid feeling of renewed energy here in Ottawa and across this beautiful country. This weekend, Ottawa hosted many performing arts events and activities in the downtown area. There were a variety of performing arts activities taking place, particularly in hotel rooms with young performers. They were inspiring. They were phenomenal to see and hear. Outside, Ottawa calls this race weekend, and all of this was not to be for sure until late Wednesday night, early Thursday. The debris of the storm, and the damage done, had a serious impact on whether or not race weekend could carry on after a two-year absence. But finally, and with great thanks to the city, the mayor, the city staff and Ottawa Hydro, they were able to make the race course as smooth as possible even for people a little older than usual to navigate their way through on the weekend.

You could feel the streets alive, feel the streets coming back and the feeling that Ottawa folks were just thrilled to be together, whether it was families or folks at the front of their houses. The signs that people made for the community were absolutely embracing, engaging and phenomenal — and also very funny at times.

This is a great prelude to National Health and Fitness Day, which is Saturday, June 4. This is our week leading up to it.

Senators, I urge you to look after yourselves first and how we find that balance with our physical, emotional and mental health. I encourage you to get out, be active and find best what works for you.

The bill that was passed for National Health and Fitness Day was passed with the intent of us, parliamentarians, working with the House and our communities to do our very best to make sure the support, infrastructure and things that we need are there to ensure every Canadian — every Canadian — has the opportunity to be active.

So beyond this, and looking to some examples of this, tomorrow we’re going to have a special group of guests in the Senate. I’m really delighted to be able to host them, and you will certainly be introduced to them.

It is an example of where folks take the lead and find activities that work best for young people. So here in Ottawa, and in our local community, there is the first, frankly, women’s tackle football team. Yes, it is, and you have to really think about that. Made up of athletes from St. Mark High School and St. Joseph High School, under the leadership of their coaches Blaine and Andy, they are doing something very special. These girls are in the sport that is the last sport to have an equal opportunity in the province of Ontario in all sports. They are very excited about visiting. They are a great example about being active and finding ways to make it all work. I’m giving them an early welcome, but I also welcome all of you to be reminded of National Health and Fitness Day. Thank you, meegwetch.

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