The way we create municipal policies has a direct impact on the health and safety of our people: How are new developments designed - do they promote pedestrian traffic and biking instead of making residents drive? Are bike lanes providing safe access on city streets? Does our community provide enough rinks, soccer fields, tennis courts and indoor recreational facilities to promote health and physical fitness? Are parks readily accessible so all of us have a place to run, walk, play and socialize?
As a municipal council, it must be our goal to get citizens of all ages more physically active. Our decisions have a direct impact on the health of our community at large.
I support an active lifestyle with municipal endorsement, a change of attitude when it comes to active living and transportation with the help of city hall. We must beat the laziness and encourage people to get outside and move. Anything else will lead to unhealthy communities with dangerous financial implications for municipalities and higher social costs (welfare, medical clinics, employee absenteeism, special transportation needs, higher insurance and benefit expenses and other health related costs).
Our municipalities are already suffering with the little money we get (about 8 cents of every Canadian tax dollar), so our financial capability to handle increased local costs because of health-related and societal trends is already limited.
Change starts at city hall.