Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Getting Fit

I am quoted in today’s Globe and Mail, in a story regarding the possible return of Participaction, a government run “fitness awareness” program.

I don’t think it’s a good idea.

Here’s the quote:

“On the other hand, there are those who say the government should not be spending tax revenues to preach to taxpayers.

Gerry Nicholls, vice-president of the National Citizens Coalition, a free-market lobby group that was once headed by Stephen Harper, said he was "surprised and disappointed" to learn that the Conservative government was even considering revising Participaction.

"I don't think the state has a role in telling Canadians how to run their lives. If I want to be a couch potato and watch television all day long, that's my business. I don't think my tax dollars should be used to hector me, to nag me, into exercising."

Not everyone agrees. In fact, I've been getting some emails asking me to reconsider my position.

Here's one from my friend John Thompson of the Mackenzie Institute:

However, we do need much more physical education for the kids, and spending money on bike trails and walking paths, more public gymnasiums and pools, more on classes for them as what wants 'em isn't a bad idea.

Yeah, you may be subsidizing somebody else's lifestyle and the only way to get your share of the money back is to use the same facilities.

Thinking on a strategic level, we need our citizens to be healthier longer into their lives (to be productive for longer and to be more likely to stay out of those intensive care facilities), and we will need a lot of fit soldiers and police soon.

So let's get the kids off the Nintendos and outside playing hide and seek and running, as the days of route marching and fieldcraft for real are coming.

I get John's point about needing fit soldiers.

But when the day ever comes that I am forced off the couch and into a gym, well that's the day the terrorists win!

By the way, I will be discussing Participaction today at 3:00 PM EST on CJAD's Kevin and Trudie Show and at 4:15 PM EST on Adler Online.

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