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Wednesday, 12 December 2012 15:06

Parks Canada’s cuts effect our health

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Did you know Tommy Douglas envisioned two phases of Medicare? He said the first — removing financial barriers to health care — would be easy compared to the second — a shift to preventative care. He believed the necessary shift to prevention not only made moral but financial sense because the maxim “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is true not only for our health but our economy.

It is ironic then that Parks Canada announced it would be cutting the budget for grooming cross-country ski trails during Diabetes Awareness Month. Diabetes is a global avalanche with lack of physical exercise identified as a contributing factor for Type 2. Physical exercise can help prevent diabetes and cross-country skiing is ranked as a top cardiovascular fitness activities.
Stopping track setting transfers a burden to our health-care system because it reduces access to a valuable winter activity for present and all future generations. Prince Albert National Park is willing to work with volunteers but that is another transfer. Yes, you can belong to a ski club that grooms its trails, but that is still a transfer and not affordable for everyone.
Cutting grooming the trails means we all go downhill faster. Really it isn’t just downhill faster but a snowball effect.
Items such as the budget for grooming trails are the “petite ounces” of prevention we need to avoid tipping towards “gross pounds.” Please contact your MP and please review the closed petition at:
Nancy Carswell, Shellbrook, Sask.

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Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor