Bill 209 - The Active School Week Act

Bill 209 - The Active Schools Week Act

(Back L-R): Mike Roma & Bill Wells, Alberta Parks & Rec. Assoc.; MLA Shepherd; Brian Torrance, EverActive Schools; (Front L-R): Tiffany Gingras; Michelle Draper, EPSB Trustee Ward B; Chris Chan, Edmonton Bike Commuters; Dr. Kim Kelly

On November 28, I was honoured to introduce my first private member's bill: Bill 209 - the Active Schools Week Act.

This is my member's statement talking about why I brought forward this bill which would designate the first full week of October as Active Transportation Week during which schools would hold activities and events encouraging students to walk, bike or wheel to school.

 

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

As most in this chamber know, I’m a bike commuter and try to use it as my main means of transportation year-round.

It’s not always possible, however, particularly on days when I have to travel longer distances in a short time, so there are days that I have to drive – even the short distance from my home to this house.

But I can tell you, Mr. Speaker – on the days that I ride I feel better and arrive in a far happier, healthier state of mind.

The small bit of exercise I get riding from home to here helps clear my head, connect me to the world around me and reset my perspective.

This was also true when I was young and, like most kids, used to walk or bike to school.

However, as of 2009, only 13% of children did the same.

Mr. Speaker, studies show that when kids get a small amount of exercise before school, they arrive more focused and ready to learn.

And with rising rates of obesity and chronic disease, it’s more important than ever that we start learning healthy habits while we’re young.

That’s why I am introducing Bill 209, the Active School Week Act which mandates that the first full week of October be designated Active Schools Week and that in that week all Alberta schools hold participatory activities encouraging students to walk, bike or wheel to school.

Like Belgravia School’s Walking School Bus supported by Ever Active Schools

Or the Blood Tribe in Treaty 7 who bus students within a kilometer or two of school and let them walk the rest of the way.

These are small steps that make a big difference building community and healthy habits that can last a lifetime.

Mr. Speaker, active transportation is the best way to start and end a school or work day.

So I look forward to introducing Bill 209.

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