Children's Fitness

Children’s Fitness Tax Credit A Commitment to Lifelong Fitness and Well Being.

One of the most common resolutions people make in the New Year is a renewed commitment to be more physically active. It is particularly important for the well being of our children and it is the reason our Government has introduced the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit effective January 1, 2007. Parents can rest a little easier knowing that some of the cost for registering their children this year in recreational programs will be offset by the Fitness Tax Credit.

Many of you are asking what the credit is worth and what is eligible. Here are the answers to those questions:

The tax credit is available on up to $500 per child in registration and membership fees with receipts. It will apply to an ongoing, supervised program, suitable for children under the age of 16, in which substantially all of the activities undertaken include a significant amount of physical activity that contribute to cardio-respiratory endurance, plus one or more of:
  • muscular strength,
  • muscular endurance,
  • flexibility, and
  • balance.

A wide variety of supervised children’s programs will be eligible for the tax credit including but not limited to hockey, soccer, karate, football, basketball, dancing, swimming, hiking, horseback riding and many other activities.

As well, substantial additional support will be provided to children eligible for the disability tax credit to recognize the unique barriers they face in becoming more active. For these children, the fitness tax credit would apply to those under the age of 18, and a separate $500 amount will be available for them where a minimum of $100 is spent on registration fees for an eligible program.

Criteria for the tax credit was determined based on the recommendations of the Expert Panel for the Children's Fitness Tax Credit, in its report entitled Getting Children Active: The Purpose of the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit  which can be found at www.fin.gc.ca.

The Report recognizes that the Children’s Fitness Tax can be a catalyst that supports programs for children, increased levels of activity, and hopefully – a lifelong love of active lifestyles for thousands of young Canadians   But it also recognizes that the most powerful driver of new, more active behaviours is parental and peer influences and calls on all of us to create a broader strategy to encourage activity among young people.

Locally, we are rising to the challenge with KickStart Kelowna a new community driven initiative focused on creating awareness of the benefits of physical activity and how it impacts health and wellness. KickStart Kelowna is part of a 5 year Active Communities program that is focused on increasing the physical activity levels of our community 20% by 2010. I applaud all the local partners and sponsors as well as, Interior Health, and the City of Kelowna for their efforts in promoting the health and wellness of the people in our region. For more information on KickStart Kelowna go to www.kickstartkelowna.ca or call 469-8811.

Whether local or federal, an emphasis on fitness is important. It’s time for all of us to make a pact with our friends and families to make physical activity a part of our daily lives not just for a few well-intentioned weeks in January but all year round. Not only will we set a good example for young people in our communities but we will be contributing to the overall health and well-being of our entire population.

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About the Author

The Honourable Ron Cannan was first elected as Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country in January, 2006. He was subsequently elected in the 2008 and 2011 federal elections. He is a member of the Conservative Caucus.

On September 13th, 2012 Ron was summoned to be a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and will provide advice to the Government as a member of the Priorities and Planning Sub-Committee on Government Administration.

Ron successfully uses his experience and knowledge as a long-time Kelowna City Councillor and regional government representative to be an effective and enthusiastic champion for his riding and his constituents.

His greatest satisfaction comes from helping local organizations and citizens obtain the support they require from Ottawa. 

He is also dedicated to doing what it takes to ensure that the growing and vibrant communities in his riding continue to thrive and prosper.

He is proud of the partnership and cooperation between federal, provincial and municipal governments which have resulted in significant infrastructure projects including upgrades to Highway 97, expansion of the Kelowna International Airport, a new horticulture strategy for fruit growers, obtaining a full service passport office for Kelowna and addressing critical economic issues such as labour skills shortages.

He works closely with the local Chambers of Commerce and once a year arranges meetings for the Chamber with Cabinet Ministers and senior policy staff in Ottawa to move forward important local issues such as crime prevention and labour skills shortages.

He is also an ardent champion for important community initiatives including homelessness, mental health, women’s resources, and support of arts and culture.

On Parliament Hill, Ron has been a member of the Standing Committee on International Trade since 2006 supporting initiatives which will broaden the economic opportunities for local businesses and businesses Canada-wide.

In previous parliamentary sessions Ron has been a member of the Standing Committee for Government Operations and Estimates, Veteran’s Affairs, Human Resources and Social Development, the Scrutiny of Regulations Committee, and the Standing Committee for Fisheries and Oceans.

Ron is also involved in a variety of inter-parliamentary organizations: he is Vice Chair of the Canada-US Inter-Parliamentary Group, and a member of the Canada-Taiwan Friendship group.

As Chair of the Conservative Wine Caucus, Ron works with his colleagues across the country to promote the wine regions of Canada.  Ron tabled Motion 218(formerly Motion 601) which supports direct to consumer purchasing of Canadian wine. His motion became Bill C-311, sponsored by MP Dan Albas, seconded by Ron, which was passed into law on June 28th, 2012.

Prior to entering politics, Ron developed a diverse business background as a small business owner and had several years experience in marketing and sales management working with corporations including Coca-Cola, Costco and Corus Entertainment.

Very active in his community, Ron has been a Director for both the Central Okanagan Regional District and the Central Okanagan Hospital Board. Ron also served on the Okanagan University College Access to Training Advisory Board, the Glenmore Elementary School Parents Advisory Council, and the Kelowna Christian School Fund Raising Committee. He was co-founder of the Okanagan Volunteer Festival. Currently Ron is a member of the Sunrise Rotary Club of Kelowna and, along with his wife Cindy, was the honorary Chair of the 2012 Canadian Cancer Society Daffodil Ball.

Ron lives a family-oriented and active lifestyle with his wife Cindy. He is the proud father of three daughters and grandfather to three grandsons. His hobbies include music and sports.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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