On Thursday and Friday (May 29 & 30) Mississippi Mills was host to the Eastern Ontario Active Transportation Summit. Sixty persons from around the Province but most from Eastern Ontario shared their ideas and energy about the importance of walking and cycling to address the rising health crisis associated with lifestyles which are sedentary and based upon automobile transportation. We read in the national press about these issues and they frequently seem not applicable to us or too big to solve. Many nations are facing the same problems. In Finland, there is and has been military conscription since the 1930’s. Due to physical testing of recruits, the Finnish government has evidence of the relative decline of youth fitness. Their ministries of Health and Finance have extrapolated the lower fitness level of the population and have determined their future health care costs will become financially unsustainable. The same warnings are made in Canada. In April of 2013, I attended an international conference sponsored by the IOC (Int’l Olympic Committee) and saw the following video:
How can we do nothing after seeing this short video? When I think globally, I automatically want to act locally. Please join me and sign the active communities pledge (See below). It could be the first step in a long journey for each one of you and our Town. Clearly, the biggest impact upon getting our children (and ourselves) active needs to be made at the local municipal level. We ought to make Mississippi Mills a leading edge Healthy Community. In our community, many issues become divisive and destructive of ‘community’. Mississippi Mills needs a positive vision of itself to work toward. Who could be against a Healthy Community? If we could do this, there would be untold community and economic benefits, but the best benefit of all would be five years for our children and grandchildren.
Councillor, Mississippi Mills.