A B.C. Senator and MP are calling for the first Saturday in June to be proclaimed National Health and Fitness Day, to help reverse what they call an “epidemic of obesity” among young people.
Senator Nancy Greene Raine introduced a bill in response to statistics that show one out of three Canadian children are overweight or obese, and only 12 per cent get enough physical activity. Canada’s Public Health Agency calculates that health care for obesity-related cardiovascular and diabetes treatment already costs $7 billion a year.
The bill encourages local governments and private organizations to hold community events to promote fitness. West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast MP John Weston began working on the idea three years ago, and he said 68 communities have signed on so far.
“Our goal is to increase the number of municipal governments that proclaim National Health and Fitness Day to 300 by June of 2014,” Weston said.
Chinese petrochemical giant Sinopec, another Japanese player and an unidentified Indian company are joining the international move to explore liquefied natural gas exports from northern B.C., says Rich Coleman, B.C.’s minister for natural gas development.
Sinopec, ranked the fifth largest global company in 2011, is looking for LNG imports equivalent to the output of the world’s second largest LNG terminal, Coleman told reporters as Premier Christy Clark began a trade trip to Asia.
Another new player is Idemitsu Kosan Co., the second largest petroleum refiner in Japan, which is applying for a federal export permit in a partnership with Calgary-based AltaGas called Triton LNG.
China National Overseas Oil Company and its new subsidiary Nexen has put up a non-refundable deposit of $12 million toward purchase of provincial land on the north side of Grassy Point near Prince Rupert, Coleman said. Another unidentified company has shown interest in the south side of Grassy Point.
The new proposals add to a lineup of international investment proposed by Petronas, Chevron, Shell, British Gas and others, which are expected to make final investment decisions in 2014.
Coleman said the tax rate for LNG producers is to be presented to companies by the end of November, but it may not be public until the B.C. government table its budget in February.
The B.C. government is accepting public comments until Jan. 15 on a proposed bill to restrict the number of MLAs to the current level of 85, and to maintain the current rural and northern seats regardless of population.
Current law requires an independent Electoral Boundaries Commission to be appointed in May 2014 to consider changes. The government discussion paper is posted online at http://www.ag.gov.bc.ca/legislation/ebca/index.htm.
The last review in 2008 recommended that an urban population shift should result in a reduction of one seat in the Cariboo-Thompson region and one in northern B.C. The government intervened keep those seats and increase the total constituencies from 83 to 85.
The B.C. Liberals and NDP agreed that northern constituencies could not get any larger and still be represented by a single MLA.
The 2008 review, chaired by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Bruce Cohen, added seats in the Okanagan, Fraser Valley, Surrey, Burnaby-Tri-Cities and downtown Vancouver. It concluded that keeping all the rural seats was not consistent with the principle of representation by population.