Public Health Agency of Canada

Public Health Agency of Canada

January 22, 2008 11:08 ET

Public Health Agency of Canada: Get up, Go out and Be WinterActive!

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 22, 2008) - The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Health, today with ParticipACTION celebrated the launch of WinterActive 2008 by leading a group of local community residents and grade school students in a snowshoe relay race at Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ontario. The event was kicked off with a demonstration of traditional Metis sport by Tony Belcourt, President of the Metis Nation of Ontario.

"Winter is a wonderful time to get together with our families or friends and take part in fun activities that also benefit our health, whether outside in the snow, or indoors where it's warm," said Minister Clement. "With today's launch of WinterActive 2008, our Government is encouraging Canadians to participate in events and activities across the country and to be more physically active, make healthier food choices and live smoke-free."

"Physical activity and participation in sport are essential to a healthy lifestyle for all Canadians," said the Honourable Helena Guergis, Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (Sport). "Winter provides us with a wonderful opportunity to discover how sport can transform individuals, strengthen communities, and improve our society as a whole."

"ParticipACTION is thrilled to participate with our federal government and sport and physical activity not-for-profit partners to kick-off this year's WinterActive. As the national voice for physical activity, we encourage all Canadians to move more - throughout all seasons, especially winter," said Kelly Murumets, President and CEO of ParticipACTION.

"The Metis Nation of Ontario takes a holistic approach to health and understands fully that that physical activity is fundamental to sustaining the emotional, spiritual aspect of our overall health," said Mr. Belcourt. "The MNO encourages a lifestyle for our people which includes physical activity, as that has been part of our very existence through voyageurs and fur trade to today. We commend Minister Clement for launching the 2008 Winter Active program and will certainly promote it amongst our people and in our communities."

"Getting together to get active is also a great, healthy way to relax," noted Deerhurst Resort General Manager Joseph Klein. "Deerhurst offers the most on-site activities of any resort in Eastern Canada, and the entire Huntsville community is dedicated to sport tourism, including the Canadian National Pond Hockey Championships and Ironman 70.3, making our town a very fitting, and proud, start point for WinterActive 2008."

A popular annual event, WinterActive is a national initiative, led by the Government of Canada in collaboration with the Provinces and Territories, to help Canadians improve their health while having fun enjoying the best of Canada's wintertime. This year's initiative will run from January 18 to February 29 and is designed to encourage Canadians to adopt healthier lifestyles, including physical and sport activities, healthy eating and living tobacco-free.

Evidence shows that healthy lifestyle choices, such as engaging in physical activity, eating healthy and living smoke-free can help reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes and cancer.

As part of this year's WinterActive, Minister Clement also announced a campaign for Aboriginal communities that will also focus on encouraging physical activity, eating healthy, and living smoke-free. This campaign will highlight First Nations, Inuit, and Metis traditions and will be tailored to meet the specific needs of Aboriginal people.

Canadians from every province and territory can learn more about WinterActive and are eligible to win a variety of unique prizes by visiting

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Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Office of the Honourable Tony Clement
    Minister of Health
    Laryssa Waler
    Public Health Agency of Canada
    Jacinthe Perras