Martin: McNeil government must explain cut to active youth program

June 9, 2015

(New Waterford, NS) Cape Breton Centre NDP candidate Tammy Martin wants to know why the McNeil government has eliminated a program that encourages kids to walk or bike to school.

The Ecology Action Centre’s School Travel Planning program is a nationally recognized model that reduces obesity among children, as well as lower greenhouse gas emissions to fight climate change. The government cut 100 per cent of its funding in the last budget.

“This funding helped schools from one end of the province to another. Schools like MacDonald Elementary in Dominion, Cusack Elementary in Sydney, and Harbourside Elementary in Whitney Pier. As a healthcare worker, I know that cuts to community groups like this will mean a greater burden on the much more expensive acute care system later on,” says Martin. “Just this morning, Canadian kids received a D-minus in an annual report card on physical activity from ParticipAction. Cutting programs that encourage healthier activities is short-sighted.”

Martin adds, “The McNeil government has made a habit of making cuts that affect the most vulnerable. They cut funding to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind and Eating Disorders NS, and took away bus passes from people with mental health issues who live on social assistance. Now their cuts will hurt kids from one end of the province to the other.”

Here is the complete list of schools who will be affected by this cut.