Safety and Swimming promoted on the Hill


OTTAWA – Collaboration was the theme and leverage was themessage at the second annual National Life Jacket & Swim Day onthe Hill in Ottawa on Monday. “By working together, we can makeCanada the Fittest Nation on Earth” according to John Weston, MPfor West Vancouver – Sea to Sky – Sunshine Coast. An array oforganizations and Parliamentarians combined on Monday, May 7th topromote swimming as an accessible life skill and superb approach tohealth and fitness juxtaposed with a safety theme.

A companion event to National Health and Fitness Day , NationalLife Jacket and Swim Day on the Hill brought out co-ordinators,Weston, and Pierre Lafontaine, of Canadian Interuniversity Sport.They partnered with a myriad of organizations to promote swimmingas an excellent and inexpensive form of physical activity and toraise awareness about the importance of safety when swimming,boating, or in any activity in which there is a risk ofdrowning.

The event was the result of a collaboration between HonourableBal Gosal, Minister of State for Sport and MPs Peter Stoffer,Kirsty Duncan, and Weston. Canadian Interuniversity Sports’ PierreLafontaine co-ordinated many of the participants . Canadian Tire’sJumpStart Foundation supplied lifejackets for people to try on andbring home the message to wear them at all times while boating andto educate the generations about safety when around water. RobinOuimet represented Master’s Swim Canada to remind people of thelife long advantages of regular swimming. The Canadian Olympic andParaOlympic movement was well represented by Brianna Jennett-McNeilwho competed in the London Games in 2012. Rick Caissie of the RedCross described the more than a million Canadians involved in RedCross summer swim programs; and the other million who need them butdon’t get involved. ParticipAction promoted the event, BobElliott from Sports Matters Group was there to address the crowd..Olivia Chow, MP took the opportunity to call for a national policypaper and detailed plan to ensure all Canadian children learn toswim by the end of Grade 3, one that outlines the expected fundingand involvement of municipal, provincial and federalgovernment.

Other attendees included:

Senator Don Meredith, MPs David Christopherson, Carolyn Bennett,Olivia Chow, and Joan Crockatt, Donna and Meimei Weston

More on Swimming:

– Swimming is a great form of moderate physical activity –adults need 2.5 hours of moderate activity per week.
– Four hundred Canadians drown every year – these deaths areoften preventable with swimming lessons, even starting at age 2.Drowning happens fast; sometimes in as little as 2 minutes.
– Swimming is a great sport for families; it is free andaccessible

Scott Harrigan
Your #1 source for community and amateur sports related news on Vancouver Island, British Columbia and beyond! Send stories to