Sugar tax the an­swer to ru­ral recre­ation fa­cil­i­ties: Peter Fen­wick

The Labradorian - - FRONT PAGE -

Long­time po­lit­i­cal ac­tivist and Cape St. Ge­orge Mayor Peter Fen­wick is sug­gest­ing a sugar tax as a way to raise money for ru­ral recre­ation.

He be­lieves more ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties should have a recre­ation cen­ter like the new one their town just re­cently built with an in­door pool and walk­ing track.

Fen­wick made the sug­ges­tion to the pre-bud­get con­sul­ta­tions when it was in Stephenville re­cently.

He said ever since the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion blamed in­creased con­sump­tion of sugar for an epi­demic of obe­sity and di­a­betes, ju­ris­dic­tions around the world have im­ple­mented a sugar tax.

So far many Amer­i­can ci­ties, Mex­ico and parts of Great Bri­tain have done so and he feels it is time for New­found­land and Labrador to do so as well.

“To sti­fle crit­i­cism, I sug­gest the pro­ceeds be di­rected to ru­ral towns for the con­struc­tion and op­er­a­tion of recre­ation fa­cil­i­ties and pro­grams to help im­prove the health of their res­i­dents,” he said.

Not only will in­creas­ing the cost of sugar rich foods re­duce their use but the ad­di­tional fa­cil­i­ties for ex­er­cise will help as well.

He said through a dif­fer­ent means, they have built their fa­cil­ity and in a ru­ral area like theirs it af­fords res­i­dents a means to ex­er­cise all year round. As years go by they ex­pect the gen­eral health of the com­mu­nity will im­prove as a re­sult.

Fen­wick said he is of the be­lief the poor state of fit­ness and health of ru­ral New­found­lan­ders has more to do with the lack of fa­cil­i­ties than with a bad at­ti­tude to phys­i­cal fit­ness. He said if such fa­cil­i­ties were more widely avail­able in ru­ral New­found­land, more peo­ple would use them.

He said fund­ing in ru­ral ar­eas for recre­ation fa­cil­i­ties is al­most im­pos­si­ble to get un­der the cur­rent Mu­nic­i­pal Cap­i­tal Works fund­ing rules. In­vari­ably any small amount avail­able to ru­ral towns is for wa­ter and sewage works, not recre­ation.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

Peter Fen­wick is propos­ing an in­ter­est­ing means to sup­port­ing recre­ation fa­cil­i­ties in ru­ral ar­eas.

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