Wednesday, May 14, 2008

O Canada! -- A Tax Credit for Physical Fitness?

Hey, here's an interesting notion from the Great White North: a tax credit for physical fitness! (Amusing fact: the idea comes from a politician who has climbed Mount Everest...twice.)

Dave Rodney, representing Calgary-Lougheed, has introduced a private member's bill that would offer tax relief for annual fees of up to $1,500 per person. If passed, the province would draft a list of qualifying activities, such as hockey, soccer and clubs such as running and hiking groups. (MM comments: Hey, no curling??)

Rodney said Monday he believes his proposal will push people to be more active and save Alberta's ailing medical system money in the long run.

The federal government introduced a $500 fitness tax credit for 2007, but only for children. Rodney wants an Alberta credit to apply to people of all ages.

"I just think when someone enters the workforce or starts university or starts a family or later in life, even towards retirement, if they are disciplined enough to take the time to workout then we should reward them," said Rodney.

"I hope that people who are on the bubble in terms of whether or not they want to join that health club or that running club or any other organization, (this) will give them enough incentive to actually go ahead and do so."

Previous provincial health ministers, from Gary Mar to Dave Hancock, have talked about fitness incentives, but this is the first time legislation has been proposed.

I like the fact that this thing is an incentive, not a regulation or a penalty as in the case of most nanny government initiatives. Incentives. MM loves incentives.

Notice also the brief mention of the fact that Alberta's medical system is "ailing." Really? How's that socialistic health care structure working for you, eh?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I believe it's a good idea, especially when there is a public health care system - people, who care about their health are now paying for those, who are not so responsible...
Anyway, there are some tools in private sector already. I am dealing disability insurance in Canada and there are many bonuses in insurance business for good health (I suppose you know it too...). So why not taxes???