Every day LIN staff monitor hundreds of newspapers and broadcasters, dozens of listservs, web sites, government news sources, press releases and information supplied by our site users to bring you the latest and hottest in leisure, recreation, parks and healthy living. If you have relevant news or events you would like us to publicize, tell us about it.

Extra time in gym class? It's helping Montreal North students succeed

Added on Oct 24, 2016

One Montreal North elementary school is providing double the minimum time set aside for gym class by the province's Education Ministry and teachers say it makes a difference inside and outside the classroom. Students at the school have five hours of physical education, with the exception of children in grade one who have four hours. 

Principal Stéfano Sabetti told Radio-Canada that children are excelling, even if they spend less time on academics and more time in gym class. "They are more attentive," he said. "And there's less of a waste of time."

CBC News

Confederation arts project will highlight Canada's national parks

Added on Oct 24, 2016

LandMarks2017/Repères2017 will be a cross-country series of art projects meant to provoke discussion about “our collective histories and shared future” as Canada marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation. Project director Helena Grdadolnik revealed the details at the recent Creative City Summit in Surrey.

Grdadolnik explained that LandMarks2017 is a year-long initiative that brings together a team of seven curators, 10 artists and 17 universities to create contemporary art projects in a dozen Parks Canada sites, from Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island, to Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland, to Vuntut National Park in the norther Yukon.

Jennifer Saltman, Vancouver Sun

New screen time rules for kids, from American Academy of Pediatrics

Added on Oct 21, 2016

According to new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics, digital media exposure for children of all ages should be limited. The guidelines are for -

  • Infants 18 months and younger: No screen time
  • Children 2 to 5 years: One hour per day
  • Children 6 years and older: Limit digital media

"It doesn't make sense to make a blanket statement [of two hours] of screen time anymore," said Dr. Yolanda Reid Chassiakos, lead author of the Children and Adolescents and Digital Media Technical Report and assistant professor at UCLA. "For some children, two hours may be too much."

Hailey Middlebrook, CNN

Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Governments Seeking Input to Inform a Framework for Physical Activity: Deadline Nov 11

Added on Oct 21, 2016

Federal, provincial, and territorial governments (excluding Quebec) want to hear from parents, professionals, businesses, NGOs, and other Canadians, as they embark on a process to develop a physical activity framework.

The framework will complement other existing government and community-led policies and programs—such as Active Canada 20/20: A Physical Activity Strategy & Change Agenda for Canada, the Canadian Sport Policy, and the Framework for Recreation in Canada 2015: Pathways to Well-Being, among others, and will also consider new and emerging policy approaches. The framework will be completed for endorsement by federal, provincial, and territorial SPAR Ministers in July 2017.

The governments have asked The Conference Board of Canada to assist in engaging Canadians and key stakeholders in health, physical activity and sedentary behaviour, sport, and recreation, as well as other relevant disciplines and sectors, to inform the development of the framework. This consultation process will help inform the direction, objectives, priorities, scope, and a plan for performance measurement and evaluation.

The first stage in the consultation process is a survey for completion by the general public, all levels of government, and all relevant sectors of society.

Please complete the online survey by November 11, 2016, and share with others who would like to have a voice in the consultation process.

Conference Board of Canada News Release

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SGI Community Grants Program: Deadline Oct 31

Added on Oct 21, 2016

Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) and the Acquired Brain Injury Partnership Project have offered this program since 1997. The average grant amount is $1,000 per project. The grant program is looking for ideas on the following priorities:

SGI traffic safety priorities

  • impaired driving
  • seatbelt and child car seat use
  • pedestrian safety
  • bicycle safety
  • snowmobile safety
  • aging drivers and new drivers
  • high collision sites

Acquired brain injury priorities

  • sport and recreation injury prevention
  • workplace safety
  • fall-related brain-injury prevention

Don River Valley Park marks ‘First Mile’ of City of Toronto’s ravine strategy

Added on Oct 19, 2016

In a news conference at Evergreen Brick Works, Toronto Mayor John Tory, joined by Evergreen CEO Geoff Cape, and the Don River Valley Park Campaign Chair Andy Chisholm, patrons and supporters, marked the ‘First Mile’ of Toronto's city-wide ravine strategy.

The Don River Valley Park project, which started as a multi-year public and private fundraising campaign launched last year by Evergreen in partnership with the City of Toronto and the Toronto Regional Conservation Authority, aims to create a ‘super park’, a massive 480-acre green space spanning from Evergreen Brick Works south to the mouth of Lake Ontario.

Evergreen News Release

Canada Games Celebrate 50th Anniversary with Canada 150 Signature Project

Added on Oct 18, 2016

The Canada Games Council (CGC) has announced the Canada Games Activity Challenge as a Canada 150 Signature Project, supporting children and teachers in Canadian classrooms to build daily active healthy habits. The Council has received formal notification from the Canada 150 Secretariat that its 2017 interactive activity program created to engage children aged 5-12 has been approved as one of the 41 Canada 150 Signature Projects celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary.
The Canada Games Activity Challenge will officially begin in schools in January 2017. The online physical literacy tracker and rewards program is aimed at inspiring the 90% of youth who are not currently meeting the recommended daily amount of physical activity, and supporting elementary teachers with physical literacy activities.

Canada Games Council News Release

Toronto needs big jump in number of skateboard parks, city report says

Added on Oct 14, 2016

The Skateboard Strategy, a 47-page report that emphasizes a need for more skate parks, was recently released and will be debated by the community development committee next week. The report was compiled with help from the Toronto Skateboarding Committee,a group of young skateboarders who led discussions about all aspects of the new skate parks, from the design of the ramps and jumps, to what sort of art should be displayed in them.

Coun. Janet Davis said she was "thrilled" with the report. "It opens the door to a growth in skate parks across the city," she said. "And because they'll be designed by the young people who'll use them, they become their parks."

By Mike Smee, CBC News

Healthy Schools Certification - Registration deadline October 28

Added on Oct 12, 2016

Healthy Schools Certification recognizes and celebrates school communities for promoting and enhancing the health and well-being of students, school staff, and the broader community. Registered schools that complete the 6-Step Healthy Schools Process over the course of the school year may be recognized as either a gold, silver or bronze certified Ophea Healthy School.  Registered schools receive access to expert consultation supports, resources, and tools to support you on your way to becoming a healthy school.

Check out how HS Certification may help promote physical activity and other health topics on the Ophea website, including a short online HS Certification Webinar.

Illegal drone use reaches new heights in Canada's national parks

Added on Oct 12, 2016

Dozens of warnings have been doled out this year to people illegally using drones in the provincial and national mountain parks, as officials work to educate people rather than hand out fines. 

Officials said drones can cause several issues in the national and provincial parks. All drones are regulated as aircraft under Transport Canada regulations.

"It's related to noise, related to privacy if there's cameras — there's lots of reasons," said Murray Ingstrup, regional conservation officer for Alberta Environment and Parks. He said the aircraft can have a serious effect on wildlife. "They end up spending more energy trying to find a place to eat because they are having to move away from where they naturally eat. It's something different, so they see it as a threat."

Colette Derworiz, Postmedia