To Your Health and Taxes

Speaking of health, this was announced over the holidays, but I haven’t read much about it locally: Fitness tax breaks encourage activity: Experts | Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA – Just in time for New Year’s resolutions vowing to shed those extra pounds, Nova Scotia this week became the first province in the country to offer a tax credit for the cost of gym memberships and other physical activities.

The Healthy Living Tax Credit was first introduced in 2005 for children’s activities and has now been extended to all Nova Scotians, who can claim up to $500 worth of registration fees for any organized sport or activity including ski passes, dance classes, swimming lessons and gym memberships.

Those who support the idea say the tax credit will encourage more people to be active, which will in turn mean a healthier population, and will save the government millions of dollars in health-care spending.

While Nova Scotia is the first to implement the tax credit for active adults, Alberta is not far behind.

Might as well try and claim my Wii Fit for a tax break. Or would I have to say I was agoraphobic?

Maybe the best part about it is its group potential, for families or friends. Web designer and former Coast contributor Iain MacLeod is a Wii Fit fan, in that it allows him and his partner more flexibility to exercise and have fun together, especially with their two-year-old daughter. “We’re former gym-goers, and we thought this was perfect, a step in the right direction. We like that it gives you a certain amount of activities to do and as you get more involved it ‘unlocks’ more things to do.” MacLeod also likes that it’s less intimidating than a health club, which really isn’t his scene. “It’s a bit more interactive than the gym experience. It’s social in a different way.”

From Halifax indoors: 14 tips to well being | The Coast.

Update: I guess you have to know what you are searching for, when it comes to the government… “fitness” and “tax” isn’t enough. The program is called the Healthly Living Tax Incentive.

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It’s Fun to Stay at the YMCBC

This shouldn’t be shocking to anybody familiar with the state and age of the buildings on the corner of South Park and Sackville Street, but word from the YMCA Board of Directors and Management team is that they are in planning stages for a new downtown complex alongside CBC/Radio Canada. This is in the early stages and includes about two years of market research, site reviewing and consultation. In what appears to be just the beginning of “a long and multi faceted process”:

Today, we are in the preliminary stages of clearly understanding the potential development opportunities on the joint parcel of land and the implications for a new YMCA. To this end, the YMCA and CBC/Radio Canada will be submitting a joint development application to HRM at the end of January 2009.

There is no need to panic just yet about temporary closures, because the Halifax Regional Municipality still has to hear and approve such a development (up to 18 months away) plus involving the development community and most likely countless consultations. This appears to include South Park YMCA building (built in 1951), the CBC Radio Building and the adjouning parking lots.

Why is The YMCA collaborating with the CBC/Radio Canada?

In addition to being neighbours with joint properties that may have greater potential as one piece of land, The YMCA and CBC share a common mission and mandate to serve the whole community for public good. This shared purpose heightens the potential positive outcome for this community if a collaborative development could take place.

I couldn’t see much talk about this joint venture online, but it looks like $1,642.57 was spent on meetings involving Michel Saint-Cyr, President, Real Estate Division and meetings with CBC Regional Director Andrew Cochran, the YMCA, Halifax Films and Port Authority last August.