Municipalities have a role to play in ensuring the health and well-being of its residents.

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There is no doubt that there is more emphasis on ensuring that Sault Ste. Residents of Marie have the opportunity to engage in a healthy lifestyle.


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Take a look at last Monday’s council agenda.

City council has received reports, asked questions and provided comments on more than half a dozen items that can be directly attributed to the health and well-being of the community as a whole.

These reports included a wide range of elements, from mental health to recreational facilities and the environment.

For example, Mayor Christian Provenzano wrote a letter to Canada’s new Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health Carolyn Bennett, outlining the challenges the community faces when it comes to mental health and addictions, urging the government to act.

Council received a report on the location and recommended costs for establishing a wading pool in the west and approved a financial contribution for a tourism event, Snowcross 2022.

There were also several items on the agenda that dealt with reducing greenhouse gases, eliminating plastics, green initiatives and active transportation plans.

This shows us that the municipality has played a more important role in recent years in ensuring that residents and visitors have the amenities available to lead and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

It also shows that municipal governments play an important role in building healthy communities for citizens to lead healthier lives, and recognizes the importance of their role in building healthy communities.

This healthy community is about playing a bigger role in protecting the environment. This is done by developing long-term greenhouse gas reduction plans, improving the efficiency of their own buildings and facilities, and promoting educational programs and materials in the hope that businesses and residents will also join their efforts.


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Although greenhouse gas reduction targets are set by the federal government, municipalities have a role to play in helping to meet these targets.

It is also important that buy-in comes from the community as a whole.

This is an area that may still require some work for the municipality and its citizens.

Take, for example, the resolution passed unanimously on Monday that will see city staff craft a bylaw banning certain single-use plastics by Canada Day.

Eliminating plastic grocery bags, plastic straws, stir sticks, plastic cutlery, and plastic take-out food containers will help save space in the city’s landfill and protect the environment.

It was made clear on Monday that there would likely be a need for exceptions for a variety of reasons, including higher authority legislation, safety and infection prevention, among others. It’s OK. It is understandable that there are no alternatives yet in some areas of our life.

But just raising awareness that a regulation is coming should be enough for the community to start doing their part to become more aware of single-use plastics and do their part individually to find alternatives, where possible. .

It is our responsibility, as individuals, to ensure the continued promotion of healthy communities, including the promotion and maintenance of a healthy environment through our own behaviors and choices.

Leaving the car keys at home and hopping on a bike, or putting on the running shoes for a brisk run around the block, helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our community.


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Demonstrating to the city that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important should also be reflected in the next Official Plan. Open houses provide an opportunity to share this message with the city’s planning department and ensure that parks, recreation facilities and trails are an important part of the plan, which guides council decisions for the next two decades.

It also reinforces the fact that city council made the right decisions by investing in our trails, bike paths, sidewalks, recreational facilities and, of course, the environment.

Taken together, all of these things contribute to our social well-being, reduce stress on health systems, and help us live longer and healthier lives. I invite you to do your part to ensure our community stays healthy, active and leads the way in greenhouse gas emissions.

Elaine Della-Mattia is the political reporter for The Sault Star.



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