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April 15, 2010

Province Extends Fitness Tax Credit to Young Adults: Selinger

Manitoba's Children's Fitness Tax Credit will be extended to include claims for organized physical activities of young adults aged 16 to 24 starting in 2011, Premier Greg Selinger and Healthy Living, Youth and Seniors Minister Jim Rondeau announced today at the grand opening of Sport Manitoba's new Sport For Life Centre.

"Young adults have been known to reduce their fitness activities as they graduate from high school and the physical education classes and team sports that go with it," said Selinger.

Now called the Fitness Tax Credit, the change is intended to encourage young people to continue in organized physical activity as they become adults and transition from school to the workforce. Eligible fitness activities, as defined under federal legislation for the children's tax credit, with costs totalling $500 or less, can be claimed by the young adult, a spouse or parent. As a tax credit, this will reduce the Manitoba income tax otherwise payable in a year. As iscurrently the case for the children's tax credit, young adults with a disability will be eligible for an additional tax credit. This is the first step toward meeting the commitment made in the 2009 speech from the throne to phase in a new adult fitness credit, said Selinger.

"Our government has been at the forefront of promoting physical activity as a life‐long practice," said Rondeau. "Encouraging young people to establish good habits at an early age increases the likelihood that they'll be on the right track for life."

The Fitness Tax Credit is one component of Manitoba's comprehensive approach to raise activity levels and reduce barriers to physical activity. The vision is to make Manitobans healthier by increasing physical activity in the province by 10 per cent by this year and by 20 per cent by 2015. Manitobans are on track to meet these targets, said Rondeau. The ultimate goal is for Manitobans be the healthiest, most physically active people in Canada, he added.

Another component of the overall approach is Manitoba in motion, a program to help all Manitobans make physical activity part of their daily lives for health and enjoyment. Communities, schools and workplaces across the province are participating. Manitoba in motion provides tips and tools for Manitobans wanting to get active. Details are available on the website at www.manitobainmotion.ca. Manitoba in motion received the national 2008 Canada in motion Russ Kisby Physical Activity Leadership Award for excellence in physical activity leadership.

Source: Manitoba Health

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