2 Time Gold Medalist & Flag Bearer Heather Moyse Addressed Victoria County Council
Regular Bi-monthly Council Meeting – October 20, 2014
Ski Cape Smokey Lodge, Ingonish
Heather Moyse’s Remarks:
“Thank You Council for having me here at your meeting tonight and for partnering with NS Health & Wellness Active Living Branch in bringing me to Victoria County to “Celebrate” your Physical Activity Strategy – “Naturally Active”
I wish to commend every council member and CAO Sandy for your tremendous support and contribution to the strategy over the past 3 + years. You have shown strong leadership by supporting a strategy under the provincial MPAL program for your residents. Naturally Active has created a lot of opportunities for residents to lead or be exposed to a healthy lifestyle.
Physical inactivity and healthy eating is very complex. It takes more than the municipality and a coordinator to make a difference. But, Your strategy is making a difference as you’ll find out in the coming weeks with a Report Card.
Your strategy was built from the grassroots – outreaching to residents, leaders, volunteers, facility operators, service providers and includes Mi’kmaw, and Gaelic Culture and Heritage highlighted in the Branding “Naturally Active” that has led to the buy in and ownership leading to the success it is today.
The strategy has created valuable partners collaborating, who are sharing valuable resources like the Strategy Partnership:
- NS Health & Wellness Active Living Branch
- NS Transportation Infrastructure & Renewal
- Cape Breton District Health Authority and Chair of Strategy Eileen Woodford
- Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board
- Heart & Stroke Foundation
- Parks Canada
- Victoria County
The implementation team of the Strategy, VCAN-Victoria County Action Network developed from fellow Olympian and three time Olympic medalist Silken Laumann’s C.A.N Vision (Canada Action Networks in communities across Canada) have been key links to community based initiatives.
The strategy also partners with Cape Breton Regional and Provincial Initiatives allowing for sharing of resources and keeping abreast of funding & current trends.
This weeks “Celebration” truly shows the momentum and efforts over the past number of years:
Victoria County under the Strategy:
- Has seen increased community-use of schools and Partnerships
- It has not been sitting on a shelf – it has brought action and accountability
- It’s been for all areas and all residents
- Wildlife education and awareness component has increased allowing for residents to be active in Nature
- You are seeing more certified community-based leaders leading programs
- Facilities running four seasons
- Lower insurance cost alternatives
- Coordinated efforts
- Active Transportation Plan and increased non-motorized movement
- Workplace Wellness Policy for all
- Initiatives have Affordable, accessible and in cases FREE
- Active For Life Initiatives in partnership with Sport NS
- and Residents are more active in winter, instead of using the weather as an excuse.
The motivation and mindset is key and hopefully with my presentations in Victoria County to your future residents, it has assisted them in motivating them to lead an active lifestyle.
There is still lots of work to do, so it’s important to keep working to achieve the Vision for 2017 and the goals & objectives within the strategy. Council needs to continue to provide the leadership and resources needed to sustain the strategy, with long lasting benefits to residents.
It can be argued that “Naturally Active” is the leading strategy in the Cape Breton Region and possibly Nova Scotia. That’s contributed to the buy in and ownership of Council, Partnership, VCAN and the many volunteers, leaders, organizations, service providers and facility operators who have stepped up to take action in making a difference”.
I leave you with one quote that was shared with me:
“Victoria County has been raising the MPAL bar and you folks should be proud of your accomplishments and advancements. Your municipality has been a very bright light in the Cape Breton Region and our MPAL program province-wide” – Larry Maxwell, Cape Breton Regional Representative, NS Department of Health & Wellness Active Living Branch
HEATHER MOYSE, 2 TIME GOLD MEDALIST AND FLAG BEARER