I am all for activity tax credits and fitness tax credits and anything that keeps kids active and fit and healthy. I can back that any day and, in fact, I would. I spend well over the $500 a year allowed by the federal fitness tax credit each year – $1,000 for a disabled child. I have some extremely active children and they need a lot of martial arts/ basketball/ swimming/ skating/ music/ drama etc. I claim every year the maximum I can and I tell every new parent I know to take advantage of the federal credit. It makes sense. A mere $500 per family to potentially improve the health of future generations and defray health care costs. It is federal money well spent. I was saddened and slightly bruised by the hit to my pocket book with the introduction of the provincial HST earlier this year. Oh I know how they report it’s better for all of us in the end and blah blah blah. Still I have some trouble swallowing that bitter pill. Mommy was expecting all education talk all month long from Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and instead she got the news of this activity tax credit. The proposed – and it is just a proposed credit – pre-election trial balloons if you will – would see $50 more in my wallet for each child. That makes me happy. Because frankly nothing else is coming down in price. The grocery store isn’t giving milk and bread away. Anything that increases likelihood of more children participating in sport, children of all ages, abilities, sizes, incomes, backgrounds and etcetera, is good for everyone. I recall too well being unable to afford much in way of sports or dance or any other lessons as a child. It was not in the budget for a single mom. And frankly another $50 is a start, but I think we need look at the other various obstacles to participation for young people and families living below the poverty line. I mean even if we had been able to afford a sport back 30 years ago I don’t know when my single parent would have found time in her working life, unsupported by family or friends to have taken us physically to a lesson. I am still not sure if today I would be any further ahead with an activity credit versus the HST. It seems a little bit give with one hand and take with the other. But, Maybe my smart math gal pal Lee-Ann can crunch the numbers for me on this and let me know what she thinks. I sense she may say I would have been better off financially, pre-HST without my $50. And while I am ranting there’s a little something my Mom has been grumping about for awhile and really it makes some sense to me too. If you’re going to do the children’s fitness tax credit, might the feds and/ or the province also look at a senior’s fitness tax credit. It seems Mom might be right on this one. For the last 10 years she’s been marching off to the athletic club trying to maintain somewhat of an upperhand over osteoporosis and arthritis. You can easily make the same argument that fit seniors are healthy seniors and, less of a burden on health care. Good health is its own reward, you say? True enough I suppose. But why not a little good faith here too. Seniors, last I checked, vote too.