It is a rare occasion when I experience a good belly laugh, but the following bogus media release, reported by the CBC's Allison Crawford, had that effect. While I doubt that the morose and ostensibly humourless Harper government will be amused, those with a degree of normalcy in their mental and emotional makeup probably will. Enjoy:
Harper Government Announces New Fitness Tax Credits for Seniors Shovelling Snow
OTTAWA - The Hon. Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency today announced a new Fitness Tax Credit for Seniors who shovel their own sidewalks, effective immediately.
Aglukkaq said that the new program is the first in a series of "preventive" health care measures from the Harper Government that will pare health care costs by encouraging Canadians to take greater responsibility for their health, while also supporting independent living and fitness in those 55 and over.
"Studies show that seniors can improve muscle mass and cardiovascular fitness through strenuous physical activity," said Aglukkaq. "By instituting a Seniors Fitness Tax Credit for Shoveling Snow, seniors on fixed incomes will not have to pay anyone to shovel their walks, they will be rewarded - even posthumously - for doing it themselves."
Aglukkaq said that seniors who mail in photographic or video proof that they shovel their own sidewalks will receive a crisp $50 Canadian bill in the mail. If the snow is heavy and wet, the amount rises to $100.
Concerns that shoveling snow might lead to heart attacks was unwarranted, said Aglukkaq.
"There is no scientific consensus on the link between shoveling snow and heart attacks," said Aglukkaq. "In fact, there is considerably more credible scientific evidence for climate change."
Aglukkaq said that if the program is widely adopted, it would actually save the government hundreds of millions of taxpayers' dollars by reducing overspending in CPP, the Guaranteed Income Supplement, and health care costs. The savings would be achieved mostly through attrition, she added.