Ontario's "Get Active" tax break begins in December



    Healthy Gift Option For the Holidays

    TORONTO, Dec. 2 /CNW/ - Just in time for holiday shopping, Ontario
consumers will benefit from a Retail Sales Tax (RST) exemption on the purchase
of qualifying bicycles, bicycle helmets and related safety equipment,
announced Minister of Health Promotion, Margarett Best.
    "The removal of the RST will encourage more Ontarians to purchase bikes
and helmets which will help them to get more active," said Best. "I am pleased
that the McGuinty government is removing barriers for Ontario families and
encouraging safe participation in recreational activities."
    The Ontario government will exempt bicycles costing $1,000 or less, along
with bicycle helmets and other related safety equipment, from retail sales tax
(RST), effective December 1, 2007.
    "By making bikes and their related safety gear a little more affordable,
our RST exemption helps to promote a clean, efficient and healthy mode of
transportation," said Finance Minister Dwight Duncan. "Whether you're biking
with family for fun, commuting, competing or making deliveries, these savings
will help Ontarians stretch their dollars toward healthier lifestyles."
    The McGuinty government is working to help all Ontarians to live
healthier lives by becoming more active. Through the Active2010 Strategy, the
government is building a culture of physical activity in Ontario and is also
working to reduce the frequency, severity and impact of preventable injury in
the province through Ontario's Injury Prevention Strategy, launched earlier
this year.
    "We are very excited about the RST exemption as it directly impacts youth
and families that participate in our cycling programs," said Derek MacNeil,
Youth Program Coordinator, the Ontario Cycling Association. "Easing access to
programs such as CANBIKE, BMX and Sprockids, has positive effects on the
health of our children, families and communities. We look forward to seeing
the results of this incentive on Ontario's cycling community."
    Providing a point-of-sale RST exemption for bicycles and bicycle helmets
is just one of the ways the McGuinty government is helping Ontarians to stay
healthy. Other initiatives include:

    
    -   The Ontario Safe Sport Helmet initiative which educates Ontario's
        children and youth about the importance of wearing a helmet when
        participating in sports and recreational activities
    -   Creating the Ontario Trails Strategy to develop a world-class trails
        system
    -   Creating Ontario's Healthy Eating, Active Living Strategy to improve
        the health of all Ontarians
    -   The Communities In Action Fund, which is working to improve
        opportunities for community sport and physical activity across the
        province.

    For more information about the RST exemption, please contact the nearest
Ontario Ministry of Revenue Tax Office listed under Taxes - Provincial
(Retail) Sales Tax in the blue pages of your telephone directory, at
www.rev.gov.on.ca, or contact the Ministry of Information Centre at
1-800-263-7965.

    Disponible en français
    





For further information:

For further information: Scott Blodgett, Ministry of Finance,
Communications, (416) 325-0324; Guy Bethell, Minister's Office, Ministry of
Health Promotion, Office: (416) 326-8495, Cell: (647) 261-3223; Julie
Rosenberg, Communications, Ministry of Health Promotion, (416) 326-4833

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ONTARIO MINISTRY OF HEALTH PROMOTION

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