Winnipeg can be a year-round playground


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/01/2021 (868 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Winnipeg has four very distinct seasons — from ice-cold winters to extreme summer heat waves. The most common reason so many people leave Winnipeg, either permanently or for a few months every year, is the cold weather.

I believe we need to do more to invest in and promote the benefits of living in Winnipeg year-round. By doing this we will see healthier communities and a healthier economy.

We love our summers but what about our winters? Are there more things we can do to make winter a more enjoyable part of the year? When was the last time you went skiing?

Supplied photo A crowd of tobogganers recently enjoyed the warm January weather at Westview Park, a.k.a. Garbage Hill.

The other day, while driving past Westview Park, which is better known to me and many others as Garbage Hill, I saw what looked to be over 100 people sliding down the hill, running back up, laughing and smiling the whole way.

At the risk of sounding cheesy, it reminded me of a simpler time. It reminded me of my childhood, when we all played outside, no matter the weather. Growing up often meant that ‘fun’ was sliding down a hill with a piece of cardboard. It might sound rough to some, but that was the simple, honest fun we grew up with. One year, Santa Claus brought me a Krazy Karpet for Christmas, which replaced my cardboard and was a whole lot easier to bring back up the hill than a wooden toboggan and which slid much faster than a cardboard box.

I did not see any cardboard boxes when I went by Westview Park, but it warmed my heart to see so many families outside, making the most of the unseasonably warm weather and enjoying themselves.

Everything seems so much more complicated these days. For many people a ‘family vacation’ means flying to the tropics, not taking a road trip to explore our own backyard. Kids are glued to screens all day long; it almost seems like their whole world exists inside a cell phone or a video game. Far too many young people I know would barely consider leaving their houses to go outdoors. The great outdoors can be fun year-round and we should be exploring ways to expand on that idea.

‘Building back better’ is an oft-quoted phrase when we talk about our post-pandemic recovery. We need to invest in our communities and our parks. We need to give our neighbours a hand when they are asking for help, and we need to stand up to protect the environment we live in.

We recently committed in Ottawa to protecting 25 per cent of Canada’s natural landscape and planting two billion trees. These are important steps, but every person has their own role to play.

Enjoy the outdoors, connect with your community, and remind your local governments that you value our parks.

Remember the spirit of prairie innovation that turns a landfill into a toboggan run, a pile of garbage into a source of joy for hundreds of people. What more can we do to make our city a fun place to be no matter what time of the year it is?

Kevin Lamoureux

Kevin Lamoureux
Winnipeg North constituency report

Kevin Lamoureux is the Liberal Member of Parliament for Winnipeg North.

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