In light of Canadian kids receiving an “F” grade from Active Healthy Kids Canada (AHKC) for time spent in front a screen, MP Dr. Keith Martin (pictured) is proposing a “national turnoff day.”
The proposed date would encourage kids to switch off TVs, computers and videogame systems in a bid to stimulate physical activity. The StarPhoenix writes that Martin will present a motion to Parliament that would “…encourage the federal government to work with the provinces to promote a one-night a week TV/video game free night."
“It's just kids are not physically active. They're sitting down for an appalling length of time. We weren't designed to live like that as human beings,” stated Martin, continuing, “Kids need to be active and parents need to lead by example by getting their children away from the TV and video games to engage in free play.”
The AHKC report (PDF) estimated that Canadian kids spend six hours per weekday, and seven each weekend day, in front of a screen.
Martin is MP for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca in British Columbia. He created a stir in 2002 when he attempted to “seize and remove” the ceremonial Mace which is typically placed on the clerk’s table in the House of Commons. The Mace is meant to symbolize the Royal authority of Queen Elizabeth II. Martin later apologized for his action.