Children and teens in Nova Scotia now have more access to sport and recreation activities thanks to the new healthy living tax incentive. Parents who register children and teens, who are 18-years old and under, in an organized sport, recreation or physical activity program can now claim up to $150 per child toward registration fees. “The immediate objective is to make enrolment in sport more affordable,” said Health Promotion Minister Rodney MacDonald. “We want more young people to have the opportunity to get involved in sport and physical recreation and we realize that cost can be a barrier. This incentive is a small but significant first step in getting people to think about living a more active life.” Organizations must register with Nova Scotia Health Promotion by Dec. 31 to ensure participants get the credit. The credit will only be available to groups that register with Health Promotion by Dec. 31 of the tax year that the credit is claimed. Group registration is available starting today, Aug. 16, on the Health Promotion website at www.gov.ns.ca/ohp/HealthyLivingIncentive.html . Qualified programs include those offered to the public by the government of Canada, the province of Nova Scotia, any municipal government within the province, or by a private organization registered to do business in Nova Scotia. The programs can include everything from swimming lessons to dance classes. “We are pleased to see the government initiate a program that will help reduce barriers to participation in sport and recreation,” said Jamie Ferguson, CEO, Sport Nova Scotia. “We applaud the government for demonstrating that it recognizes the importance of sport and recreation to all Nova Scotians.” To claim the credit, parents/guardians must save the registration receipt and apply for the credit on their tax return in the spring. A line will be added to Nova Scotia tax forms. The healthy living incentive is another way that Nova Scotia Health Promotion is combating growing overweight and obesity rates among young people. The Canadian Community Health Survey indicated that 32 per cent of Nova Scotians aged two to 17 years are overweight or obese, compared to 26 per cent of Canadians of the same age.