Mr. Speaker, February is Heart Month in Canada. It is a time to raise awareness about the things Canadians should be doing to reduce their risk of heart attacks and strokes. This includes following a heart healthy diet, exercising regularly and abstaining from cigarettes.
Cardiovascular diseases impose a devastating burden on Canadians, accounting for over 36% of deaths annually and placing a significant hardship and diminished quality of life upon those living with these conditions.
As our population ages, we can expect to see an increase in Canadians living with the crippling effects of heart disease and stroke.
Today representatives from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Cardiovascular Society and the Canadian Council of Cardiovascular Nurses are on the Hill meeting with parliamentarians. They are here to speak to us about the essential role that the federal government must play in improving our health system and in reducing the burden of cardiovascular diseases.
I call upon all parliamentarians to raise awareness in their communities about the benefits of leading a heart healthy lifestyle. Our efforts in that regard will save lives.