This year of all years, it's important for Canadians to support the goal of raising $35 million in honour of the 35th year of the Terry Fox Run. Already, major steps towards reaching that goal were made Sunday when hundreds of thousands of people took part in Runs in the Tri-Cities, across Canada and around the world.
Soon, local students will be getting in on the act when they hold their annual Terry Fox Runs at schools throughout School District 43 and B.C. We love it when school children, from those who are young and excited to middle school and high school students who are not so easily motivated, join in the fun to raise funds in support of Terry, a Canadian icon since his Marathon of Hope.
There is also so much to be praised about the way the Terry Fox Foundation and its able workers and volunteers organize these runs, and it's a thrill to see so many people out walking and running for this cause.
Unfortunately, there was a bleak spot in an otherwise glorious, if rainy, Sunday when outgoing Conservative MP James Moore used the run to promote his party's bid for re-election.
At a press conference in Port Moody with Stephen Harper's wife Laureen Harper, Moore promised that a re-elected Conservative government would match donations raised during the Terry Fox Runs up to $35 million, contribute $12.5 million in capital funding towards a cancer research and prevention, and renew a $250-million commitment towards the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer when the program comes up for renewal in 2017.
These are all good things but they needn't have been announced during an election — it's hardly late-breaking news that this is the 35th anniversary year — because doing so makes them contingent on voter support and the offer seems self-serving.
Like using Scouts and Girl Guides in uniform at a campaign rally, it's unseemly at best, disgustingly cynical at worst to use the Terry Fox Run to promote the interests of a political party.
It's hard to imagine what the Conservatives were thinking, playing politics with the memory of a Canadian hero and all the good that has been done in his name.