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Senator Raine skis on the hill
February 28, 2016

It has been used as a concert hall, a yoga studio, grounds for the changing of the guard ceremony, and a home for national celebrations. This February, history was once again made on Parliament Hill.

With a blustery winter storm providing the perfect setting, the west lawn was turned into a cross country ski track featuring Senator Nancy Greene Raine, a champion alpine skier, and former Paralympian Caroline Bisson.

Carillon music played in the background as Parliamentarians and youth from Ottawa’s Nakkertok ski club took to the track in front of the Parliament buildings for the first time ever.

The purpose? To promote National Health and Fitness Day, and to encourage Canadian communities to embrace winter.

Photo of Senator Greene Raine skiing on the Hill

“I’m really proud to work with my colleagues from every party on this. Our goal with this event is to plant the idea that there should be cross country skiing in every schoolyard in Canada. Ski in the schoolyards, go Canada go!”

Senator Nancy Greene Raine

Photo of children enjoying ski day on the Hill

“What a day to embrace winter. This is about making Canada the fittest in the world. I strongly believe that when a nation’s leaders talk about being the fittest nation in the world, and leading a fitness craze, we’re going to get there, there’s no question about it. If you look at this, this is about embracing winter. Isn’t this what Canada is? Ski, skate, bike, and swim! This is what we’re about. Go Canada go!”

Pierre Lafontaine, Cross Country Canada CEO.

Photo of Former Paralympian Caroline Bisson

Note to readers: The Honourable Nancy Green Raine retired from the Senate of Canada in May, 2018. Learn more about her work in Parliament.