We’re Kaitlyn and Keegan. We’re in Grade 7 in Lloydminster. Our story began when we were investigating the harmful effects of tobacco use as a school assignment. We discovered that there were so many chemicals in tobacco products that could cause cancer in our bodies. We wondered how products like this would even be legal to use. From this point we began to look at our local laws to protect children from tobacco.
We live in a border city. Half our residents live in Saskatchewan and the other half in Alberta. We discovered that in Saskatchewan, children are protected from the harmful effects of tobacco while in vehicles. In other words, adults cannot smoke in vehicles that children are in. This is a good law. To our sadness we found out that children who live in Alberta do not yet have this protection.
We decided to make this more than just a school assignment. Our next step was to host a luncheon in which we invited representatives from our school administration, school board, city, and both provinces to bring awareness of this issue. We all created anti-tobacco posters for our school. Some of us made announcements over the school intercom and some of us wrote letters to the editor of our newspaper. We created a photo in which we divided up our class which our border marker in the middle of us. Our message was that we wanted equal protection from both provinces.
My name is Amber Burton and I’ve always been concerned about the use of cosmetic pesticides within an urban setting. In the summer of 2010, I worked with the Saskatchewan Environmental Society (SES) in partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society on their Pesticide Reduction Program. Pesticides have been linked to many types of cancer and they are bad for the environment. Children and pets are at much greater risk to these chemical because they spend a lot more time in green spaces within our cities.
I am concerned that Saskatchewan has no phase-out plan to move towards banning pesticides. Many other provinces already have provincial pesticide bans in place. During my time working on the Pesticide Reduction Program with SES I surveyed many households on their opinions on cosmetic pesticide use in Saskatoon. Many of the people I talked to said they might try other products if they had more information about them. It was through my experience with SES and my own research that I’ve become aware of how important it is for our province to bring in policies that stop the use of cosmetic pesticides within city limits.
My name is Jenna Gaube and I am passionate about advocating for the cause of indoor tanning for many reasons. I do not feel that the tanning institutions and the government have done a good enough job of explaining the risks of tanning, especially to our youth. Most young girls are concerned with looking good and assume that if tanning was really bad for them, there would be disclaimers, or warnings to emphasize these dangers, like there is for smoking.
I was one of those young girls who thought that way, the last thing I was going to do when I was in high school was research the negative effects of tanning. My parents told me that using indoor tanning equipment was harmful to me but I did it anyway, believing that if it was “that bad” there would be stronger warnings. Now I know tanning in a tanning bed is as dangerous to my health as smoking, and that laying in the sun and using tanning beds greatly increases your chances of skin cancer and premature aging.
Bylaws should protect people by requiring tanning salons to advertise the negative effects as well as the “positive” benefits of indoor tanning.
I will continue to spread my knowledge of indoor tanning dangers to my friends, family and the younger generation. My mission will be to remind people that you can achieve a healthy glow much more safely by using sunless tanning lotions or getting a spray tan.
Every day 15 people are diagnosed with cancer and 6 people lose their fight in Saskatchewan. We know you are concerned about cancer.
At several Relay for Life events more than 5,000 people told us in a survey that they want to fight back against tobacco, cosmetic use of pesticides and indoor tanning. Here’s YOUR chance.
Make cancer an election issue. Learn what the political parties have to say about these issues and how you can make a difference with your vote and your voice.
Spread the word
Our collective voices will make all the difference in the fight against cancer. Help bring even more voices to the fight. Invite your friends to join us in speaking out for public policies that will improve the health and quality of life of all people in the province of Saskatchewan. Follow us on facebook or join in on the conversation on Twitter.
Be a Champion of Health
Be a champion and refrain from using chemicals on your lawn – post a 'pesticide free sign', or ask your school board if they use herbicides on your school grounds.