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eau-claireCalgary oilman and philanthropist Jim Gray deserves credit for drawing attention to the importance of encouraging Albertans to live healthy lives. Gray is chairman of the Wellness Alberta coalition and is calling on the provincial government to create an independent foundation funded annually by $60 million from the public’s coffers.

“We are confident that the premier and the health minister will make the improved health of Albertans a top priority by committing to the creation of a provincial wellness foundation,” Gray said this week. “Alberta needs a well-financed, effective and sustainable wellness foundation to reduce the burden of chronic disease and injury.”

The coalition — which says provincial funding should climb to at least $200 million in three to five years — is on solid footing in urging that preventive health become a greater priority.

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