Government of Canada

Government of Canada

August 08, 2008 20:30 ET

The Government of Canada Promotes Sport for Development at the Commonwealth Ministers of Sport Meeting

BEIJING, CHINA--(Marketwire - Aug. 8, 2008) - The Honourable Helena Guergis, Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (Sport), participated in the fourth Commonwealth Sport Ministers Meeting, held in Beijing, China, during the 2008 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

During this meeting, Secretary of State Guergis highlighted the release of Harnessing the Power of Sport for Development and Peace: Recommendations to Governments, the final report of the Sport for Development and Peace International Working Group, and she encouraged her Commonwealth colleagues to consider the recommendations.

"The Government of Canada is firmly committed to the Commonwealth sport movement," said Secretary of State Guergis. "As a member of the Commonwealth, Canada recognizes sport's positive contribution to promoting health, strengthening the development of young people, and fostering social inclusion and gender equality."

Canada has a long-standing record of leadership and engagement in Commonwealth sport, having hosted the first Commonwealth Games in Hamilton in 1930, as well as the Games in Vancouver (1954), Edmonton (1978), and Victoria (1994). Canada looks forward to participating in the next Commonwealth Games, which are to be held in New Delhi, India, in 2010.

In 2007-2008, the Government of Canada, through the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canadian International Development Agency, provided approximately $2.3 million toward Sport for Development initiatives. Of this amount, approximately $1 million went to international Sport for Development programs administered by Commonwealth Games Canada. In 2007-2008, the Department of Canadian Heritage also provided $372,400 in support of Commonwealth Games Canada's administration and its mandate related to Canada's participation in the Commonwealth Games.

The Government of Canada recognizes that sport is a defining part of Canada's identity and is pleased to support Canada's summer sport athletes who compete in major sport events such as the Commonwealth, Olympic, and Paralympic Games. In 2008-2009, the Government of Canada's investment in the Canadian sport system will reach an all-time high of $166 million annually. In Budget 2008, additional funding of $24 million over the next two years and $24 million per year ongoing was announced to support the Road to Excellence program. This funding will enhance the Government's excellence programming for summer athletes, increasing the number of coaches, training camps, and opportunities for our athletes to compete internationally.

The Government of Canada is the single largest contributor to sport in this country and supports participation and excellence from the playground to the podium.

This news release is available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under Media Room.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Helena Guergis,
    Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs and
    International Trade) (Sport)
    Philippe Mailhot
    Director of Communications
    613-995-1293
    or
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations
    819-994-9101
    1-866-569-6155