Government of Canada

Government of Canada

March 10, 2008 17:30 ET

The Government of Canada Signs Bilateral Agreements With Three Territories to Increase Sport Participation in the North

YELLOWKNIFE, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES--(Marketwire - March 10, 2008) - The Honourable Helena Guergis, Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (Sport), reaffirmed the Government of Canada's support for increasing sport participation, and enhancing opportunities for Aboriginal peoples to participate in sport, through three-year bilateral agreements with the three territorial governments.

Today, the agreements were announced at an event in Yellowknife. Participating at the event were Michael McLeod, Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs in the Northwest Territories; Glenn Hart, Minister of Community Services, Yukon Territory; and Pheobe Hainnu, Deputy Minister of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth, who represented Louis Tapardjuk, Nunavut Minister of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth.

These agreements represent a Government of Canada contribution of more than $2.3 million over the next three years to Nunavut, the Yukon Territory, and the Northwest Territories.

"These bilateral agreements will help increase sport participation in the territories," said Secretary of State Guergis. "They will support initiatives that encourage children, young people, persons with disabilities, and Aboriginal people in the territories, to participate more in sport and be more physically active."

The funding will assist the territorial governments in delivering projects that are focused on such things as community sport, traditional sports, and youth and coaching development.

"This agreement with the Government of Canada is an excellent opportunity for the sport system in the Northwest Territories," said Minister McLeod. "It will help us to significantly increase sport participation levels, as well as provide increased support to the Aboriginal Sport Circle of the Western Arctic to enhance their ability to increase sport participation within the Aboriginal community. Through this agreement, we will be able to continue to provide support to territorial sport organizations, offer more sport participation camps, role model presentations, and advance our traditional coaching program."

"Yukon is very pleased to be renewing our sport bilateral with Canada," said Minister Hart. "We are excited about the opportunity to combine the Aboriginal bilateral with our existing sport bilateral. Our collaborative effort with the past bilateral produced positive results, and we are looking forward to continued success with our renewed agreement." Our delivery partners are implementing programs to support the leadership development of coaches in rural Yukon, to assist rural athletes with travel to competitions and training opportunities and for our high performance athletes to access services and programs that will help them reach their goals and realize their dreams. The Yukon Aboriginal Sport Circle, the Recreation and Parks Association of the Yukon, Sport Yukon and our territorial sport organizations and special recreation groups are working hard within all communities to build capacity and develop our sport system that will ensure healthy people and healthy communities and lots of pride in the accomplishments of our young people in sport! The bilateral agreement has helped make this all possible."

"Nunavut communities face unique challenges in the area of sport development," said Minister Tapardjuk. "We need to work collaboratively to provide better opportunities to our athletes, coaches, and volunteers. I am pleased that this bilateral agreement will provide positive change in the Nunavut sport development system."

The Government of Canada is the single largest investor in Canada's sport system. When the recent commitment in Budget 2008 is fully implemented, the Government of Canada's investment in the Canadian sport system will grow to an all-time high of more than $164 million annually. This provides funding for initiatives to support our high-performance athletes and to promote sport participation among all Canadians.

This news release is available on the Internet at under Media Room.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Helena Guergis, P.C., M.P.
    Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade)
    Canadian Heritage
    Donald Boulanger
    A/Chief, Media Relations
    Government of Nunavut
    Marilyn Neily
    Special Advisor, Sport and Recreation
    Ian Legaree
    Director, Sport Recreation and
    Youth Government of the
    Northwest Territories
    Government of Yukon
    Karen Thomson
    Director of Sport and Recreation