Public Health Agency of Canada

Public Health Agency of Canada

January 22, 2014 14:25 ET

Harper Government and the Heart and Stroke Foundation Deliver on Commitment to Install Defibrillators Across the Country

Devices now being installed in recreational arenas

LEGAL, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Jan. 22, 2014) - Public Health Agency of Canada

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are now being installed in recreational arenas across the country, thanks to a partnership between the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSF).

One of the first AEDs installed under this program was unveiled today at the Town of Legal Recreational Complex in Legal, Alberta, marking the beginning of a three-year plan that will equip recreational arenas across the country with the life-saving devices and train arena staff on how to use them.

Defibrillators are electronic devices used to restart a person's heart that has stopped beating. They are safe, easy-to-use, and while they can be operated effectively by the public, training equips people with the knowledge and skills to confidently use these devices and to deliver quick CPR.

Quick Facts

  • The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, announced this 4-year program in February 2013.
  • At this time, we estimate that 2000 AEDs will be installed by 2016; installation updates can be obtained on the HSF's website.
  • Through this initiative, the Government of Canada is providing support to HSF to develop a national database that will track AEDs installed in recreational arenas. The database is intended to provide local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) with valuable information regarding the availability of AEDs located in their jurisdictions.
  • This initiative is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada and carried out by the Heart and Stroke Foundation.


"Our Government is committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians while encouraging active and healthy lifestyles. Today, we are happy to be working with our partners to install one of the first of many Automated External Defibrillators to be made available in recreational arenas across the country."

Rona Ambrose

Minister of Health

"Each year, up to 40,000 Canadians experience sudden cardiac arrest. As many as 85 per cent occur in public
places or at home. Without rapid and appropriate treatment, most cardiac arrests will result in death. Access to early CPR and defibrillation, preferably within the first one to three minutes after cardiac arrest, increases chances of survival by as much as 75 per cent."

Bobbe Wood

President of the Heart and Stroke Foundation

"The community of Legal is proud to receive the first AED under this program. As a first-responder, I know from experience that every second matters when critical incidents occur. I'd like to thank those administering this program, which will help communities like ours provide even safer facilities for our friends and neighbours."

Ken Baril,

Mayor of Legal,

Related Products

Fact Sheet

Associated Links

For more information about AED installation and training, visit

February 21, 2013: PM announces support for defibrillators in community hockey arenas

Contact Information

  • Michael Bolkenius
    Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
    Federal Minister of Health
    (613) 957-0200

    Media Relations
    Public Health Agency of Canada
    (613) 957-2983