Government of Canada

Government of Canada

June 01, 2009 08:30 ET

Sport Participation Takes Centre Stage

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 1, 2009) - The Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario announced an agreement today to fund sports programs for Ontarians, with a particular emphasis on enhancing opportunities for young people, Aboriginal Canadians and people at risk.

Participating at the event were the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of State (Sport); the Honourable Margarett Best, Ontario Minister of Health Promotion; and James Boyce, Executive Director, Ontario Tennis Association.

"This agreement underlines the importance of partnerships to involve Canadians in sport and encourage Canadians to live actively," said Minister of State Lunn. "Our Government is committed to promoting sport activities that benefit young people, Aboriginal communities, and all Canadians."

"The Ontario government recognizes the significant role sport plays in leading healthy, active lives ," said Minister Best. "Today's announcement is important to increase opportunities for participation in sport among Canadians and more particularly among our most under-represented groups."

"Sport strengthens communities by bringing people of all backgrounds and ages together," said the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament (Whitby-Oshawa). "Today's announcement is another example of how both governments are working to help Canadians embrace the power of sport."

The Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario believe that participation in sport strengthens individuals by giving them opportunities to develop discipline, leadership, and teamwork skills.

Under this agreement the Government of Canada and the Ontario government will each contribute $2.65 million for a total investment of $5.3 million over three years. Funding will go towards projects such as:

- The Track and Field Fitness project which provides organized activity sessions for over 10,000 Aboriginal children and young people in 60 First Nations communities.

- The Bridging the Gap Through School Sport project, which offers leadership training for senior students in the Physical Education Leadership course.

- The Sports Camps for Kids initiative, which helps Boys and Girls Clubs across Ontario to offer customized sports camps to over 5,000 children and young people at risk.

The Government of Canada is the single largest contributor to sport in this country. It supports participation and excellence from the playground to the podium, with an annual investment of $166 million.

The Province of Ontario is committed to increasing Ontarians' sport and physical activity participation levels and developing high performance athletes. The Ontario government provides over $23 million annually through a number of programs that support amateur sport in Ontario.

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

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Gary Lunn, P.C., M.P.
    Minister of State (Sport)
    Michelle Yao
    819-934-1131
    or
    Office of the Honourable
    Margarett Best, MPP
    Ontario Minister of Health Promotion
    Dipika Damerla
    416-326-8497
    or
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations
    819-994-9101
    1-866-569-6155