Government of Canada

Government of Canada
Government of Manitoba

Government of Manitoba

May 20, 2008 11:30 ET

The Government of Canada Signs Bilateral Agreement for Aboriginal Sport in Manitoba

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - May 20, 2008) - The Government of Canada and the Province of Manitoba signed a bilateral agreement today that reaffirms Canada's support for increasing sport participation and provides new funds to enhance opportunities for Aboriginal people's participation in sport.

Participating at the event were the Honourable Vic Toews, President of the Treasury Board and Member of Parliament (Provencher), on behalf of the Honourable Helena Guergis, Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (Sport), and the Honourable Eric Robinson, Manitoba's Minister of Culture, Heritage, Tourism, and Sport.

This agreement brings the total Government of Canada contribution to Manitoba to more than one million dollars over the next three years. An existing contribution of $801,000 supports sport participation, while today's contribution of $256,000-along with matching funds from Manitoba-will help strengthen Aboriginal sport in the province.

"This bilateral agreement will help increase sport participation in the province," said Mr. Toews. "It will support initiatives that encourage children, young people, persons with disabilities, and Aboriginal people in Manitoba to increase their participation in sport and be more physically active."

The funding will assist the provincial government in delivering projects that include community sport, programs for young people, and coaching development.

"We are pleased that the federal government has agreed to match Manitoba's financial contribution to increase Aboriginal sport participation opportunities across Manitoba," said Minister Robinson. "Sport and recreation are important at all stages of life, and encouraging Manitobans to get involved at younger ages will lead to increased long-term gains."

The Government of Canada and the Province of Manitoba believe that participation in sport is part of a healthy lifestyle and contributes to a healthy society. Sport strengthens individuals, and it also strengthens communities by bringing people of all backgrounds and ages together.

"The Bilateral Sports Development Program was first initiated in 2003 and, with increased funding, has been able to grow to include programs in the inner city and isolated Aboriginal communities," said Jeff Hnatiuk, President and CEO of Sport Manitoba, which manages the agreement. "Sport Manitoba has more recently partnered with the Manitoba Aboriginal Sports and Recreation Council to deliver the Manitoba Aboriginal Sports Participation Bilateral Program, a program designed to build capacity and assist in the development of community sport and recreation development in the province."

The Government of Canada is the single largest investor in Canada's sport system, supporting participation and excellence from the playground to the podium. 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 over $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) (Sport)
    Blair MacLean
    Director of Communications and Parliamentary Affairs
    Canadian Heritage
    Donald Boulanger
    A/Chief, Media Relations