Budget 2019 Recommendation

Speaking Notes

  • We’d like to highlight the recommendation submitted in our Brief asking for a 25 percent increase to the Sport Support Program. This increase will allow National Sport Organizations to hire the right people, develop the right programs, and build the policies we need to keep kids active and make sure Canadians of all ages, backgrounds and abilities are able to access the benefits of values-based, safe sport.
  • The Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth recommend at least an hour of physical activity per day and two hours or less of recreational screen time per day for children aged eight to 11 years. 
  • In Canada, 82% of adults and 65% of children are not active enough. The loss of personal and financial productivity due to physical inactivity costs the Canadian health care system $4.3 billion each year. If just 10% of the country sat less and moved more, we would reduce health-care costs by $2.6 billion and inject $7.5 billion into the Canadian economy over a twenty-five-year period. 
  • National sport organizations such as Curling Canada and Athletics Canada have developed programs in partnership with their provincial and municipal affiliates to introduce children and youth to sport, and to allow them to progress from participant to competitor based on their interest and skill level. 
  • For example, Run Jump Throw Wheel is a national program developed by Athletics Canada that teaches fundamental movement skills and develops physical literacy.  Using track and field inspired games, activities and skill challenges lead by instructors specifically trained to teach the fundamentals of running, jumping, throwing and wheeling, the goal is to provide a physical activity program that serves as a strong foundation for all sports. Any teacher, sport club coach or community recreation leader is capable of delivering the basic Run Jump Throw Wheel program.
  • Participation in sport leads to better health and greater productivity, it can build character in our children, strengthen our communities, and increase our athletes’ chances for excellence on the world stage.
  • Sport participation can also be particularly important for new Canadians who identify sport as a means of integrating into Canadian society and say sports help them learn about Canadian culture.
  • National sport organizations have been looking for ways to break down barriers for children and youth to gain access to quality and safe sport programming for years. 
  • In addition to developing and governing all aspects of a particular sport, national sport organizations have taken on significant new responsibilities over the past decade in order to adapt to the demands of an evolving sport system and a changing world.
  • For example, creating a sport environment, free from harassment, abuse or discrimination is imperative. Concussions in sport are a recognized public health issue and national sport organizations are required to develop concussion protocols and return to sport strategies. Creating opportunities for girls and women to participate in sport, as well as programming that is interesting and accessible for indigenous youth is also a priority.
  • Despite these growing responsibilities, national sport organizations have received no additional funding to support the rising costs of hiring staff, conducting innovative research, and developing sophisticated, inclusive programming needed to encourage Canadians to participate. Since 2008, core funding has remained virtually stagnant, even though inflation has risen by almost 16 per cent. 
  • We ask that you consider our recommendation to increase the core funding component of the Sport Support Program by 25%, which is an additional $18 million per year on an ongoing basis.

Our Ask

  1. Can you recommend other MPs or key officials who you think we should speak to about our recommendation?
  2. If you support our recommendation, would you be willing to speak to the Minister of Finance and indicate your support for our recommendation?