Federal Budget 2015 - Sport Matters Group's Summary for the Sector

News Release
 

Federal Budget Provides $20 million Over Four Years to High Performance Sport

Ottawa, Ontario (April 21, 2015)

Finance Minister Joe Oliver released his Economic Action Plan for 2015-16 this afternoon and high performance sport is highlighted in it.
 
While recognizing that 2015 has been proclaimed the Year of Sport, the government sees the benefits of being active.  “During 2015 Canadians are being encouraged to celebrate the role that sport plays in the country and to participate in and seek the benefits of sport” the document reads.
 
The high performance sport system in Canada received some very good news in the Budget.
 
Economic Action Plan 2015 announced a $20 million dollar investment ($5 million per year) in high performance sport over the four (4) year period beginning in 2016-17, to be matched by the private sector.  This was proposed in the Sport Matters submission to the Standing Committee on Finance last August in preparation for the Budget.  Working with the Canadian Olympic Committee, Own the Podium and the Canadian Paralympic Committee the need was identified to be able to support additional coaches, invest in sport science and to help identify the next generation of athletes who are five to eight years away from a potential podium finish. 
 
“We are ecstatic at the announcement of this new money, said Anne Merklinger, CEO of Own the Podium.  This will provide us with the wherewithal to support Canada’s next generation of podium potential Olympians and Paralympians.”
 
“High performance sport has just been given a significant boost for the next four years”, said Bob Elliott, Senior Leader at the Sport Matters Group, “its great news!”
 
The Budget also reconfirmed this government’s support for the previously announced refundable Children’s Fitness Tax Credit on amounts paid up to $1000 while also promising to establish an “expert panel” to study the potential scope of an Adult Fitness Tax Credit.  “While not making any additional financial investment in active healthy living initiatives we are prepared to work with the government on this initiative”, said SMG Senior Leader Bob Elliott. 
 
In its submission, and working with the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA), Sport Matters also recommended that the sport and recreation facility infrastructure deficit be addressed.  The Budget has recognized the importance of doing so by expanding the eligible investment categories under the New Building Canada Plan to include sport and recreation as well as tourism.
 
The Budget also establishes the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program which has the potential to benefit the sport and recreation community.  The details are still unclear however this initiative will “create a new dedicated infrastructure fund to support the renovation, expansion and improvement of existing community infrastructure in all regions of the country. These investments will be cost-shared with municipalities, community organizations and not-for-profit entities.” 
 
The budget also announced $210 million for activities and events to celebrate Canada’s 150thanniversary of Confederation in 2017.  “Funding will be used to support local community events such as festivals and concerts…..that will unite Canadians from coast to coast to coast”, said the document. 
 
For more detailed information on the Budget click here.
 
About Sport Matters Group

The Sport Matters Group (SMG) is a voluntary group of leaders from the sport, physical activity and recreation sector who have come together to talk about the important contribution that sport makes to society and to collaborate in advancing sport, physical activity and public policy. The SMG community includes over 65 National, Provincial, and Multisport Organizations, as well as physical activity, recreation and sport tourism organizations.
 
For more information, please contact:

Bob Elliott, Senior Leader
Sport Matters Group
O (613) 231-7472 ext 222
C (613) 299-5542
bob.elliott@sportmatters.ca  www.sportmatters.ca