Sport Matters Group Update - October 2018

Budget 2019 – SMG recommends a 25% increase to core funding

SMG submitted a Brief to the Standing Committee on Finance as part of their consultations with Canadians on Budget 2019. SMG recommended a 25% increase to the Sport Support Program, which would equal an additional $18 million annually. On October 17th, in Edmonton, Lindsay was accompanied by Marc Kennedy, a 2-time Olympian and gold medalist in Curling from the 2010 Winter Olympics and Neville Wright, a 3-time Olympian in Bobsleigh, where we appeared before the Finance Committee to present our recommendation. Committee members were highly engaged and asked several questions. Marc and Neville did a great job explaining the impact additional funding would have on national sport organizations and their ability to create more opportunities for children and youth to participate in sport.

What’s Next? 

SMG will continue to promote our Budget 2019 recommendation through meetings with Cabinet members, MPs, Senators, and key officials between now and January.

Your Role?

You can do three things:       

  1. Review the Brief and reinforce the recommendation when you are meeting with Sport Canada officials;
  2. Participate in meetings with MPs (sign up to participate in a meeting here);
  3. Encourage your Board members to set up meetings with their local MPs and use the following speaking notes.

Most important is that our sector show a united front around this recommendation. Feedback from key officials is that a single, united recommendation repeated and promoted is critical.

Update on Lobby Day 2018/19

SMG has decided to set up a number of strategic meetings with Cabinet members, MPs, Senators and key officials where we can take time to walk through our Budget 2019 Brief rather than coordinate a one-day Lobby event. Repeating our message at several meetings, over several months, instead of all crammed into one day is the planned approach.

How to get involved? We need representatives from the sector to participate in these meetings and reinforce the messages. Please sign up to be kept informed as meeting dates are identified. Also, if you have personal contacts or are able to set up a meeting of your own, let us know and we’d be happy to accompany you or provide you with key messages.

Show your support for Calgary 2026!

The Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games offer an opportunity for athletes to inspire the world while showcasing Canada's rich culture and inclusive society, including reconciliation with Canada's Indigenous peoples and true equal opportunity. By working together, we can build legacies into the planning for a 2026 Winter Games in Calgary that support a collective vision for our city, province and country, now and into the future.

Calgarians will vote on November 13th, answering the question: are you for or are you against Calgary hosting the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games? 

Here’s what your organization can do to show your support:

  1. Visit and check out the Resources available
  2. Share the resources with your provincial sport organization and contacts in Calgary, and encourage them to circulate the information to their members/contacts in Calgary
  3. Follow Calgary2026 on social media and reinforce your support, and, encourage your members to do the same! 

Preparing for Election 2019

SMG has started to plan for Election 2019. As in previous years, SMG will work with the sector to draft position papers to be shared with political parties and try to influence political platforms. SMG will also draft materials for organizations and individuals to use such as template letters that can be sent to local candidates, how-to lists for hosting all-candidate debates on sport, physical activity and recreation, and, a social media campaign.

The following topics have been proposed for position papers:

  • Implementation of Let’s Get Moving: A Common Vision for increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary living in Canada: 
  • Increased investment in sport infrastructure
  • Access to sport programming and infrastructure for persons with a disability
  • Putting Values First in Canadian Sport

We need your help! Interested in contributing to the position papers or suggesting other topics? Contact Lindsay to get involved.

Provide Your Input on Sector Challenges to the Special Senate Committee 

The Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector is collecting input through an online survey to better understand the challenges faced by charities and non-profits across Canada. This could include anything, from whether the definition of charity should be modernized, to issues that have a real impact on your day-to-day operations, like improvements to how grants and contributions are administered. The online questionnaire is open until November 2nd. Key results from this survey will be included in the committee’s final report. 

New Director of Communications for Minister of Sport and Science(Hill Times) Science and Sport Minister Kirsty Duncan has a new director of communications in her

office, after Michael Bhardwaj made his exit from the minister’s team. Mr. Bhardwaj had been communications director to Ms. Duncan since February 2016, starting out when the minister was solely responsible for science. With his departure, Craig MacBridewas recently hired on to take over as director of communications to Ms. Duncan. A former Ontario Liberal staffer, Mr. MacBride was last director of communications to then Ontario Liberal infrastructure minister Bob Chiarelli from 2016 up until the provincial election this past June.

In other news, Ms. Duncan’s digital and social media lead Felicity Feinman left the minister’s office in September. Ann Marie Paquet, now-former press secretary, also exited the minister’s office earlier this fall. Nyree St-Denis is currently serving as a communications specialist in the minister’s office on a temporary assignment. Anne Dawson is chief of staff to Ms. Duncan.

SMG Contributions

If you have not already, please consider processing your annual SMG contribution. SMG operates 100% off contributions from the sport, physical activity and recreation sector. Our work is possible as a result of your ongoing support. Please do not hesitate to contact Lindsay if you have any questions.