Sport Matters responses to Budget 2019 Consultation

The Department of Finance has launched consultations for Budget 2019. Share your ideas for the government’s pre-budget consultations. Submissions can be sent via the Your Budget website.

1. What survey themes are you interested in answering? Choose as many as you like.

A - Progress for Middle Class Families
B - A Secure Retirement
C - Better Jobs Today, and Tomorrow
D - Standing up for the Middle Class
E - A Healthier Canada

2. What actions are needed to support mental health in Canada? (pick any that apply)

Option F

SMG Comments: On behalf of over 80 national organizations, the Sport Matters Group advocates the benefits of sport, physical activity and recreation for Canadians. Our recommendation for Budget 2019 is for a 25% increase (equivalent to $18 million annually) for the Sport Canada Sport Support Program. The increased financial support would enable national sport organizations to provide more programs and greater access for Canadians to quality, safe sport opportunities. Considerable research exists linking the benefits of sport, physical activity and recreation to positive mental health and assisting individuals overcome mental health or addictions. One Canadian study found that, "The evidence is compelling. Physical activity, recreation, leisure and sport are not only essential resources for promoting optimal mental health and well-being, but they are critical components of efforts to recover from and stay well when living with a mental illness or addiction." - Physical Activity, Recreation, Leisure, and Sport: Essential Pieces of the Mental Health and Well-being Puzzle. Prepared by: Susan L. Hutchinson, PhD with assistance from Erica Brooks June 1, 2011 

3. How can the Government best ensure that Canadians have access to the prescription drugs they need, at an affordable cost?

SMG Comments: The Sport Matters Group recommends that the government invest in quality, safe sport, physical activity and recreation opportunities in order to reduce the dependance on prescription drug use in Canada. The World Health Organization ranks physical inactivity as the fourth leading risk factor for overall morbidity and mortality worldwide. In Canada, at least four of five adults do not meet the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines of 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per week. Only 35% of 5- to 17- year-olds are reaching their recommended physical activity levels as outlined in the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth. Just 62% of 3- to 4-year-olds are achieving the recommended activity levels for their age group.Substantial evidence exists to support the benefits of exercise on at least 30 chronic diseases as well as the cost- effectiveness of exercise prescription in primary care even for cardiovascular disease alone. Our recommendation for Budget 2019 is for a 25% increase (equivalent to $18 million annually) for the Sport Canada Sport Support Program. The increased financial support would enable national sport organizations to provide more programs and greater access for Canadians to quality, safe sport opportunities.

4. On a scale of zero to ten (zero = not well at all, ten = extremely well), how well does Canada support seniors, home care and positive mental health for Canadians to promote the ability to enjoy life and deal with the everyday challenges?

SMG chose 5 on the scale.