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Sport, Physical Activity and Healthy Living Highlighted in Throne Speech
Ottawa, Ontario (October 17, 2013) The Speech from the Throne, delivered by Governor General David Johnston yesterday, directly addressed areas of sport, physical activity and healthy living.
“A Speech from the Throne rarely provides much detail as to what the government will be doing, however, it does set a path and generally provides some insight into priorities that the current government intends to focus on” said Bob Elliott, Senior Leader at the Sport Matters Group (SMG).
From a high performance sport perspective, the government has reiterated its support for the Pan and Parapan American Games along with the FIFA Women’s World Cup, both taking place in Canada in 2015.
Additionally, the government has promised to work with the provinces and territories and with the private and not-for-profit sectors to encourage young Canadians to be more physically active, a message that SMG, ParticipAction and many others have espoused over the past several years. “We believe that all Canadians should be encouraged to increase their level of physical activity however it is critically important that these actions and beliefs be instilled in young Canadians in particular, said Mr. Elliott. We are pleased to see this will be a priority”.
The government recognizes that Canadians want to address poverty and other persistent social problems, access safe and reliable infrastructure, and enjoy a clean and healthy environment. “It is the mention of ‘safe and reliable infrastructure’ that is encouraging to our sector, commented Mr. Elliott, as we continue to reinforce the fact that there is a significant deficit in sport and recreation infrastructure in Canada.”
The government has also specifically stated that they wish to “collaborate with injury prevention organizations to reduce the injury rate in Canada”. This too has implications for sport and physical activity groups who consistently make it a priority to offer safe and responsible opportunities for their participants.
Finally, the government has begun to make public its plans to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017. There will be numerous initiatives over the next few years however the Speech from the Throne did mention that they wish “to work with Canadians to support community projects, local celebrations and other initiatives to commemorate this historic occasion”. “Celebration through sport is an excellent way to do just that, said Mr. Elliott. We encourage all sport, physical activity and recreation groups to consider how this can be done in your community by working with your local Member of Parliament to help them accomplish this goal.”
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 and public policy. The SMG community includes over 60 National, Provincial, and Multisport Organizations, as well as physical activity and recreation organizations. SMG is a place where leaders connect with one another, where we address cross-cutting issues together, and where we innovate in finding solutions to complex issues involving sport systems, governments and citizens.
For more information, please contact:
Bob Elliott, Senior Leader
Sport Matters Group
O (613) 231-7472 ext: 222
C (613) 299-5542