SMG Position on a new Children's Fitness Tax Credit

MP, Kellie Leitch is proposing a Private Member’s Bill on the new Children’s Fitness Tax Credit – several organizations have been contacted by Ms. Leitch who is asking for support. The Sport Matters Group responded to Ms. Leitch in late November with the following

Generally, we do not support the notion of a Children’s Fitness Tax Credit as a standalone initiative at this time. In 2006, when the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit was created there were several research studies conducted, and the results showed that families whose children were already participating in sport and physical activity programming took advantage of the credit, but lower income families did not take advantage of the tax credit. Therefore, the premise of ‘getting more kids active’ was not achieved.

That being said, we do applaud Ms. Leitch’s efforts to promote the benefits of participating in sport, physical activity and recreation. We wholeheartedly support additional investment in physical activity and sport participation and would be willing to be part of discussions to determine how best to invest those funds that would otherwise support a tax credit. 

In speaking to leaders across the sector, our priority remains a focus on our Budget 2019 recommendation. The Sport Matters Group, on behalf of 80+ national sport organizations, submitted a Budget 2019 recommendation to increase the core funding component of the Sport Canada Sport Support Program. I’ve attached the brief for your information.

Also attached are two research studies that speak to the above noted position. I encourage Ms. Leitch to speak with Mr. Spence, who is the Chair of ParticipACTION’s Research Network and Professor & Vice Dean of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation at the University of Alberta.