Federal-Provincial-Territorial Conference of Ministers responsible for Sport, Recreation and Fitness

NEWS RELEASE – Federal and Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Sport, Recreation and Fitness Target Increase in Physical Activity

Bathurst, February 21, 2003 – The Secretary of State (Amateur Sport) together with provincial and territorial Ministers responsible for Sport, Recreation and Fitness agreed on three major areas at their annual meeting: increasing levels of physical activity among Canadians, advancing the Canadian Sport Policy and hosting of future Canada Games.

Increasing Levels of Physical Activity

The Ministers*, including the Federal Minister of Health who participated by conference call, set a national target to increase levels of physical activity by ten percentage points in each province and territory by the year 2010. Ministers agreed to focus efforts on increasing physical activity among children and youth, and undertake research to establish valid and reliable national baseline data for this target group. They also agreed to address barriers to accessibility that hinder Canadians’ ability to be physically active in life settings, including sport and recreation. Efforts will focus on less active groups, such as children and youth, women and girls, low-income individuals, Aboriginal Peoples, persons with disabilities, and older Canadians. They further committed to use promotional and educational strategies to increase physical activity and participation in sport and recreation. Ministers** agreed to connect and integrate the implementation of these recommendations to the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Pan-Canadian Healthy Living Strategy.

Physical inactivity levels in Canada remain a serious public health burden. Fifty-five percent of Canadians do not meet minimum guidelines for regular physical activity necessary to attain health benefits. Physical inactivity increases the risk of chronic disease, premature death and disability.

Hosting of the Canada Games

The Ministers decided on the host provinces for the Canada Games for 2009 (Summer - Prince Edward Island), 2011 (Winter - Nova Scotia) and 2013 (Summer -Quebec). Saskatchewan will host the 2005 Summer Games and Yukon the 2007 Winter Games.

The Canada Games are the country’s largest multi-sport event and are the pinnacle of interprovincial/territorial sport competition.

Progress on Advancing the Canadian Sport Policy

The Ministers reported on the actions taken by each government to advance the four pillars of the Canadian Sport Policy (participation, excellence, capacity and interaction) and reviewed progress on implementing Federal/Provincial/Territorial Priorities for Collaborative Action 2002-05 which supports the Canadian Sport Policy. Both of these key documents were endorsed at the previous meeting of Ministers Responsible for Sport, Recreation and Fitness at their April 2002 meeting in Iqaluit, Nunavut. Ministers agreed to pursue efforts to implement the policy and agreed on the following specific items:

Hosting of the North American Indigenous Games

  • The Ministers agreed to a funding framework for the hosting of the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) whereby the federal and host provincial governments intend to contribute up to 35 per cent of the Games’ total budget, to a maximum of $3.5 M each when they are hosted in Canada.  

  • The games, which include sport and cultural components, involve more than 10,000 participants from Canada and the United States. The two countries take turns hosting the Games, which take place every three years. The Games provide Aboriginal youth with opportunities to showcase their heritage, history and culture through a variety of sport and cultural events.  


Comprehensive Policy Against Doping in Sport

  • The Ministers agreed to develop a draft Comprehensive Policy Against Doping in Sport for review at the 2004 meeting of Ministers Responsible for Sport, Recreation and Fitness. This policy will consolidate Canada’s anti-doping policies and align them with the international strategy to combat doping in sport.    


Canadian Strategy for Ethical Conduct in Sport

  • The Ministers approved the Action Plan for the Canadian Strategy for Ethical Conduct in Sport, which outlines initiatives to elevate ethical considerations and practices throughout sport at all levels in Canada. The action plan aims to build capacity to address the underlying causes of unethical behaviour, provide a framework to identify and address emerging and topical issues, and coordinate efforts to enhance the effectiveness of existing and future activities.  


The Federal Minister of Health updated Ministers on the development of the Pan-Canadian Healthy Living Strategy, whose goal is to reduce the burden on the health care system through promotion of healthy eating, physical activity and their relationship to healthy weights. Consultations with stakeholders will take place across the country in
March and a Healthy Living Symposium to set out a course of action will be held at the end of April in Toronto. Ministers** responsible for Sport, Recreation and Fitness expressed their support for the Strategy, and underscored their interest to partner in its development and implementation.

The next Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers meeting will be held April 29th and 30th, 2004 in Québec City.

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* The Government of Quebec subscribes to the objective of increasing levels of physical activity but it intends to pursue the implementation of its own action plan through its Kino-Québec program.
** Quebec does not participate in this initiative but contributes by sharing information and best practices.


Jennifer Wesanko
           Office of the Secretary of State
           (Amateur Sport)
           (819) 994-9909
Normand Léger
           New Brunswick
           Culture and Sport Secretariat
           (506) 476-2305

(Available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under News Room)