Québec City, April 30, 2004 – Federal, provincial and territorial Ministers responsible for sport, recreation and fitness today adopted the new Canadian Policy Against Doping in Sport. Goals and objectives have been identified to increase physical activity levels by 10 percentage points in provinces and territories by the year 2010. Ministers also made decisions at their annual conference to advance a number of items in support of the goals outlined in the Canadian Sport Policy.
The Canadian Policy Against Doping in Sport represents a strong level of commitment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to work together in the fight against doping in sport. The new policy, which supersedes both the 1991 and 2000 policies, articulates the roles and responsibilities of governments and the sport communities in eradicating doping from sport.
By endorsing the new Canadian Policy Against Doping in Sport, federal, provincial and territorial Ministers have re-affirmed Canada’s international leadership role in the fight against doping in sport. The new anti-doping Policy and Program will be firmly in place and in accordance with the new World Anti-Doping Code that comes into effect prior to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Athens in August 2004.
The Honourable Pierre Pettigrew, federal minister of health responsible for physical activity, joined his provincial and territorial colleagues on the second day of the conference. Together with his provincial and territorial colleagues, Ministers recognized the important role that physical activity plays in reducing chronic disease and improving health. Goals, objectives and priorities were identified for a six year plan of action to increase physical activity in every province and territory by ten percentage points by the year 2010, a target they set in February, 2003. They directed officials to develop options for a funding formula and to identify financial resources necessary to fund actions in the plan.
Ministers will immediately establish an Expert Advisory Group to provide them with further advice. Actions in the plan include: healthy public policies; a national public education initiative; creating supportive environments that encourage participation in physical activity; conducting research; and monitoring progress towards the achievement of the 2010 goal. The plan will focus on children and youth, Aboriginal Canadians and other less active populations. It will align with existing provincial and territorial strategies and the Pan-Canadian Healthy Living Strategy. The Government of Québec supports the objective of increasing the level of physical activity and plans on continuing the implementation of its own plan of action to reduce inactivity through its program "Kino-Québec". Quebec will continue to contribute by sharing information and best practices but is not a part of the Pan-Canadian Healthy Living Strategy.
Ministers discussed a number of on-going joint initiatives under the Canadian Sport Policy.
Sport participation. Ministers agreed to further the goal of increasing participation in sport, with particular attention to children and youth, girls and women, and Aboriginal children and youth. It was also agreed to develop a joint sport participation research strategy. Officials will work throughout 2004-05 to identify best practices in Canada and internationally to advance participation in sport.
High performance athletes. Ministers agreed to establish expeditiously a suite of athlete performance and sport system targets, applicable to both national and provincial/territorial levels of sport. They also committed to develop a Long Term Athlete Development model to be used by all sports. Minister of State (Sport) Stan Keyes reported on the discussions held during a recent series of roundtables convened by the Government of Canada across the country to discuss the need for increased funding for high performance sport in Canada. In this context, Ministers agreed to explore ways to develop a sustainable and diversified public and private funding for sport at all levels.
Ministers recognized that the Canadian Olympic Committee is responsible for selecting Canada’s Olympic team. However, they expressed their desire to see the maximum number of Canadian athletes participate in the Olympic Games given the powerful impact of the Olympic Games on participation and excellence in sport.
Coaching. Ministers discussed the need to improve the working environment for coaches at all levels. Ministers endorsed the implementation of the Competency-Based Education and Training approach. A new organization will be created to bring together the expertise of existing organizations and individuals committed to coach development.
Strategic Framework for Hosting International Sport Events. Ministers adopted a Strategic Framework for Hosting International Sport Events in Canada to increase collaboration and planning among governments and event planners.
Regional infrastructure needs. Ministers underlined the importance of achieving regional balance with regard to infrastructure and have requested recommendations for the establishment of a national infrastructure program targeted at sport and recreation facilities.
The Canadian Strategy on Sport and Physical Activity for Girls and Women. Recognizing the unique barriers faced by girls and women in sport and physical activity, Ministers approved a Strategic Framework called ACTive: The Canadian Strategy on Sport and Physical Activity for Girls and Women.
The next meeting of Ministers is scheduled for next August 5-6, 2005 in Regina during the Canada Summer Games.
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