2006 Conference of Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers responsible for Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation

NEWS RELEASE – Ministers Want a More Active Canada

OTTAWA, June 22, 2006 – Provincial, and territorial Ministers responsible for sport, physical activity, and recreation today unanimously agreed that sport, recreation and physical activity infrastructure continues to be their top priority in support of healthy, active lifestyles and sport participation. Further to the 2005 Conference, Provincial and Territorial Ministers agreed on the parameters for an infrastructure program that was shared with Michael Chong, Federal Minister for Sport, and Tony Clement, Federal Minister of Health. Minister Chong committed to actively communicate this proposal to his Cabinet colleagues. Provincial and Territorial Ministers have agreed to meet again in September on this issue, a meeting which is open to appropriate federal ministers.

Federal, Provincial and territorial Ministers re-affirmed their commitment to ensuring Canadians across the country become more active thus contributing to our overall quality of life. Physical activity is one of the cornerstones to a healthy life. It has a direct impact on the prevention of chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes. Inactivity impacts the health care systems and affects us all. Officials were directed to develop a framework and principles for bilateral agreements on physical activity within the context of healthy living. These would be considered by Ministers at their 2007 conference.

Ministers recognized the progress made thus far toward increasing physical activity and sport participation. They agreed to continued collaboration consistent with the Canadian Sport Policy to address these challenges, and to help make the healthy choice the easy choice for all Canadians.

Ministers acknowledged overall targets outlined in a report on the participation in sport of children and youth, and girls and women, recognizing that provincial and territorial jurisdictions will establish targets specific to their respective circumstances, and implement action plans.

The importance of excellence in sport and providing Canadian athletes with opportunities to develop prompted Ministers to approve a new hosting rotation cycle for the Canada Games, which would provide every province and territory with an opportunity to host the event. Yukon will host the 2007 Winter Games; Prince Edward Island will host the 2009 Summer Games; Nova Scotia will host the 2011 Winter Games; Quebec will host the 2013 Summer Games; British Columbia will host the 2015 Winter Games; and Manitoba will host the 2017 Summer Games.

Ministers recognized the need to increase the participation of Aboriginal Canadians in sport programs including the meaningful inclusion of Aboriginal people in the Canada Games. Ministers also directed officials to examine options for a data-collection strategy to measure participation of Aboriginal populations in sport and to report on progress at the next Conference of Ministers.

Ministers discussed the importance of raising awareness of the need for regular physical activity and sport participation among Canadians. Ministers acknowledged the importance of working collaboratively in implementing public awareness campaigns.

The next regular meeting of Federal, Provincial, Territorial Ministers is scheduled for February 21 and 22, 2007, in Whitehorse, Yukon, during the Canada Winter Games.

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Gary Toft
Director of Communications
Minister for Sport

Donald Boulanger
A/Chief, Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

Erik Waddell
Media Inquiries
Minister of Health

Alain Desroches
Media Relations Officer
Public Health Agency of Canada