Press Release Communiqué
Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Ministers Collaborate to Make Sport Safe and Inclusive
Red Deer, Alberta, February 15, 2019 – Federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) Ministers responsible for sport, physical activity and recreation held a two-day conference to advance sport, physical activity and recreation in Canada and re-affirmed their commitment to making sport safe and inclusive.
Ministers acknowledged that all Canadians deserve to participate and compete in sport and physical activity, free from harassment, abuse or discrimination, regardless of sex, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion, language, age, sexual orientation, ability, or any other basis.
As such, Ministers endorsed the Red Deer Declaration for the Prevention of Harassment, Abuse and Discrimination in Sport – the first pan-Canadian declaration of its kind. As part of this declaration, Ministers will develop a collaborative approach to increase awareness, prevention, identifying and reporting, and monitoring to address harassment, abuse, and discrimination in sport. Ministers also agreed to make "safety and integrity in sport" a standing agenda item for future meetings.
Reflecting governments' commitment to gender equity, Ministers endorsed a vision for all women and girls to be equitably represented, recognized, and served across all aspects of Canadian sport. They committed in principle, and in accordance with the priorities and capacity of each jurisdiction to: adjusting their funding frameworks to make sport organizations accountable for gender equity; investing in sport-focused gender equity organizations; identifying a government-designated lead dedicated to advancing gender equity in sport action plans; developing a strategy tailored to their own jurisdiction so that boards of directors of funded sport organizations reach parity by December 2024; and finally developing an engagement strategy for Indigenous women and girls to raise awareness about gender equity in their respective jurisdictions. Ministers will report on progress in their gender equity action plans at the next Ministers' Conference.
These commitments toward gender equity will enhance work underway as part of A Common Vision For Increasing Physical Activity And Reducing Sedentary Living in Canada: Let's Get Moving. Ministers reaffirmed their support for the Common Vision* and acknowledged the importance of working with their health colleagues, as well as in partnership with Indigenous organizations and communities and the non-governmental sector, to advance collaborative actions to address physical inactivity and sedentary living.
Ministers also re-affirmed that concussions are a major public health concern. They committed to additional actions, as appropriate by jurisdiction, to mitigate against concussions and build on initiatives that increase the awareness, prevention and management of concussions. *Jurisdictions will work to implement an annual concussion awareness day (similar to Ontario's Rowan's Day Law held on the last Wednesday in September) in collaboration with the sport sector to support the dissemination of harmonized resources and key messages.
Prior to the start of the conference, Ministers met with the Aboriginal Sport Circle to discuss priority issues related to Indigenous community programming, leadership capacity and participation of Indigenous peoples in sport, physical activity and recreation. At the conference, Ministers acknowledged the importance of the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) in promoting Indigenous culture and excellence, and building cross-cultural relationships through sport. They committed to a new funding framework for the NAIG to be hosted in Canada every four years beginning 2024 and agreed to provide financial support for athletes and team preparations.
Ministers recognized the important contribution of the Canada Games and the NAIG to the development of athletes of all abilities, communities and sports across Canada, and for being a pathway for many future Olympians, Paralympians and Special Olympians. Ministers also acknowledged the unique challenges smaller jurisdictions experience in hosting the Games and agreed to continue examining special measures for small jurisdictions to host successful Games. Moreover, they requested that Sport Canada continue to examine the feasibility of supporting annual Canada Games.
Finally, Ministers re-affirmed that they would continue their efforts to advance priorities for implementing the Canadian Sport Policy and the Framework for Recreation in Canada, which includes recognition of the benefits of sport and recreation on mental health, well-being and wellness of children and youth.
Recognizing the importance of sport, physical activity and recreation in the lives of Canadians and building on the momentum of the conference, ministers agree to meet again in 2020.
*While it shares several of the other governments' objectives underlying the common vision for increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary living and concerning the initiatives for better prevention and management of concussions, Quebec has its own programs, action plans, objectives and targets for promoting physical activity and healthy lifestyles and for the prevention and management of concussions, all areas which are under Quebec's jurisdiction. Quebec intends to remain solely responsible for defining the prevention and awareness measures and tools that are used and disseminated over its territory and will continue to share information with the other governments in these areas.
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Office of the Honourable
Office of the Honourable
Government of Alberta