LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - June 9, 2016) - Today, at the conference of the federal, provincial and territorial (F-P/T) Ministers responsible for sport, physical activity and recreation, Ministers re-affirmed their commitment to work together to advance health-enhancing sport and physical activity and recreation in Canada.

Ministers acknowledged that concussions are an important public health issue that will benefit from effective multi-sectoral collaboration. F-P/T Ministers have a critical role to play in the sport, physical activity and recreation sectors and recognized the significant efforts already underway in many jurisdictions. Ministers directed officials to align efforts amongst F-P/T governments and stakeholders in the sport, recreation, education and health sectors in the areas of awareness, prevention, detection, management and surveillance. A key component of this collaborative work is the development of return-to-learn and return-to-play protocols by the Public Health Agency of Canada, as was announced in the federal Budget in March 2016. Ministers asked officials to report on progress at their next conference in July 2017.

Safety in sport was discussed extensively at the conference with Ministers approving aligned standards to promote safety in combative sports across all jurisdictions in Canada. Ministers approved the creation of a Committee of Canadian Athletic Sport Commissions to facilitate communication and cooperation in the implementation of the pan-Canadian standards and in the supervision of professional combat sports in each province and territory. As well, they endorsed the proposed amendments to section 83 of the Criminal Code relating to Prize Fights.

Ministers also received a progress report on work to develop a pan-Canadian physical activity framework to encourage and support Canadians to become more active throughout all stages in life, including by applying forward-looking, emerging approaches to engage Canadians in active, healthy living. Ministers agreed on an approach to consult stakeholders and asked officials to continue to develop the framework, with a view to address coherence across existing sport, physical activity and recreation frameworks, policies and strategies*. Following consultations, the framework will be presented to Ministers in July 2017.

Ministers heard a presentation profiling success stories related to the implementation of the Framework for Recreation in Canada*. Ministers requested officials to provide a comprehensive report in 2017 and supported an opportunity for the sector to engage with the Framework through a National Recreation Summit in 2017.

Preliminary evaluation findings and an update on progress on the implementation of the Canadian Sport Policy were presented to Ministers. This presentation also provided a platform for the discussion and approval of a set of principles for establishing F-P/T Priorities for Collaborative Action in Sport for the period 2017-2022. Ministers requested that officials prepare the new set of Priorities for consideration at their next meeting.

Reflecting governments' increased commitment to promoting sport, physical activity and recreation among Indigenous Peoples, Ministers received presentations on the status of Indigenous sport development as well as a progress report on the 2017 North American Indigenous Games, to be hosted in Toronto and their impact on Indigenous sport development. Ministers agreed on the importance of collaboration with Indigenous Peoples for increasing opportunities for participation in sport, physical activity and recreation.

Ministers discussed sport and recreation infrastructure needs, and agreed that this is crucial issue in communities in all jurisdictions. In highlighting recent infrastructure funding announcements across the country, Ministers agreed to continue working towards dedicated resources for sport and recreation infrastructure.

Ministers also provided updates on the status of sport, physical activity, recreation and special initiatives, and discussed approaches to address pressing issues. Ministers expressed interest in strengthening the relationship with the education sector in each respective jurisdiction; working towards a coordinated understanding of physical literacy; and strengthening participation amongst women and girls and other under-represented groups. They are committed to working together with the sector using innovative approaches to make opportunities for sport, physical activity and recreation participation more inclusive.

The next meeting of F-P/T ministers is scheduled to take place in July 2017, just prior to the Winnipeg 2017 Canada Summer Games in Manitoba.

* Although Quebec is not opposed to the principles underlying these frameworks, it has its own programs, action plans, objectives and targets for the promotion of physical activity and healthy lifestyle, all areas which are Quebec's responsibility. The Government of Quebec does not participate in federal, provincial and territorial initiatives in this area, but agreed to exchange information and best practices with other governments.

Contact Information:

Ashley Michnowski
Office of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough
Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities

Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott
Health Canada

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada