Minister St-Onge Meets with Atlantic Region Sport Partners
From: Canadian Heritage
January 14, 2022
Diversity and inclusion in the sport community are two of the Government of Canada’s top priorities.
The Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, hosted a virtual roundtable today with representatives from the Aboriginal Sport Circle and its Atlantic chapters (Aboriginal Sport and Recreation New Brunswick, Mi’Kmaw Sport Council of Nova Scotia, PEI Aboriginal Sport Circle and Aboriginal Sport and Recreation Circle of Newfoundland and Labrador). The goal was to check the status of these organizations as they weather the pandemic and to listen to their concerns. These organizations make a significant contribution to the Sport for Social Development in Indigenous Communities initiative, among others. This initiative focuses on sport as an important tool for social change. Each year, more than $1.2 million is distributed to four Provincial/Territorial Aboriginal Sport Bodies (PTASBs) in Atlantic Canada so they can organize sport for social development projects in their communities.
Minister St‑Onge continued her virtual meeting by speaking with organizers of the 2023 North American Indigenous Games. These games were supposed to be held in 2020 in Kjipuktuk (Halifax) and Millbrook First Nation, Nova Scotia, but were also affected by the pandemic. The organizers proved their relisience in rescheduling the games so they can take place in summer 2023. The Government of Canada is investing more than $8.3 million to help in staging and hosting this sporting event.
Finally, Minister St‑Onge concluded her meeting by speaking with Canoe Kayak Canada leadership. She highlighte the resilience and determination shown by the athletes, coaches and Canoe Kayak Canada support staff at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. She also learned more about the challenges the organization faces, in order to help the Government of Canada to support it in the best way possible. Canoe Kayak Canada will receive more than $985,000 for 2021–2022 through the Sport Canada’s Sport Support Program to support athlete and coach development activities. The organization will also receive as much as $2 million to host the Canoe Kayak World Sprint Championships August 3–7, 2022 in Halifax.
This virtual meeting was the first in a series of designed to strengthen connections and collaboration with the Canadian sport community.
“It is a pleasure to meet with the Canadian sport community. We will work together to tackle the many challenges we face, such as improving diversity and inclusion in sports in Canada and building a safe, healthy sport system.”
− The Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
“The Aboriginal Sport Circle (ASC) welcomes Minister St-Onge’s engagement with our organization and the ASC’s Atlantic members. Events such as the upcoming National Aboriginal Hockey Championships and the North American Indigenous Games are a testament to how the Atlantic region has long been a centre for Indigenous sport and physical activity, both mainstream and traditional. The ASC believes that continued growth in the region will greatly benefit from Sport Canada’s ongoing commitment to funding initiatives that support Indigenous participant development, cultural inclusion and sport infrastructure.”
− Rob Newman, President, Aboriginal Sport Circle
“We’re appreciative of the Government of Canada’s continued support of Indigenous sport and culture through the North American Indigenous Games. This continued commitment provides the Mi’kmaw nation the opportunity to host this event for the very first time. We look forward to welcoming the largest gathering of Indigenous youth in Nova Scotia since contact in 2023.”
− Brendon Smithson, CEO, NAIG 2023 Halifax
“Canoe Kayak Canada is grateful for the ongoing support and financial contributions from the Government of Canada. It was wonderful to meet with the Honourable Pascale St-Onge to explain how this funding immensely benefits our paddling community, the range of programs we implement and the future of our sport. We also appreciated the opportunity to discuss the challenges we face as a sport and how we can continue working together to strengthen access to sport across Canada.”
− Casey Wade, Chief Executive Officer, Canoe Kayak Canada
- The Government of Canada is the largest supporter of the sport system in the country. It has invested more than $86 million in the Canadian sport community to help mitigate financial difficulties related to COVID-19.
- Sport Canada’s Sport Support Program invests in the development of Canadian athletes and coaches. Funding is awarded to eligible organizations that offer programs focused on Canadian Sport Policy objectives.
- Five of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s calls to action, 87 to 91, are specifically related to sport. Sport Canada is committed to working on several fronts to respond to these calls to action. In addition, Sport Canada works closely with Indigenous organizations, particularly the Aboriginal Sport Circle, to make sure that the calls to action focused on sport are addressed in a way that respects Indigenous points of view and furthers reconciliation.
- The North American Indigenous Games were created to encourage a healthy lifestyle, improve people’s self-image and promote Indigenous role models through sport and culture. The 10th Games will take place July 15–23, 2023 in Kjipuktuk (Halifax) and Millbrook First Nation, Nova Scotia.
- Canoe Kayak Canada is the national organization for competitive paddling in Canada. Laurence Vincent-Lapointe won a silver medal in the women’s 200-metre single canoe sprint at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. In addition, Laurence Vincent-Lapointe and Katie Vincent won a bronze metal in the women’s doubles 500-metre canoe sprint.
For more information (media only), please contact:
Office of the Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec