Skip to content

QUESTION PERIOD — Canadian Heritage

Athlete Assistance Program

May 1, 2024

My question is for the Government Representative in the Senate.

While we’re very happy to see the increase of individual athlete allowances in the budget, it is a drop in the bucket in terms of what is needed to keep our sports system afloat in Canada. The Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee and national sport organizations have been clear that the sport organizations are the ones charged with getting Canadians active that need the support. From our review, it looks like the support has actually been fiscally diminished.

These organizations are the backbone of our sports system in Canada where every athlete and every Canadian Olympian started at some time, along with coaches and technical leaders. They offer our young people great opportunities and are often inspired by such Olympians that we will soon see in Paris actively in programs they create. Sports are the foundation for an active and healthy community. They unite communities.

They have not seen an increase —

The Hon. the Speaker [ - ]

Sorry, senator, your minute is over.

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) [ - ]

Although you didn’t get a chance to finish your question, I want to thank you for underlining the importance of funding our nation’s athletes. They make us very proud.

I’ll try to anticipate some aspects of your question and provide you with some information about what the government is doing.

Let’s acknowledge that the funding for sports in Canada — as is the case so many areas — will fall short of the expectations and wishes of those who so appropriately champion those causes, but this government has to do the work of government and find a fiscally responsible way to accommodate all of the demands within a responsible framework.

To that end, my understanding is that Budget 2024 proposes a number of initiatives to support sports in Canada: $15 million over two years to the Department of Canadian Heritage to help support community sports programming and reduce barriers to sports programming. There is also a further $35 million over five years and $7 million ongoing —

Thank you.

Those are appreciated program-funded numbers that we’re talking about with safety and inclusion in sports. We’re looking for that continued and growing support for our national sport organizations to keep their lights on.

Senator Gold [ - ]

As I was saying, there is not only certain programming over a five-year period but some ongoing funding beyond that for certain programs as well. The Government of Canada will continue to work diligently to support our athletes, young and veteran.

Back to top