April 26, 2016 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Ottawa – The Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA) applauds the federal government’s financial investment in recreation through expanding the eligible categories of the New Building Canada Fund (NBCF) to include recreation.
The announcement is a much needed and welcomed contribution to the physical state of recreation places and spaces in communities across Canada.
The federal government announced that under the Provincial Territorial Infrastructure Component of the NBCF, five new categories would be added as eligible - this includes tourism, culture, recreation, passenger ferries services infrastructure, and civic assets and municipal buildings.
The capital funding requirements of sport and recreation infrastructure across Canada are in desperate need of additional investments. The recent release of the Canadian Infrastructure Report Card (CIRC) demonstrated the need to address sport and recreation infrastructure is acute. This change in criteria for the NBCF will help to reduce the estimated $9 billion costs to repair existing sport and recreation facilities in ‘very poor’ and ‘poor’ condition as outlined in the CIRC.
For years, CPRA has recommended funding for recreation infrastructure that provides opportunities for either new construction or refurbishment of existing facilities depending on the individual needs of the communities. In the guiding document for the sector, A Framework for Recreation, securing supportive environments for recreation is a key pillar.
“The addition of recreation infrastructure as part of the New Building Canada Fund will have an important impact in the current estimated costs of repairing recreation and sport facilities in Canada” says Dean Gibson, President of CPRA. “CPRA and our PT Members have been bringing this messaging to government for many years and we are thrilled with the leadership the federal government is taking on this critical issue.”
CPRA enthusiastically supports and promotes the goal of improving the physical and mental health of Canadians by increasing levels of sport and recreational activity.
High quality, accessible recreation opportunities are essential to healthy individuals and communities. All Canadians deserve equitable access to recreation experiences and yet 2 many citizens are inhibited from achieving the health and social benefits derived from recreation pursuits due to:
- the physical deterioration of existing sport and recreation infrastructure in communicates across Canada; and
- the increased but unfulfilled need for new sport and recreation infrastructure to meet a growing, aging and diversifying population.
“The commitment made today for recreation infrastructure shows a great level of understanding by the federal government of the benefits that recreation has on the health and well-being of Canadians and their communities” says Cathy Jo Noble, Executive Director of CPRA, “This support will help to ensure all Canadians continue to have access to recreation opportunities in their communities.”
Like all infrastructure investments, the economic benefits are significant in regard to the design and construction elements. But recreation and sport facilities create important long-term employment opportunities in all rural and urban communities - especially critical entry-level positions for youth.
Currently, the existing infrastructure has deteriorated to the point where it is a barrier to many Canadians being able to take part in activities that will provide a recreation opportunity and the corresponding health and social benefits.
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For more information:
Visnja Zaborski Breton
Director of Communications
Canadian Parks and Recreation Association
Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA) is a national organization dedicated to realizing the full potential of parks and recreation as a major contributor to individual and community health. CPRA membership includes the 13 provincial and territorial parks and recreation associations and their extensive network of sector leaders in over 90% of Canadian communities.