March 22, 2017 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ottawa – The Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA) applauds the federal government’s leadership in ensuring Canadians have access to the benefits of parks and recreation. Multiple commitments outlined in the federal budget today demonstrate a government that values parks and recreation and the health and wellness it provides Canadians.
The federal government’s investments align with the five goals of the Framework for Recreation – a document that is a call to action in the pursuit of common priorities in the sector. The five goals include: Active Living; Inclusion and Access: Connecting People and Nature; Supportive Environments; and Recreation Capacity. Today’s federal budget speaks to each of these goals.
This includes the commitment of:
- More than $1.3 billion dedicated to recreation and cultural infrastructure that will be provided through bilateral agreements with the provinces and territories;
- $77 million over 10 years to expand the Enabling Accessibility Fund;
- $25 million over 5 years to the Athlete Assistance program for high performance athletes;
- $18.9 million over 5 years in 2017/18 and ongoing funding of $5.5 million every 4 years after to support Indigenous youth sport;
- The federal government working with government partners to undertake an ambitious data initiative on Canadian infrastructure;
- $30 million over 5 years to the Trans Canada Trail;
- $364 million to the Parks Canada Agency to continue its management of national parks, national marine conservation areas and national historic sites.
“The dedicated funding announced today by the federal government for cultural and recreation infrastructure is especially important to CPRA as it will allow communities to prioritize recreation and sport infrastructure projects while still addressing other community infrastructure needs.” says Mike Powell, President of CPRA. “This fund will address the critical repairs, maintenance and adaptation that ensure existing public assets remain safe and reliable.”
CPRA enthusiastically supports and promotes the goal of improving the physical and mental health of Canadians by increasing levels of recreational activity.
High quality, accessible recreation opportunities are essential to healthy individuals and communities. All Canadians deserve equitable access to parks and recreation opportunities.
“Recreation is an economic driver and provides increased productivity via healthy citizens, community economic development, tourism, job creation, community entry points for new Canadians and sustainability of the social fabric of rural and remote communities”, said Cathy Jo Noble, Executive Director of CPRA.