Physical Activity and Sport Act

An Act to promote physical activity and sport

This bill was last introduced in the 37th Parliament, 1st Session, which ended in September 2002.

Sponsor

Sheila Copps  Liberal

Status

Not active, as of June 18, 2002
(This bill did not become law.)

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Physical Activity and Sport ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2002 / 12:40 p.m.
See context

NDP

Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me as well to speak to Bill C-54, an act to promote physical activity and sport.

As we indicated yesterday when the bill was being discussed, we are in support of the bill, as are all the opposition parties.

At the outset I want to pay tribute to the current minister of amateur sport and the previous minister of amateur sport, both of whom are in the House today, and indeed the member for Toronto--Danforth who chaired the committee and who has contributed a lot to the point that we are at here this afternoon.

I believe that both sport and physical activity, in whatever forms they take, are extremely important. There is a strong connection between sports and physical activity and good health and self-esteem. That applies not only to all of us but to young people in particular.

As an aside, I had the privilege, as the member of parliament for the district, of being at Notre Dame college in Wilcox, Saskatchewan on Saturday where about 65 students were graduating. It was fascinating for me to see the number of students who received both academic and athletic scholarships and bursaries totalling more than $1 million. It is an incredible amount of money. It is a real tradition. However Athol Murray College of Notre Dame is not just a sports factory. Many students received scholarships and bursaries based on their academics.

There is a motto at the school that I think is good for the students and certainly good for everyone who was in attendance. The motto reads as follows:

What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are far less important than what lies within us.

I think that is particularly true for young people.

The proposed legislation is an act to promote physical activity and sport. The bill is intended to replace and update the Fitness and Amateur Sport Act of 1961. It is intended to bring people, organizations and governments together with the goal of encouraging, promoting and developing physical activity and sport in Canada.

The bill would replace the old act which was passed in 1961. It positions physical activity as a critical determinant of health, which is extremely important. It responds to the expectations of the sporting community. It harmonizes with other industrial countries and entrenches the government's objectives related to physical activity and sport, and facilitates alternative dispute resolutions in sport.

The bill recognizes the importance of physical activity, as I have indicated. It increases the awareness of benefits of physical activity by encouraging participation and the co-operation among levels of government, people engaged in physical activity, the sporting community and the private sector.

I think the vast majority of us who compete in the political arena have probably grown up competing in the sporting arenas, as do our children. Unfortunately there are far too many of us who are not as physically active as we should be--

I do want to pause here to say that there are some individuals who would like to participate in sport and are unable to participate in sport because they are not in a financial situation to do that.

I was listening when the minister in his address this morning said that sport is everyone's business. It should be everyone's business but unfortunately there are people who lack the financial resources to participate in an organized sporting activity, and I think that we need to be concerned about that.

I now want to talk a little about the other side of the inactivity that leads to obesity. We are told that at least 13% of Canadians, more than 3 million people, are obese. That is defined as having more than 30% body fat. This number, as discouraging as it is, tripled between the period of 1985 and 1998. It is not only as a result of diet but of a general lack of physical activity. As we all know, this has significant health implications. People carrying too much weight are far more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancers. It is estimated that direct medical costs attributed to obesity in our country are almost $2 billion a year at $1.8 billion.

It is an extremely serious problem and it is important among our young children. The International Journal of Obesity indicates that about 30% of Canadian children fall into that category. That is a rate that is significantly higher than for children the same age in countries like England, Scotland and Spain. Again, the culprits appear to be diet and a lack of exercise and physical activity.

Too often parents, working long hours to make ends meet, have less time for their children than perhaps my parents did or those of my generation. Families today seem to be so harried that they often do not have the time or the energy left to cook meals in the evening and they end up taking the children to a drive-through. Children are more often kept in doors these days because parents consider the streets to be unsafe.

We have far too often become a nation of compulsive television watchers, couch potatoes and computer junkies which has had a negative impact on our health and on the costs and stresses of our health care system. This is something that the royal commission on health looked at very actively in the spring and will continue to do so into the fall.

We support any attempt to encourage and enable people, young and old, in the country to become more active. I acknowledge that the bill moves us in that direction and that is one of the main reasons we support it.

The bill is intended to bring people, organizations and governments together to encourage, promote and develop physical activity and sport. The minister has told us that the bill would position physical activity as a critical determinant of health, and our caucus fully supports the goal. We hope the legislation meets the minister's description of it.

The preamble indicates that sport and physical activity should be forces that bind Canadians together enhancing, among other things, the bilingual reality of Canada. We were pleased to see there were amendments to that effect in the bill as it now stands. We want to do whatever we can to ensure that there is more significance given to language so that it is not just the French Canadian athletes who are forced to learn English in order to participate on a team or in the sporting event at hand.

I want to make a few comments on the sport dispute resolution centre. The athletes have asked for this. There are an increasing number of disputes to be arbitrated. Current mechanisms are limited. As we look at the legislation the centre appears to be at arm's length, meaning that arbitrators and mediators are not employees of the government. The dispute resolution centre would be a not for profit centre. Sports organizations have asked for the centre and I am pleased that the bill does create such an organization. The board of directors would appoint its own executive director. I believe this was also a change that was made as the bill went through the committee process.

While I support the bill, its actions, not its words, will be more important. We recall, and others have alluded to it before, ParticipAction was created in 1971 to promote physical fitness in Canada. It did a fine job over the years of encouraging ordinary Canadians to become more fit. The federal government put up most of the money at first but, as in so many other areas of our lives, it seems to have backed away more recently.

There was federal support of more than $1 million a year in the 1970s, but by the year 2000, when it effectively ceased to exist, ParticipAction was receiving less than $385,000.

In conclusion, we can stand and debate legislation and we can pass legislation, but without the commitment from the government and the resources to support that commitment, we will not succeed in making Canadians fitter and more healthy or have more of them stand on international podiums. I hope that once we pass the bill the government will show its commitment to follow up with real, significant action.

Physical Activity and Sport ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2002 / noon
See context

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, as the Bloc Quebecois critic for amateur sport, I rise today to address Bill C-54, an act to promote physical activity and sport.

Since the beginning, we have felt that the objectives of this bill are worthwhile and even desirable. We said that we were in favour of the bill in principle, provided there is explicit compliance with the Official Languages Act.

It goes without saying that all Bloc Quebecois members, like all parliamentarians here, feel that physical activity is important and must be promoted through the implementation of practical and feasible measures.

The stakeholders who appeared before the committee spoke about the numerous benefits of physical activity, both from a medical and social point of view. This is a legitimate goal but, more importantly, one that must be maintained once achieved.

The government measures that will result from this bill must be real, immediate, and they must be designed for the general public, without any discrimination at all.

The Bloc Quebecois has insisted since the beginning that the Official Languages Act must be more than respected. Its provisions must be complied with in a real and systematic way.

In the preamble to Bill C-54, it is stated that physical activity and sport are integral parts of Canadian culture and society and produce obvious benefits in terms of health and social development.

We hope that the economic, structural and cultural benefits will be just the roots of the effects of this bill in the very long term. The medical benefits are numerous and significant. People who engage in a physical activity or sport tend to rely less on health care services.

From an economic point of view, there is, in addition to the spinoffs of special and international events, higher productivity for employees who engage in physical activity or sport.

Now that the health, social cohesion and participation objectives have been identified, we must immediately develop specific initiatives to achieve these benefits. We hope that this is what will actually come out of the implementation of the measures included in Bill C-54, considering its stated goals.

We have already mentioned that this bill is aimed at two target groups. First, of course, the elite athletes and then all the rest of us ordinary folk.

On numerous occasions, we have witnessed extraordinary and breathtaking performances by our elite athletes, but now we need to look more closely into their situation.

In 1999 the Bloc Quebecois filed a complaint with the Commissioner of Official Languages, asking her to investigate the problematic situation of francophone athletes. The Commissioner of Official Languages found that the allegations contained in the complaint were founded. The commissioner issued a full report in 2000.

In her report, the Commissioner of Official Languages provided the results of extensive research on the use of French and English in the Canadian sport system. The commissioner came to the conclusion that not only did the selection process for Canadian teams constitute a serious barrier for francophone athletes, but that the problem arose well before even an athlete reached the point of competing to be selected as one of the final team members. This problem has existed for many years, and it is high time we act to ensure that the rights of francophone athletes are respected, and that they receive services and coaching in the language of their choice.

For a long time now, the Bloc Quebecois has been demanding the implementation of the 16 recommendations contained in the official language commissioner's report, two years ago. We are still calling for their immediate implementation, as I mentioned yesterday. In fact, recognition of the problems faced by francophone athletes has been at the heart of the demands we have made both here in the House and in the sub-committee on sport since the beginning.

The official languages commissioner is clear: English and French are far from having equal status in Canadian sport.

With the introduction of Bill C-54, the Bloc Quebecois is entitled to request that the official language commissioner's recommendations be formally implemented and, in particular, that they be explicitly included in the bill.

The Bloc Quebecois therefore calls for legislative recognition of the formal implementation of the Official Languages Act.

How many francophone athletes have trained for years but not made it to international level competitions because of the language barrier?

The answer, unfortunately, is far too many. From the very beginning, the Bloc Quebecois has repeatedly called on the government to respect francophone athletes and trainers, who must master the English language, in addition to their particular sport.

Our request is entirely legitimate. We want to remind the government that 12 of the 16 recommendations were supposed to be implemented by April 1, 2001. None of the 16 recommendations has been implemented, and this is regrettable. Let us hope that all this will change as of today.

Yet these recommendations reflected a reality too blatant too ignore. In her first recommendation, the official languages commissioner asked Sport Canada to review the official languages goals of the sport funding framework.

It is therefore up to Sport Canada to require Canadian sport federations to simply eliminate the barriers facing our francophone athletes.

The commissioner's second recommendation was that Sport Canada systematically monitor implementation of the official languages goals, in a funding context, by April 1, 2001.

The next recommendation was that Treasury Board review its audit methodology in order to ensure control of program compliance.

Next, the commissioner recommended a complete and exhaustive review of the language requirements of positions in the Athlete Assistance Program.

Fifth, she recommended that official languages requirements be met at major games.

Sixth, the official languages commissioner recommended a review of the language requirements of management positions.

The report talked about reviewing the allocation of responsibilities among program officers in order to ensure that client organizations are served in the official language of their choice. It was strongly recommended that Sport Canada work with national sport organizations to ensure that they adopt appropriate policy statements on official languages.

It was also recommended that there be a review of the linguistic capability of the staff of national sport organizations, and that such capability become a Sport Canada requirement.

The commissioner also recommended that Sport Canada review sport organizations' official languages budgets.

Then, it was a matter of studying the feasibility of providing centralized linguistic services such as translation to sport organizations, either through government programs or through a non-governmental organization which could assume this mandate.

The twelfth recommendation addressed working with national sport organizations to identify the first official language of national team coaches by April 1, 2001.

The next recommendation dealt with distribution of technical manuals for coach education in both official languages.

The fourteenth is about ensuring that some members of the coaching group responsible for national teams have a knowledge of both official languages.

The next COL recommendation related to these same requirements for pedagogical material.

Finally, the commissioner felt it was important that medical services be provided in both official languages. We feel it is necessary to repeat all these recommendations because, although the report dates back to the year 2000, it has taken the government more than two years to react.

Although it did introduce a bill in the House of Commons, it took the insistence of the Bloc Quebecois to get respect of both official languages to be entrenched in legislation from now on.

Our athletes and coaches have to perform miracles because of the flagrant lack of resources that has gone on far too long already. We were all proud of their performances at the latest Olympic Games, in Salt Lake City.

Just imagine what the outcome would have been if they had had the appropriate resources. Just imagine what it would have been if francophone athletes and coaches had had decent access to services and to Canadian team selection.

We are all aware of the exceptional performances by Quebec athletes in these games. They must be multi-talented, as they need to have not only mastered their sport discipline, but the English language as well.

This vicious circle absolutely must end. The time is past when francophone athletes and coaches had to accept this. The time for balance is finally here. The authorities have had ample time to react to the official languages commissioner's report. Now is time for action.

The Bloc Quebecois has called for formal respect, entrenched in law, of both official languages, for as long as is necessary. We are pleased with the results we have observed so far. We shall be watching to ensure that implementation in future is real and tangible.

Merely stating that the Official Languages Act applies is not sufficient. This act has been in place for quite some time, and there are still far too many Canadian sports federations that do not yet comply with it.

Another barrier encountered by francophone athletes and coaches is the lack of vision among Canadian broadcasters. Radio-Canada does not meet the needs and expectations of athletes, coaches or amateur sports fans.

Radio-Canada has a shameful record when it comes to broadcasting events related to amateur athlete performances. It is nonexistent. Radio-Canada does not fulfill its obligations toward Quebecers and francophones outside Quebec, and this is unacceptable.

Quebecers and francophones outside Quebec recently experienced this when Radio-Canada decided to end a 50 year tradition and stop broadcasting La Soirée du hockey . Imagine what it must be like for Quebecers and francophones outside Quebec. This decision only worsens an already difficult situation.

The role of Radio-Canada is to promote physical activity and amateur sport, but it would rather turn its back on our athletes and coaches who are, let us acknowledge it, international in calibre. It takes years of work and concentration to train an olympic calibre athlete.

This requires more than wishful thinking. It requires money, lots of money. However, our athletes also need visibility. It is incumbent upon Radio-Canada to carry out its broadcasting duties across Canada, and in particular in Quebec, so that Quebecers can see what is happening and watch their athletes.

It is the government's job to ensure that the crown corporation takes its responsibilities seriously. The media coverage of the Paralympic Games or the Commonwealth Games was minimal, almost nonexistent. It is already a tough sell attracting sedentary viewers to physical activity.

However, it is difficult to attract people's attention to something they are unaware of. If the public is not aware of sport events taking place here, then it should come as no surprise that they are becoming more and more sedentary, and also obese.

The Bloc Quebecois believes that the promotion of physical activity must be increased, varied and more widely broadcast. Is the problem a lack of money? Yes. Decrepit equipment? Yes. Are training centres too far from where athletes live? Yes.

Here we have before us a tool that will help correct these incomprehensible situations. The values that sport and physical activity promote are commendable, even essential.

We are talking about perseverance, discipline, effort, determination and sacrifice. We know the problems. We now have a tool. So let us go forward and rectify what has deserved to be for too long.

Excellence is not limited to medals, we all know that. Through the effective implementation of the objectives of Bill C-54, we will finally be able to reach summits that were becoming increasingly unreachable.

Like you, Mr. Speaker, I have dreamed of an olympic medal. This is how many hopes are born among our young and not so young people. Most of us have given up on this goal, but we can now dream once again and we can finally tell our children that they too can dream about it.

Some were successful in achieving their goals, and they won medals. Yet, very few reach such heights. Only a very select group has reached the podium. These athletes are now our inspiration and we thank them for this. What we have learned from their feats is sportsmanship. We thank them for this also. They have made us realize that we must provide to the new generation of athletes the necessary tools to reach this goal. These tools must be provided to the greatest number of people possible.

As I was saying, there is no difference between sports at the grassroots and sports at the highest level. All elite athletes began practising their sport in their back yard or neighborhood park. This is why we must invest right now to support athletes and coaches. This is also why we must continue to improve the existing infrastructure and invest in new facilities.

So, the government must do its utmost to promote the pleasure of competing and engaging in a physical activity, in keeping with sport values and, of course, in compliance with the Official Languages Act.

We must also redesign our sport values and purposely include members of the public as full-fledged participants. Members of the subcommittee on sport all agreed that we still have a lot to learn about physical activity. We must review our definition of participation and we must do our utmost to promote participation.

Every Canadian knew about ParticipAction, but the program was eliminated by this government last year. The Bloc Quebecois hopes that the federal government will find it appropriate to consult its Quebec counterpart to discuss the benefits of the Kino-Québec program and that it will follow its example.

We also hope that the related moneys will be transferred to the Quebec government to promote Kino-Québec. It is to be noted that the objectives of this Quebec program are similar to those of Bill C-54. It would be appropriate to have consultations and initiate discussions on this issue.

We have all wondered about why people lose interest in physical activity. Some say that television, video games or computer games are the main causes. But we must look further; it would be too easy to stop there. There is a lack of access to facilities. We now have the tool to correct this situation. Therefore, let us move forward and allow general access to sport facilities. This is part of promoting public participation.

Also, there are not enough facilities. Again, let us move forward and correct this shortage. Since 1976, very few new sport facilities have been built in Quebec and the federal government has not been involved at all. We also need more coaches. We must act now to correct this whole situation, and I think we can do so with this bill.

The goals of this bill are commendable, but we should ensure we have specific measures to promote physical activity. For example, we should review what is going on in the media in terms of broadcasting and promotion, because we have all seen that the coverage of the paralympics was clearly deficient, if not totally absent.

Bill C-59 spells out its purpose in several goals. These goals could be nothing but wishful thinking, but we hope they will be achieved quickly.

We think that achieving these goals will help all athletes reach for excellence, and that they will also encourage the public to engage in sports and physical activity.

Clearly, the government's intention is to promote physical activity and sport in order to improve the health and well-being of people. But the government should carefully avoid infringing on the jurisdictions of Quebec, the provinces and the territories.

Athletes and coaches, for a whole generation, have been the victims of drastic cuts in grants and assistance programs.

The Bloc Quebecois hopes this bill signals the end of these cuts and the start of real investment in physical activity and sport.

Training an athlete or a coach takes many years of hard work. This training must be uninterrupted, with financial and structural support. The Bloc Quebecois hopes this bill will provide both forms of support.

We hope that never again will an athlete or a coach have to go through such a situation or face funding cuts. It would be too unfair for an athlete to be faced with the hardest decision of their life: pursue his or her dream and go into debt, or give it up to earn a living and survive.

This should never happen again. As we have said, the time for studies and committees is over. It is time to put the necessary money to work for athletes and coaches, but also for the public, which wants to improve its quality of life.

The Bloc Quebecois wants to encourage the government to put in place as quickly as possible a mechanism for working together with the Government of Quebec and the provincial governments in order to promote and develop sport and physical activity.

We hope that this will be achieved by making the transfers needed to achieve these goals, with care taken not to interfere in the jurisdiction of Quebec, or of the provinces and territories.

Clause 7 of the bill allows the minister to enter into agreements with the Government of Quebec, and the provincial and territorial governments for the payment of contributions in respect of costs incurred. We are confident that the government will drop any intention of promoting the Canadian identity in implementing this clause.

The Bloc Quebecois has long requested that athletes and coaches be the core focus of any policy on sport. This is what we see in the wording of the bill. We therefore encourage the government to respect this apolitical commitment and to pursue this course.

The bill also gives the Minister of Canadian Heritage the mandate to encourage the private sector to contribute to the development of sport. This mandate needs to be expanded to include physical activity. It is up to the government to inform employers about their responsibilities with respect to the promotion of sport and physical activity.

Employers will soon reap the benefits of participation in physical activity. The private sector's contribution to the development of sport will be to put the best interests of athletes and coaches ahead of monetary goals.

Central to the bill is the creation of the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre. The Bloc Quebecois believes that the creation of such a centre is vital.

Obviously, this centre will be good both for Canadian sport federations and for the athletes and coaches who are members of them.

There were instances where an athlete has suffered a harsh and permanent penalty because the decision on the dispute was not made in time for him or her to take part in an important competition.

So far, the avenues for dispute resolution have been limited to common law courts. As we know, delays drag out because of abuse of process, resulting in athletes getting worn down. We believe that the creation of this center will help to greatly reduce delays.

In certain cases, Canadian sport federations or athletes were forced to spend enormous amounts of money because their case was brought before a common law court, with all the legal costs that entails. We hope that the creation of this dispute resolution centre will provide a means of dispute resolution satisfactory to Canadian sport federations and athletes.

We are pleased that this not-for-profit centre will operate at arm's length, without any king of interference from the government. We are also pleased that the purpose of this centre will be to encourage transparency in procedures and decision making. It should be noted that the Bloc Quebecois has called for that on numerous occasions in the House.

We must stress, however, the need for an impartial and independent decision-making process. As in the case of a common law court, judicial independence is essential and of utmost importance.

The parties must be able to see in the centre the appearance of impartiality and independence. In other words, the parties' perception should be that the judicial and extrajudicial proceedings show freedom of action and of thought. The wording of the provisions of Bill C-54 seems to confirm this requirement for transparency and independence.

The Bloc Quebecois believes that the centre must allow for rapid awards, while making appeals possible. In this way, we believe that everyone's rights will be protected. The right of appeal must be upheld.

Since the parties will have appeared before a mediator or an arbitrator first, they will be able to assess whether an appeal is warranted. Moreover, we think the fact that mediators and arbitrators come from the sport community is a good idea.

Only Canadian federations and their members will have access to the centre. By operating in this way, the jurisdictions of Quebec, of the provincesl and of the territories will not be affected. The internal rules will specify the terms and conditions under which the centre will carry out its mission. We favour the possibility of appeal in order to protect the fundamental right of representation before the courts. This is how the arbitration boards in Quebec operate at present.

It would be prudent and advisable to follow the guidelines found in Quebec's code of civil procedure to establish the procedural requirements for the internal management of the centre. In fact, these provisions should have been included in the act.

Under article 382 of the Code of Civil Procedure of Québec, a case is only referred to an arbitrator when the parties request that the dispute be resolved. We believe that the same should apply to the centre being established by Bill C-54.

Since the beginning, the Bloc Quebecois has been recommending that it be up to the athletes to resort to the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre. To respect the fundamental right to turn to the courts, it is essential that we specify that the decision to resort to this alternative is completely voluntary.

We continue to insist on compliance with the provisions of article 386 of the Code of Civil Procedure of Québec, which says that arbitrators must make their award in writing.

The 30 day time limit set out in article 387 of the Code of Civil Procedure of Québec should be included in the centre's bylaws, as well as the award homologation method.

We wish to reiterate the need to make every decision subject to an appeal mecanism before the common law courts. This is what article 393 of the Code of Civil Procedure of Quebec provides for, if that is what the parties want.

This article provides that, when homologated, the award may be appealed like any judgment of the superior court.

We feel obliged to point out that we still insist that the goals and missions provided for in this bill be achieved in a context of total respect for the jurisdictions of Quebec, the other provinces and the territories, particularly as far as training and bursaries are concerned. We are adamant about that and will continue to be. It is a fundamental requirement which is self-evident. We were told in committee that Quebec's jurisdictions would be respected.

The preamble states that the federal government wishes to encourage co-operation with the Government of Quebec, among the various governments, the physical activity and sport communities and the private sector. It specifies that this encouragement is for the purpose of coordinating their promotion efforts.

Again, we would like to point out that there needs to be more than co-operation; there must be ongoing and sustained discussions in order to succeed. In fact, we believe that the first efforts at coordination must be between the Government of Quebec and the different levels of government before involving the private sector

To ensure that the jurisdictions of all levels of government are respected, instead of undertaking consultations, the Canadian heritage minister, through the Secretary of State for Amateur Sport, should set up issue tables in conjunction with her counterparts in Quebec and the provinces and territories, because they are the ones who know best the needs and aspirations of athletes and coaches.

Through such discussions, the stakeholders could agree on shared strategies to be followed and on the specific challenges, all this while respecting respective jurisdictions.

The federal government has always recognized Quebec's responsibility as far as recreation and health are concerned. It did so back in 1987 with the National Recreation Statement. We are therefore asking for this to be continued.

The Bloc Quebecois therefore recommends the transfer of the funds earmarked for this bill to the Government of Quebec.

It will thus be able to apply them via programs already in place. As a result, the duplication and redundancy that generally results from such overlap would be avoided.

It would have been recommendable to have a specific whereas statement in the preamble to confirm this respect of jurisdictions, with a view to avoiding needless and pointless friction between the various levels of government.

It is also essential and vital for this bill to state explicitly that the Official Languages Act must be complied with in order to ensure that it is formally applied, and that all of its provisions are applied. This is now the case.

Compliance with the act must therefore be ipart of the regular activities of the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada created by Bill C-54.

The Bloc Quebecois believes that this is a good first step. We must then ensure that the bill will indeed be implemented. From now on, the Official Languages Act will be recognized in legislation. It was time that the situation was corrected.

Some of the challenges affect the whole country, given that they are closely related to the francophone reality. The Commissioner of Official Languages stated this in her report, as I mentioned earlier.

We hope that all of her recommendations will be implemented. It is important to follow up on these recommendations to ensure that they really do get implemented in the very near future.

It only makes sense that these recommendations be implemented as soon as possible. Many French speaking athletes have been penalized by the lack of respect for the French fact. Another generation must not suffer the same fate.

The exodus of French speaking athletes is a result of the lack of resources earmarked for sports facilities. Lacking what they need, our athletes have often been forced into exile in the west to perfect their craft. This exodus has a devastating effect on Quebec. We have been feeling the effects for much too long.

As far as the elite athletes are concerned, some measures have been put into place, but there are still too many shortcomings. This is why young athletes and coaches who have risen to a high level end up going west when their striving for excellence goes beyond what is available to them in Quebec.

Athletes who are in exile testified at regional hearings and said that we need a plan to correct the situation and train high level athletes and coaches in Quebec, and train them in French, to meet the needs of the French speaking community. Another way to correct this unfair situation is to help with major events, so that Quebec's potential gains international exposure.

The potential is there in Quebec, but it really needs our help. As a matter of fact, all athletes and coaches need our help now. Let us hope that the measures contained in Bill C-54 will adequately address these glaring flaws.

Some people are talking about a lost generation, and others of future generations that will not have time to develop their full potential. Clearly, the training of Olympic and Paralympic athletes takes years—some ten years, actually.

As regards the private sector, the government must ensure that all disciplines of sport are respected, as well as the diversity of physical activities.

The role of the private sector will be to support all events in all disciplines, instead of investing in the careers of a few athletes that have obtained good results. This will ensure that our athletes and coaches will get what they deserve in the end, real support, both financial and structural.

While this bill states a number of objectives, adequate financial resources are necessary to effectively meet needs and follow up on intentions.

In its brief, Sports-Québec indicated that the resources allocated to sport by the federal government were currently not nearly enough and that, unless they were increased, this bill would remain a utopia. We agree with this statement.

In fact, we support the recommendations submitted by Sports-Québec at the national sport summit, held in April 2001, in Ottawa. According to Sports-Québec, the budgets allocated to sport should be increased, with the exception of the moneys for professional sports and the organization of major games.

The proposed budgets are as follows: in 2002, it should have been 0.15% of the government's total budget; 0.2% in 2003; 0.3% in 2005, and 0.5% in 2008. These objectives are very reasonable. All that is needed is the government's will to support these figures, so that the real objectives of the bill can be achieved.

When they appeared before the committee, all the stakeholders shared their concerns about the growing needs of the sport community. Some said that there was no serious commitment on the part of the federal government regarding facilities.

This shortcoming has economic and social consequences on international sport events. The situation is even more critical for winter sports equipment.

The Bloc Quebecois believes that the results will be positive only if we compeltely rethink our philosophy toward athletes and coaches. It is also appropriate to review our attitude toward physical activity.

A whereas in the preamble of Bill C-54 deals with the desire to increase public awareness of the benefits of physical activity and sport.

We want to point out that this must be done only if the jurisdiction of Quebec and the various levels of government is respected. It is obvious that this implies the involvement of several departments, particularly health and education. Once again, the Bloc Quebecois recommends that there be continuing discussions with counterparts from Quebec, the provinces and the territories.

A very important fact is that, to respond to the expectations of this bill, there will have to be increased broadcasting and greater diversity in what is broadcast.

The Bloc Quebecois hopes that a real Department of Sport will be established. We moved an amendment on this. This seemed to receive unanimous support in the sub-committee. Thus, athletes and coaches, as well as the people of Canada and Quebec people, would have had a department with a real portfolio.

Sports-Québec also recommends the establishment of this department. With a real Department of Sports complete with a portfolio, the objectives could probably have been applied at all levels, from the elite down. This would probably encourage widespread promotion of the objectives in a much more effective way than through the federations, which are mainly concerned with fostering excellence.

I know that the time allotted to me is up. I therefore hope that all the necessary funding will be made available so that physical activity and sport are recognized for the benefits they yield.

Physical Activity and Sport ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2002 / 11:40 a.m.
See context

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Canadian Alliance Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to speak to Bill C-54. It is always a pleasure to speak to a bill that I agree with. The bill is one that we have been in agreement with from the beginning. We have listened to the witnesses and listened to the amendments that were proposed in committee. We headed off a couple of mistakes within the committee amendment process but in the end we are satisfied that the bill is on the right track. It is not a guarantee of success but it is on the right track of promoting sport and physical fitness.

I recall the old ParticipAction ads that still stay with me to this day. I remember the challenge that the 60 year old Swede was in better shape than the 25 year old Canadian. I was probably about 25 when that ad was run on TV and now that I am closer to 60 than I am 25 it seems to hit home a bit. However, Canadians listened to the old participation type ads that encouraged them to get physically fit.

A good friend from my riding, Doug Grimson, has shown me over the years what value there is in a life of physical fitness, not only because one remains healthier which means fewer visits to the doctor and so on, but what an active lifestyle one can have when one is physically active and fit. For Doug everything is a challenge waiting to be taken on with full vigour. That includes biking 100 miles, running a half marathon, playing squash, tennis, or whatever, it does not matter. Doug is up for it. Last year he wore out both of his knees so doctors had to scope both knees. He was in respite care for about two weeks and then he was right back at it. I am sure he will wear them out again.

Examples like that are encouraging to me and they should be encouraging to all of us who realize the benefits of physical fitness. While it may be enjoyed by people like Doug and many others, lack of physical activity is a growing problem in Canada. We must wrestle with this as a country. As a wealthy western country we increasingly have a problem with inactivity and obesity.

On August 14, 2001, there was an article in the National Post that quoted Dr. Mackie from the British Columbia Medical Association. It stated:

Dismayed by Canada's obese youth, the British Columbia Medical Association will propose today that the federal government restore a full-fledged minister for sports and fitness...Dr. Mackie said a lack of federal support for childhood fitness is to blame for an increase in injury, prolonged recovery times and obesity.

“We're seeing the kids coming into their early teens 20 to 30 pounds overweight. It's terrible, and it's happening right under our eyes,” Dr. Mackie said. “There's a lot of sitting kids who don't do much”.

That call for a full time, full-fledged minister for sports and fitness was a call to arms from the BCMA. I am pleased to see that we are bringing together under one minister all the activities of amateur sport and physical activity. We are taking from different areas, some from health, some from sport, and some from heritage, and bringing them together under one ministry. Here we can do our best as a federal parliament to work with the provinces, health authorities and others to wrestle with a growing problem in Canada.

Obesity rates have tripled in Canada since 1985 to 1998. New research in April indicated that 57% of Canadian young people are so sedentary that they are harming their health. That is over 50% of our kids who are not getting enough physical activity. I would like to blame it all on the kids but 63% of adults were too sedentary to look after their own health. In other words we are not setting a good example and the nation as a whole is suffering for it in our health bills and in our ability to lead as productive and enjoyable lives as we can.

Another Statistics Canada study points out that the participation in sports among Canadians 15 and older dropped from 45% in 1992 to 34% today. That is an incredible drop in participation rates. Doctors are warning again about the number of hours kids sit in front of TVs, and now TVs and computers, and their participation rate in sports has dropped accordingly. The Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute reported in 2000 that the physical activity levels of Canadians increased from 1981 to 1995 but the participation rate has stalled and slipped backwards.

The bill is timely. Canadians understand that we must do something about this. We are a wealthy nation but with that wealth comes responsibility to look after ourselves, to do our part to be physically fit and look after our own health as best we can, and a good part of that has to do with physical activity.

One objective of Bill C-54 is to increase the opportunities for involvement in sports from the amateur to the elite athlete level. The physical activity policy in section 3 of Bill C-54 states:

  1. The objectives of the Government of Canada's policy regarding physical activity are:

(a) to promote physical activity as a fundamental element of health and well-being;

(b) to encourage all Canadians to improve their health by integrating physical activity into their daily lives; and

(c) to assist in reducing barriers faced by all Canadians that prevent them from being active.

I wish to thank the minister for identifying all Canadians as just that. We want to reduce barriers that impede the ability of Canadians to have productive, full and enjoyable elements of physical activity in their lives. We did not get carried away with any of the political correctness either. We just said all Canadians because that covers everyone. We all need to find ways to be active, to reduce barriers that may be in place whether they are physical, language or cultural barriers. It is in the interests of all Canadians to ensure we are physically active. The minister did a good job of drafting the language in the legislation to ensure that we did not pander to anyone but that we included all Canadians.

It was interesting that some of the witnesses before the committee pointed out that the participation rates for women were less than men in organized sports. The women who testified before the committee said that as long as we addressed this by calling for improvements and reducing barriers for all Canadians we would not have to get gender specific because that would include women and they would be satisfied with the language. The minister and the committee did the right thing by adopting that inclusive language.

The Canadian sports policy is designed to increase participation in the practice of sport, support the pursuit of excellence in sport and build capacity in the Canadian sport system. In order to meet these objectives Bill C-54 would give the minister power to participate in a number of activities, including: arranging for national and regional conferences in respect of physical activity and sport, that would be the leadership role that we would expect the minister to take; working with provincial counterparts and sports organizations from coast to coast; preparing and distributing information related to physical activity and sport; undertaking or supporting any projects or programs related to physical activity and sport; and providing bursaries or fellowships to assist individuals to pursue excellence in pursuit.

As always, the cream will rise to the top, but we must provide ways to skim that cream off and ensure it gets the type of assistance and leadership for Canada to excel. Those elite athletes become role models not just for our youth but for us all. We become inspired. We participate at greater rates when our elite athletes do well in any of the international and national forum.

Some of the most moving moments in the House have been the times we have had the Olympic athletes come in on the floor of the House where we could laud them and give them their due. To see those athletes proudly displaying their medals and showing their eagerness to promote their sport is inspiring. Our congratulations to them is also heartfelt. Those athletes do more than just win medals, they inspire a nation. As we promote excellence, provide bursaries and fellowships to those individuals and coaches I hope the minister will find increased ways to ensure that meritorious athletes get to the top.

We want to encourage the promotion of sport as a tool of individual and social development in Canada and in co-operation with other countries abroad. That should not be underestimated. We take national pride in our traditional sports, whether it be men's or women's hockey, for example, or whether we come home with Olympic medals and world championships. We also take pride when we are part of the community of nations showing the Canadian flag and participating in events from the Commonwealth Games to la Francophonie, to championships large and small around the world.

There is something about that participation in sport between nations that builds rapport and creates opportunities to build into those nations some of our values as well. For example, every year between Christmas and New Year's in Chilliwack for the last 40 or 50 years people come from Seattle and all over the Pacific northwest to come to the peewee jamboree. Sport is a great tool for social and individual development.

We want to encourage, and this important, the private sector to contribute financially to the development of sport. Increasingly we see public-private partnerships in all levels of government activity. Sports will be no different. There is a huge private component to sports. The majority of funding and community effort is at the private sector level and will continue to be so. We do not pretend we will fund it all from this parliament.

On the other hand we want to find ways to laud those private sector partners. They would help us develop sport, increase participation and give us money to ensure that happens at the community level. They are a great partner and we need to ensure that we do what we can to involve them at every level.

Finally, this will encourage and support an alternative dispute resolution centre for sport. This is an important thing. It is not a sidebar but an important part of the bill. The mission of the centre is:

to provide to the sport community

(a) a national alternative dispute resolution service for sports disputes; and

(b) expertise and assistance regarding alternative dispute resolution.

I believe the establishment of this centre is a positive step forward because there are an increasing number of cases to settle on the sports dispute side. Currently there are limited mechanisms to settle disputes and athletes have requested a centre like this, but not just the athletes, certainly the national organizations as well.

When we think of it, athletes often are getting by on a shoestring budget and when there is a dispute with a national body, Sports Canada or a national organization and they feel something has gone awry and they have not been treated fairly, what are they to do? There are examples even in the last year or two of where trying to settle a dispute through the courts might cost an athlete $40,000 or $50,000. They do not have that kind of money and it is time consuming. The courts, while they will settle it, often do not have the expertise in sports dispute settlements like this so they make the best of a bad situation.

This centre, while it will be optional for athletes and organizations to participate in it, will develop expertise and soon, I am sure and would hope, a reputation as the go-to organization to help arbitrate and settle any disputes of a sports nature. I hope and believe that the way it is set up this will happen.

It is perhaps for a good reason that all 12 directors of the centre who will be appointed will work as volunteers. These will be people who have expertise in this area. They will work as volunteers and bring their expertise to bear. They will hire an executive director of their choosing to put together a whole system that will help athletes and organizations across the country.

The bill provides for the establishment of a code of ethics for directors, officers and employees of this centre as well as for arbitrators and mediators who provide dispute settlement services under the auspices of the centre. There has been a lot of talk in this place about the need for a good ethics code and a good ethics package that everyone understands going in. The bill would establish that right from the get-go.

The bill also stipulates that the board of directors shall establish an audit committee to go over the affairs of the centre. It would:

(a) require the Centre to implement and maintain appropriate internal control procedures;

(b) review, evaluate and approve those internal control procedures;

(c) [audit]...the Centre's annual financial statements and report to the Centre before these statements are approved by the board of directors;

(d) meet with the Centre's auditor to discuss the Centre's annual financial statements and the auditor's report; and

(e) meet with...management to discuss the effectiveness of the internal control procedures.

In other words, although these directors may be volunteers, and I am sure they already are busy people, they will have big responsibilities to make sure that the centre acts appropriately.

As well:

The accounts and financial transactions of the Centre shall be audited annually by an independent auditor designated by the board of directors, and a written report of the audit shall be made to that board.

I believe that there are enough control systems in place to make sure that not only will the centre do its work well but it will have a good reporting mechanism that we can all have a look at to make sure that things are going well.

Finally, I have pointed out in committee that there is one thing we are a little unsure of as of yet even though we agree with the mandate that is given in the bill. We agree with the increased role for the minister of physical fitness and sport. He will be running more than 10 kilometres in order to prepare for this new role. However, we do want to make sure that all auspices of sports and physical activity come under his aegis. Right now they are broken into different ministries and often get shortchanged because all bureaucrats and ministers want to hold all these things unto themselves. We end up with the health department demanding control of certain parts and the heritage department others. It is always a problem when conflicting ministries perhaps have the same objectives but there is no one person that can be consulted and held accountable both in the House and in the country.

The minister of sport and physical activity is going to have an increasing amount of accountability for what is going on under his watch. We hope that he will be able to pull those components out of the different ministries and make sure that they come under his control so that we have one go-to guy on the ministry side and that in turn he can get the job done because he will have control of both the purse strings and the programs.

It is a little unclear at this time exactly what the funding levels will be. Again that is something that came out in committee. I am not sure how many dollars are involved for the centre or for the fellowships, bursaries and so on that may come forward from this. We will look forward to the upcoming budgets to see exactly how that will be done. Of course we want to make sure that it is an adequate amount, but obviously there is a limited amount that can be put to any one program. We want to make sure that there is an adequate amount for this important activity and that if it is taken out of other ministries like health their budgets are decreased while funds are transferred over for sports funding.

In conclusion, I want to reiterate our support for the bill. We think it is on the right track. We do encourage all levels of government to get involved and to stay involved during the consultative process. Part of the mandate of the minister is to meet with provincial counterparts, with everyone from the BCMA to the national sports organizations, which I hope will find a ready listener in the minister. As the centre comes together, I am sure that the minister will be called before committees and the House to make sure it is done properly and athletes and sports organizations are well served.

Is it not ironic that Canadians have to wrestle with this problem of a wealthy nation that loses its ability to stay healthy because it becomes sedentary? We simply have to grapple with this. We could wish it were different, and I wish it were. I saw an article the other day about the need to send kids to what are called fat farms. This is a sad thing. There is so much wealth and so much opportunity in the country to allow people to just sit back and enjoy too many Twinkies that they are ruining their health through inactivity. We have to do what we can here at the federal level to make sure that we turn that around. Our country's population is aging, but the habits established in our youth often affect our health right into our old age.

Again, I do support the bill. I encourage the minister in his work. I think we will find that it is one of those things where he will find broad, all party support for the need for the bill and for the need for the minister to be not just physically active but very active politically in the realm of amateur sport and physical fitness. I wish him well and I do hope that the centre and the activities that are described in the bill are successful in getting Canadians off the couch and into a life of activity.

Physical Activity and Sport ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2002 / 11:20 a.m.
See context

Simcoe North Ontario

Liberal

Paul Devillers Liberalfor the Minister of Canadian Heritage

moved that Bill C-54, an act to promote physical activity and sport, be read the third time and passed.

Mr. Speaker, it is with pleasure that I stand in the House of Commons to debate third reading of Bill C-54, an act to promote physical activity and sport.

I had the pleasure of introducing the bill to the House on April 10 on behalf of the Minister of Canadian Heritage. On April 15 the bill received second reading in the House of Commons and was referred to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage and then to the Subcommittee on the Study of Sport in Canada. The subcommittee heard the testimony of witnesses from the sport community, from government officials and the Official Languages Commissioner. It also received written submissions from a number of different organizations. On June 12 the member for Toronto--Danforth tabled in the House the first report of the Subcommittee on the Study of Sport in Canada of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. The report was debated yesterday, June 17.

I am pleased with the process that was undertaken and I am assured that the bill has had a thorough review and debate. We worked with members of the sport community and with all parties both inside and outside the committee to reach an agreement in areas of controversy. We have respectfully considered all views and worked together to strengthen the bill.

The bill began with an extensive consultation. There were exchanges with the sport community and all levels of government. Their unanimous support have made the existence of the bill a reality and it is important that we recognize that.

Thanks to the dynamism and contribution of all stakeholders in the sport community, the conditions most favourable to the advancement of sport in Canada were brought together in one place.

Henceforth, this bill entrenches the policy of the Government of Canada regarding sport. This policy reflecting the concerns of the sport community was adopted last April by the federal government in conjunction with all provincial and territorial governments.

The bill is consistent with the first ever Canadian sport policy. This landmark policy was the result of unprecedented consultations with the sport community. It was endorsed last April by myself as the Secretary of State for Amateur Sport and the provincial and territorial ministers responsible for sport, fitness and recreation.

The ministers embarked on this policy development process to create a more effective and transparent sport system to underscore the importance of sport and physical activity to the health of Canadians and to build a more harmonious environment to improve the sport experience. No government can claim on its own to change the system. Sport concerns everyone and everyone needs to participate in the process. The support of the sport community as well as the partners, the population at large and other governments was key.

We are entering a new era in Canadian sport and physical activity. We will soon have new legislation for sport and physical activity which serves to modernize the mandate and policies of the Government of Canada with respect to physical activity and sport. The Fitness and Amateur Sport Act of 1961 served the government well for 42 years and now we will soon be set for a new era.

The policy objectives of the Government of Canada regarding sport are threefold: to increase participation in sport, to support the pursuit of excellence, and to build capacity in the Canadian sport system. The policy is based on the highest value of ethics in sport including: dope free sport; respectful treatment of all persons; the full and fair participation of all persons in sport; and the fair, equitable, transparent and timely resolution of disputes in sport.

By entrenching the Government of Canada's physical activity and sport policies in this bill, the government is acknowledging that physical activity and sport are an integral part of Canadians' lives and culture, and procur benefits in terms of health, quality of life, economic activity, cultural diversity and social cohesion, particularly by their reinforcement of the bilingual nature of Canada.

This also demonstrates the commitment of the Government of Canada to encourage and assist Canadians in increasing their levels of physical activity and participation in sports. It also recognizes its commitment to support the pursuit of excellence in sport and to build capacity in the Canadian sports system.

The government through the bill does not only respond to the recommendations of the subcommittee on sport, it also responds to commitments in the Speech from the Throne where it indicated it would promote health and prevent disease and strengthen its efforts to encourage fitness and participation in sports.

The Government of Canada is well aware that any government action with regard to sports affects a large number of Canadians. According to the 1998 general social survey, over 8.3 million Canadians aged 15 and over participate in sport on a regular basis. According to the 2000 Statistics Canada survey, an estimated 1.8 million people are involved in sport and recreation organizations on a voluntary basis, not to mention the millions more who take part as parents, spectators, officials and administrators.

For this reason, a preamble was added to the bill demonstrating that the government's commitment to physical activity and sport needs to be seen as an investment in enhancing the well-being of all Canadians, and not an expense.

Any investment in physical activity and sport contributes to quality of life and procures long term savings in health care.

Given today's challenges facing sport, the proposed legislation clarifies, along with the title and terminology, the existing ministerial mandate to adequately reflect and strengthen the role of the minister responsible for sport in fostering, promoting and developing sport in Canada.

Over the past 10 years the Canadian high performance sport system has experienced a large number of disputes over the selection of athletes on national teams and over doping in sport. Internal mechanisms of sport organizations have many limitations.

To respond to the needs of the sport community, the bill provides for the creation of a sport dispute resolution centre of Canada. The mission of the centre would be to provide the sport community with a national alternative dispute resolution service with expertise and assistance in this regard. The sport community will be able to use the services of the centre to resolve sport disputes, which could include disputes regarding doping infractions, in an equitable, fair, transparent and timely manner.

The creation of the centre through legislation demonstrates the importance given by the government to principles such as transparency, equity and diligence. It will place Canada at the leading edge internationally and will ensure stability, continuity and credibility to the dispute resolution process.

In response to concerns expressed by members of the sport community about Sport Canada being party to dispute resolutions, I would like to point out that under Bill C-54 no individual or organization would be obliged to use the centre's services, which are to be used on a consensual basis. This also applies to Sport Canada.

However clause 10 of the proposed legislation states that the centre's mission is to provide alternative dispute resolution services for sport disputes which include disputes among sport organizations and disagreements between sport organizations and persons affiliated with it, including its members. The notion of sport dispute is therefore broad enough for the centre to provide dispute resolution services where Sport Canada could agree to be a party.

Therefore Sport Canada could in its policies, programs or in any specific agreement include an appeal mechanism that would refer disputes to the centre under terms and conditions of the said policy, programs or agreements as long as those disputes can be qualified as sport disputes. I think I can give the undertaking that Sport Canada will engage in such agreements. Obviously not in the policy areas but certainly in programming areas it is the intention that Sport Canada will avail itself of the services in the dispute resolution centre.

I would also like to indicate that the government's intention regarding the centre was not to create a federal institution or a governmental body but a not for profit organization at arm's length from the government. In creating it we have tried to achieve the appropriate accountability measures in light of the arm's length nature of the centre.

It is important for us and the sport community that the centre be independent and have all the flexibility necessary to meet the future needs of the sport community while being accountable for public funds. I will be consulting with the sport community to ensure that individuals will be appointed to the board who have the expertise and capacity to enable the centre to fulfill its mission.

Physical inactivity is costly. Reducing it by 10% can save $5 billion annually in health care costs. Provincial and territorial ministers responsible for sport have reiterated their commitment to reach such a target by the year 2003.

Sport is about inclusion. Irrespective of age, culture, language, social status or physical or intellectual capacity, more people must be allowed access to a greater number of sports so that everyone can practise the sport of their choice.

I would now like to discuss the Canadian sport policy, which was unanimously approved in April by the federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for sport. This policy clearly demonstrates the goodwill of the different levels of government to address the issue of official languages in the Canadian sport system.

The policy recognizes the barriers that francophones sometimes confront in sports. For example, according to Sport Canada policy, sport must be accessible to all, regardless of their language. Furthermore, the regulations and responsibilities in the sport system stipulate that services must be provided in both official languages.

As for the role of the federal government, it must ensure that services will be provided in both official languages.

Finally, the different levels of government must increase the number of coaches who work in both official languages, in order to guarantee services for francophone and anglophone athletes.

I believe that these initiatives clearly demonstrate the goodwill of the different levels of government to address the issue of official languages in Canada.

I was pleased that the tabling of the proposed legislation raised the debate of the place of women in sport and physical activity. The government has made its position clear. We believe that women should be full and equal partners in Canadian sport, whether as athletes, coaches, officials, leaders or decision makers. We will work with the sport community drawing on the expertise of the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity to improve the status of women in sport and physical activity.

I have had communications with the executive of CAAWS. I have assured it that we will rely on it to provide us with the information, assistance and expertise on the compliance of the gender equity policies that are already in our funding programs now to ensure that the national sports organizations are in compliance.

Key players are also volunteers such as our coaches, officials, members in sports associations, organizers of competitions and so on. They contribute so much to sport all across the country. More than ever, sport must be regarded as an investment and not as an expense. Last year 378,000 jobs in Canada were related to sport. Sports contribution to our GNP is estimated at $8.9 billion, quite a score.

The Government of Canada, with the support of the sport community, provincial and territorial governments and the private sector, believes that the proposed legislation is an important step in a comprehensive strategy to affirm the key role of sport in Canadian society.

The issue of sport in Canada is a social issue, an issue of goodwill and of partnership. It is an issue that affects us all.

In Canada sport is everyone's business.

This bill affects all Canadians.

In conclusion, I would seek the consent of the House for the second speaker, the hon. member for Toronto--Danforth, to have extended time. He is the chair of the subcommittee and has been involved with it since the very beginning. I am sure members would be pleased to consent that he be allowed sufficient time to complete his remarks.

Physical Activity and Sport ActGovernment Orders

June 17th, 2002 / 5:30 p.m.
See context

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate my colleague, who sits on the subcommittee on sport. I think that his comments are very important, particularly with regard to ethics in sport.

It is very timely as well in terms of the need to ensure ethics in sport and Canada's reputation both at home and abroad.

I want to commend the efforts of the minister and mover to put these three motions back into the bill. They add to and enhance the true intent of Bill C-54. He has displayed a degree of wind and stick handling that he was not able to mirror on the ice but was able to do here in the House. I feel he is quite supportive of athletics as demonstrated by those efforts.

As previous speakers mentioned, Motions Nos. 12, 13 and 14 are aimed at enhancing parity with respect to the centre itself in dealing with both official languages and dealing with the public. The subcommittee had broad consultations and received a great deal of input. Athletes, coaches, stakeholders and many individuals expressed their support for this type of dispute resolution centre.

I want to specifically mention the efforts of Sport Nova Scotia and Scott Logan for their input, direction and leadership on many issues relating to sport in my home province of Nova Scotia.

As the minister said, Motions Nos. 13 and 14 are somewhat technical in nature but stress the independence and the importance quite apropos of team work in allowing the board to take ownership over its decisions and to truly be a master of its destiny in building its own team, which I expect will work very closely for the betterment of sport throughout Canada.

These are certainly very important amendments. We are encouraged by the efforts of the minister to ensure they were included in the legislation. The Progressive Conservative Party once again expresses its support for these amendments as well as the entire bill.

Physical Activity and Sport ActGovernment Orders

June 17th, 2002 / 5:20 p.m.
See context

Simcoe North Ontario

Liberal

Paul Devillers LiberalSecretary of State (Amateur Sport) and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

moved:

Motion No. 12

That Bill C-54, in Clause 17, be amended by replacing line 39 on page 5 with the following:

“cludes

(i) principles governing the use of English and French by the staff of the Centre in their communications, provision of services and daily work; and

(ii) a mechanism for resolving disputes”.

Motion No. 13

That Bill C-54, in Clause 21, be amended by replacing lines 4 to 10 on page 7 with the following:

“21. The board of directors shall appoint an executive director of the Centre.”

Motion No. 14

That Bill C-54, in Clause 23, be amended by replacing line 25 on page 7 with the following:

“without the approval of the board of directors.”

Mr. Speaker, Motion No. 12 is a technical amendment which would allow the sport dispute resolution centre of Canada to make bylaws regarding the principles governing the implementation of an official languages policy with respect to the use of English and French.

Physical Activity and Sport ActGovernment Orders

June 17th, 2002 / 5:20 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Paul Devillers Liberal Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, the purpose of Motion No. 10 is to restore clause 9 to Bill C-54, and I quote:

9.(1) A not-for-profit corporation is hereby established to be called the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada—

Clause 9 provides that the centre shall be independent of the government and shall offer its services to, and communicate with, the public in both official languages of Canada.

The committee rejected clause 9 and we are in the process of restoring it.

Motion No. 11 is a technical amendment necessary in light of the amendment adopted by the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage regarding the appointment of the executive director by the board of directors of the sport dispute resolution centre. This is similar to Motions Nos. 13 and 14 for which I had requested unanimous consent to reinstate. Maybe after further discussion I would make the request again for unanimous consent to have Motions Nos. 12, 13 and 14 reinstated. I understood that all parties were in agreement with those amendments.

Physical Activity and Sport ActGovernment Orders

June 17th, 2002 / 5:20 p.m.
See context

Simcoe North Ontario

Liberal

Paul Devillers LiberalSecretary of State (Amateur Sport) and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

moved:

Motion No. 10

That Bill C-54 be amended by replacing line 12 on page 3 with the following:

“9. (1) A not-for-profit corporation is hereby established to be called the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada, in this Act referred to as “the Centre”, which shall include a dispute resolution secretariat and a resource centre.

(2) The Centre is not an agent of Her Majesty.

(3) The Centre is not a departmental corporation or a Crown corporation within the meaning of the Financial Administration Act.

(4) For the purposes of the Federal Court Act, the Centre or an arbitrator or mediator who provides services under the auspices of the Centre is not a federal board, commission or other tribunal within the meaning of that Act.

(5) The Centre shall offer its services to, and communicate with, the public in both official languages of Canada.

(6) The head office of the Centre shall be at the place in Canada that is designated in the by-laws of the Centre.”

Motion No. 11

That Bill C-54, in Clause 17, be amended by replacing lines 25 to 27 on page 5 with the following:

“(c) the appointment and remuneration of the officers of the Centre;”.

Physical Activity and Sport ActGovernment Orders

June 17th, 2002 / 5:10 p.m.
See context

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Cadman Canadian Alliance Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak to Bill C-54 for a number of reasons.

First and foremost this is one of the few pieces of government legislation that I can support without offering much criticism other than the fact that the bill is long overdue. It would replace the Fitness and Amateur Sport Act of 1961. Much has changed since 1961. Having had some experience in recreational amateur sport I feel strongly about the role the federal government should play to ensure that opportunities exist for all Canadians, in particular young Canadians who wish to participate. The primary reason I can support the legislation is that the drafters of the bill have ensured that the private sector would be properly encouraged to financially support sporting activities and events. This is an excellent solution to funding.

There are provisions in the bill to ensure that all Canadians would be encouraged to participate in physical activities. From a social planning perspective this is good policy as a fit and healthy population has wide ranging benefits. As Canadians become more involved in sports and physical activity we would see many payoffs, such as lower health care costs and, equally as important, increased social interaction and the cultural benefits that flow from it.

Personally, recreational sports have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Growing up in Ontario weekends and summer holidays were spent playing baseball and football in the schoolyard. At school it was football and basketball. Like many of my generation, and many of today's generation, I spent countless winter hours on natural outdoor ice in subzero temperatures playing both shinny and organized hockey. I never played hockey inside an arena until I was in my early teens. It stayed with me. It was only after I was first elected to this place in 1997 that, due to the extended absences from my home on the west coast, I retired from the Surrey men's recreational hockey league after 14 years as a player. I was also the league statistician for a number of years.

My wife, Dona, was a league timekeeper for just about as long, not so she could keep tabs on me but because she, like many other hockey widows, thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie and the social interaction. Together, we also played slow-pitch baseball for many years. I will always be grateful for the support of my teammates when we lost our son nearly 10 years ago. It was incredibly important. It showed the true measure of what amateur and recreational sport is all about.

When our children were growing up I spent ten years involved in coaching youth soccer and seven years with baseball. Again it was a family affair, as my wife also coached a girl's softball team for six years. I have many fond memories of those years at the ballpark and the soccer pitch, memories of young faces playing the game for the fun of it. I still see some of those kids today. They are young men now, some coaching their own children.

One disappointing aspect of my coaching experience was the lack of interest and participation shown by some parents, who saw the sporting activities of their children as nothing more than a babysitting service. Anyone who has coached young people's teams can attest to that. It seemed nothing more than an opportunity to get rid of the kid for a few hours a couple of times a week. It cannot be emphasized too strongly just how much it means to an eight or nine year olds to have mom or dad cheering for them on the sidelines. Parents who take little or no interest have no idea what they are missing. They will never get those times back, and that is indeed unfortunate.

Having been involved in sports at this level I was further impressed with the legislation because it appears that there was consultation with Canadians across the country before the bill was written. It is my understanding that there were over 1,000 people involved in that consultation process and the backgrounds of those people covered a wide spectrum of sport in Canada.

I am interested in what the bill would do for Canadian athletes who aspire to more than recreation sport. I am reminded of world sporting events, such as the Olympics. Canada has traditionally done well on the world stage of sports. This past winter in Salt Lake City was no different. I cannot think of any more unifying events than the gold medal hockey games. Our country literally came to a standstill when the men's team played for gold on a perfect Sunday afternoon. The women's team played with skill and determination. The class that they displayed in their gold medal victory showed the true spirit of champions. However the hockey gold in no way diminishes the extraordinary accomplishments and efforts of other members of the Canadian Olympic team. Each and every one of them is to be commended and deserves our deepest gratitude for the way in which they represented Canada.

I would be remiss if I did not harken back to the 2000 Sydney summer Olympics to acknowledge Daniel Igali who brought home to Surrey the gold medal for the 69 kilogram class of freestyle wrestling. Daniel came to Canada from Nigeria. Our first contact came when he requested assistance from my office to ensure that his immigration application was proceeding properly so he would qualify for the Canadian national wrestling team. I recall sitting in front of a TV well after midnight here in Ottawa watching his gold medal winning match from Australia. Those who saw the image of Daniel spreading the Canadian flag out and kneeling to kiss it will long remember it. Daniel is a role model who spends much of his time speaking to children and youth about the importance of working toward one's dream.

Recently, another young man from Surrey, Adam Loewen, was selected fourth overall in major league baseball's draft. This is the highest ever for a Canadian player. Adam currently pitches for the Whalley Chiefs and at 18 has an extremely bright future.

We must remember, however, that few athletes reach these pinnacles. For every Daniel or Adam there are thousands who compete to the highest levels of their abilities and then move on to find their niche in life. The bonds of friendship that develop through the camaraderie of amateur and recreational sport last a lifetime. The encouragement of amateur sport will do more for the unity of this country than any politically motivated sponsorship or advertising scheme. It is my sincere hope that the bill would allow athletes of all stripes to attain their dreams, be it at the local, provincial, national, international or professional level.

I am glad to see that there are provisions in the legislation that provide for the promotion of a drug free sport. It is vital to our society that this anti-doping message be delivered loud and clear to our young people. Hand in hand with that message must be the commitment that our young people deserve to have all the advantages we can reasonably provide them with in terms of training facilities and opportunities.

Another positive aspect of the bill is its emphasis on ethics in sport. I hope that as the legislation is implemented there are some guarantees written in to ensure that an ethics code is established in a more timely fashion than the one the government is creating for itself.

The one concern that I have with the legislation comes to light only after some of the problems that the government has been having with patronage and rewarding its supporters. It would be unfortunate if the bill became yet another vehicle for pork. I would expect to see athletes and supporting organizations receive support based on merit rather than the political party they support. I encourage my colleagues to support the legislation to ensure that sport and physical activity remain alive and well in Canada.

Physical Activity and Sport ActGovernment Orders

June 17th, 2002 / 5 p.m.
See context

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Progressive Conservative Party I am very pleased as a member of the sports committee to participate in this debate. I will be brief as well but perhaps not quite so succinct as my colleague from Palliser. He was certainly correct in pointing out that all parties were very co-operative throughout the efforts to ensure that there was language parity and to ensure that the Official Languages Act was complied with in every fashion throughout the process and was encapsulated in the bill.

The bill which is to promote physical activity in sport is one that demonstrated how a parliamentary committee should work. There was a great deal of consultation and input from stakeholders as well as members of parliament. The Bloc played a very active role in ensuring that the official languages sections of the bill were acceptable to all Canadians. I also want to take a moment to commend the efforts of the parliamentary secretary and the minister himself, who in his day I understand was somewhat of an athlete. He is somebody who still has some athletic ability as he has demonstrated on occasion.

Motion No. 2 deals with group representation. It carried a great deal of weight and some might say controversy during the committee proceedings. Some felt that specific groups should merit recognition while others felt that the naming of any one group might by virtue of that move alienate some others. To deal with this, the phrase has been changed to “wishes to increase awareness among all Canadians”. This was a very insightful and wise agreement to come to on behalf of the committee.

The amendment should also alleviate the problem associated with language or any other minority group. The inclusive language of all Canadians is self-explanatory.

Motion No. 3 similarly is meant to encompass the all inclusive phrase “all Canadians in increasing their physical activity”. This again is a common sense amendment. The issue deals specifically with inclusion, tolerance and a moderate approach, which is one that is consistent with the approach that has always been brought forward by the Progressive Conservative Party. In particular when we are dealing with Canadians leading healthy lifestyles, it pays to make the linkage to the health benefits and savings associated with health care costs in Canada.

Motion No. 4, which was clearly the most controversial of all elements, lays out the framework in terms of language, answering committee concerns and making note of the government's desire and commitment to promote physical activity in regard to the principles set out in the Official Languages Act. There had to be compliance with language requirements and language parity.

I must say as a member of the committee, again it was truly heartening to see the spirit of co-operation demonstrated in arriving at the co-operative and compromise position that we did in presenting the amendments that we see before us. The proper balance was achieved and there was a genuine effort to achieve this linguistic parity.

I again commend the efforts and diligence of my colleague from the Bloc Quebecois who was a very active, able member of the committee.

Motion No. 5 deals with the definition of minister. It also adds “members of the Queen's Privy Council” so it expands that particular definition.

Motions Nos. 7 and 8, which unfortunately did not make it through this process, dealt with the permissive language surrounding the actions of the minister. There is certainly still some merit in examining this particular element in the future, especially when we look at the efforts of the minister to ensure Canadians encourage their children to lead healthier lifestyles and develop positive health habits.

It would also at some point merit revisiting because of the prioritizing of funding and the issues that would stem from greater funding associated with these new sections of the bill.

Similarly Motion No. 9 did not make it through the cutting room floor.

Motion No. 10 inserts verbatim clause 9 which deals with the establishment of the dispute resolution centre. I might just comment briefly that this not for profit independent arm's length body is mandated to aid the sport community with national dispute resolution in issues where a dispute might arise.

Why that matters is clearly demonstrated by some of the issues that arose very recently at the Olympics in terms of judging and standards with respect to international sport. Similarly, on occasion issues tend to arise with who represents this country and how that decision is arrived at. Another very good example was the dispute that arose with the national coach of the Canadian rugby team and the breakdown in communication that occurred between the players and the organizing body. As a result, that breakdown in communication cost Canada several international matches.

This new body goes a long way to deal with sports disputes in a very expeditious manner at a very basic level. I am encouraged to see that this body will be set up. I will add one proviso that I hope in the future the government may consider making this arm's length body and all arm's length bodies subject to monitoring and review by the auditor general. That appears to be a shortcoming in many areas and has been the subject of debate on another level in the House.

Motion No. 11 amends clause 17 which deals with the bylaws. The amendment removes the requirement that the board of directors determine the salary of the executive director. It maintains the appointment and remuneration of the officers of the centre.

Motion No. 12 deals with the language protection guidelines and requires the staff of the centre to deal in both official languages. It is a very important element of this legislation to promote both French and English throughout the system and the enhancement of sport in Canada.

Motion No. 13 deals with clause 21 which sets the terms of office for the executive director at not more than five years but allows the executive director to have that appointment renewed for one or more terms. This amendment does away with this and merely states that the board of directors shall appoint an executive director of the centre. It leaves some of the decision making power around that appointment in the hands of the board members.

Motion No. 14 deals with the absence of the executive director at the centre should he or she become incapacitated or if the office were to be vacated. No one will be allowed to take over for more than 90 days without the approval of the board of directors. This is a very common sense amendment that empowers the board members. It gives them greater legitimacy in the affairs of their own decisions. The previous responsibility fell to the minister.

In conclusion, overall this is a very positive piece of legislation. I commend the new minister of sport. He has made this bill, sport and physical activity in Canada his highest priorities since taking over the post. I also commend the member for Toronto--Danforth who on occasion has been very active in the promotion of healthy living and sport in the country.

There has been a great deal of consultation and co-operation throughout this process which in these very contentious days is heartening for the parliamentary process. It is an indication of the level of agreement that we are able to get the bill through and proceed through report stage today.

The Progressive Conservative Party wholeheartedly supports Bill C-54 and all efforts to ensure the betterment of Canadians' healthy lifestyles and build upon our very storied history of athletic accomplishment. Our recent Olympic exploits as well as those amazing accomplishments of our homegrown heroes give Canadians reason to beam with pride.

It is certainly my hope and the hope of the Progressive Conservative Party that legislation such as this will go some way to ensure that this legacy of excellence in athletic competition continues.

Physical Activity and Sport ActGovernment Orders

June 17th, 2002 / 4:45 p.m.
See context

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Madam Speaker, I rise today as the Bloc Quebecois critic for amateur sport to address Bill C-54, an act to promote physical activity and sport.

Since the beginning, the Bloc Quebecois has been supportive of the principles that underlie this bill, provided that it includes a specific provision to comply with the Official Languages Act. We believe that athletes, coaches and the whole population will benefit from the objectives of this bill, which are laudable and long overdue.

The Bloc Quebecois has always made athletes and coaches a key element of its demands and it will continue to do so at every opportunity, as long as this is necessary.

Bill C-54 is a step in the right direction. It remains to be seen whether these specific measures will meet the numerous expectations of the sports community and of the general public. It is important to remember that this bill is as much about sports as it is about physical activity.

Discussions during the sittings of the subcommittee on sport were lively, but we always kept in mind that we should be working in the best interests of athletes and coaches, because this is a non-partisan issue. Based on the comments that we heard, it appears that our work was appreciated.

The objectives on both sides of the table were basically the same, namely to increase resources for our athletes and coaches, to develop an awareness of the fact that sport facilities and infrastructures are in urgent need of investments, and to implement practical measures to increase public participation.

As a member of parliament, the Bloc Quebecois critic for amateur sport and a member of the subcommittee on sport, I have stressed the need to have a specific provision on respecting official languages. Today, we see that our efforts have paid off. During the sittings of the subcommittee, we insisted on the need to put in place mechanisms to monitor and implement the use of official languages, based on the recommendations made by the Commissioner of Official Languages in the report she tabled in 2000.

Subcommittee members unanimously expressed a desire to soon have a true department of sport and physical activity. We believe that the creation of such a department would officialize the implementation of the objectives of Bill C-54.

Members of the subcommittee would also like to see a strengthening of the preamble to Bill C-54. We need more than empty words to meet the expectations of our athletes and trainers. It is incumbent upon the government to officially act on this preamble as soon as possible.

We hope that this bill will put athletes and trainers at the heart of this government's actions, as the Bloc Quebecois has been recommending since the very beginning.

We also hope that the government will act quickly to make the resources available to meet the objectives of excellence and that the appropriate transfers will be made to Quebec, the provinces and the territories so that athletes can have, right from the start, all the tools they need to succeed.

Our athletes and trainers are our pride, and we need to show that to them. They have been listening to empty words for too long. The time has come to take action so that we never again have to talk about a lost generation.

The Bloc Quebecois hopes that the government will take its inspiration from community physical activity programs such as Kino-Québec. We are still wondering about the relevance of abolishing the ParticipAction program.

It is the government's intention to encourage physical activity for the public at large, but it did abolish a program that would have helped us move along toward that goal.

The Bloc Quebecois is in favour of this bill inasmuch as there is total respect for Quebec's jurisdiction, to avoid any form of encroachment. We encourage the federal government to open a dialogue of co-operation with its counterparts in Quebec, the provinces and the territories.

With respect to the creation of the dispute resolution centre, the Bloc Quebecois reiterates its desire that this extrajudicial resolution centre operate on a purely voluntary basis in connection with athletes and that Sports Canada be required to respect athletes' wishes. It would also be appropriate to implement arbitration award consultation mechanisms, thus creating sport case law which would be available to the sport community.

The Bloc Quebecois feels that the rules of application for the mediation and arbitration process should follow the example of the rules of procedure in use in Quebec. The amendments to this effect were rejected by the subcommittee on sport during clause-by-clause study.

Finally, we see in the specific affirmation of respect for the official languages an intention of goodwill, and we hope that Quebec's athletes and trainers will finally be able to participate fully in the international sport community.

In 1999, the Bloc Quebecois filed a complaint with the official languages commissioner asking her to look into the difficulties faced by francophone athletes. The commissioner felt that our allegations were well founded. In 2000, she submitted a detailed report containing 16 recommendations.

In her report, the Commissioner of Official Languages referred to the results of an indepth investigation of the use of French and English in the Canadian sports system. Her conclusion was that not only did the process of selecting Canadian teams represent a major obstacle to francophone athletes, but that the problem existed far earlier than the final team selection process. It is a problem that has been around for some time and it is time steps were taken to ensure respect of the rights of francophone athletes to receive services and coaching in the language of their choice.

The Bloc Quebecois has been calling for a long time for implementation of the 16 recommendations made by the Commissioner of Official Languages. Her report is already two years old. We are still demanding their immediate application. In fact, acknowledgment of the francophone athlete issue is the central point of our demands, as it has been from the start, both in the House of Commons and in the sports subcommittee.

The Commissioner of Official Languages makes it clear: French and English are far from equal in status as far as Canadian sport is concerned.

With the introduction of Bill C-54, the Bloc is entitled to call for proper implementation of the recommendations by the Commissioner of Official Languages, and particularly the explicit entrenchment of these recommendations in the bill itself. The Bloc Quebecois therefore calls for legislative acknowledgment of the formal application of the Official Languages Act.

How many francophone athletes have been training for years and have not managed to get to international level competitions because of the language barrier? Unfortunately, far too many.

The Bloc Quebecois has been constantly demanding from the very start that the government respect francophone athletes and coaches, who are being forced to master English as well as the demands of their sport.

As I have only two and one half pages more to read, I would ask for unanimous consent of the House to finish my speech.

Physical Activity and Sport ActGovernment Orders

June 17th, 2002 / 4:40 p.m.
See context

Simcoe North Ontario

Liberal

Paul Devillers LiberalSecretary of State (Amateur Sport) and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, Motion No. 4 would amend the preamble by including a reference to the Official Languages Act. This would affirm the Government of Canada's commitment to promoting physical activity in sport, having regard to the principles set out in the Official Languages Act.

When the bill was presented to the subcommittee, a number of members expressed concerns. Discussions were held, and it was decided that it would be wise to include a reference to our intention to comply at all times with the Official Languages Act.

With respect to Motion No. 5, at this time sport is the responsibility of the Minister of Canadian Heritage, and physical activity, the Minister of Health.

Reinsertion of clause 2 will give the governor in council the required flexibility to designate any member or members of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada to administer the act.

We have determined that it would be wise to have these two references to the two ministers.

With respect to Motion No. 8, the amendment reintroduces clause 5 of Bill C-54 which was deleted at committee. This clause sets forth the objects of the bill, namely to promote, develop and encourage physical activity and sport in Canada, and specifies the minister's mandate in that regard. This in essence was the heart of the bill along with the centre for dispute resolution. It was important that it be reinserted.

There have been discussions among all parties and I understand notwithstanding that there will be other interventions, there is unanimous consent that the bill be deemed to be passed at report stage this afternoon.

Physical Activity and Sport ActGovernment Orders

June 17th, 2002 / 4:35 p.m.
See context

Simcoe North Ontario

Liberal

Paul Devillers LiberalSecretary of State (Amateur Sport) and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

moved:

Motion No. 4

That Bill C-54, in the preamble, be amended by replacing lines 17 to 22 on page 1 with the following:

“WHEREAS the Government of Canada is committed to promoting physical activity and sport, having regard to the principles set out in the Official Languages Act;

AND WHEREAS the Government of Canada wishes to encourage cooperation among the various governments, the physical activity and sport communities and the private sector in the promotion of physical activity and sport;”.

Motion No. 5

That Bill C-54, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 30 on page 1 with the following:

“member or members of the Queen's Privy Council for”.

Motion No. 8

That Bill C-54 be amended by replacing line 27 on page 2 with the following:

“5. The objects of this Act are to encourage, promote and develop physical activity and sport in Canada. The Minister may take any measures that the Minister considers appropriate to further those objects, and in particular may

(a) undertake or assist in research or studies in respect of physical activity and sport;

(b) arrange for national and regional conferences in respect of physical activity and sport;

(c) provide for the recognition of achievement in respect of physical activity and sport by the grant or issue of certificates, citations or awards of merit;

(d) prepare and distribute information relating to physical activity and sport;

(e) assist, cooperate with and enlist the aid of any group interested in furthering the objects of this Act;

(f) coordinate federal initiatives related to the encouragement, promotion and development of physical activity and sport, particularly those initiatives related to the implementation of the Government of Canada's policy regarding sport, the hosting of major sporting events and the implementation of anti-doping measures, in cooperation with other departments or agencies of the Government of Canada;

(g) undertake or support any projects or programs related to physical activity or sport;

(h) provide assistance for the promotion and development of Canadian participation in national and international sport;

(i) provide for the training of coaches and any other resource persons to further the objects of this Act in relation to sport;

(j) provide bursaries or fellowships to assist individuals in pursuing excellence in sport;

(k) encourage the promotion of sport as a tool of individual and social development in Canada and, in cooperation with other countries, abroad;

(l) encourage the private sector to contribute financially to the development of sport;

(m) facilitate the participation of under-represented groups in the Canadian sport system;

(n) encourage provincial and territorial governments to promote and develop sport;

(o) coordinate the Government of Canada's initiatives and efforts with respect to the staging and hosting of the Canada Games; and

(p) encourage and support alternative dispute resolution for sport.”.

Physical Activity and Sport ActGovernment Orders

June 17th, 2002 / 4:35 p.m.
See context

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

I would like to draw the attention of the House to the decision made by the Speaker on report stage of Bill C-54.

There are 14 motions in amendment standing on the notice paper for the report stage of Bill C-54. By unanimous consent earlier today, Motions Nos. 1 and 6 have been removed from the notice paper. All remaining motions have been examined and the Chair is satisfied that they meet the guidelines expressed in the note to Standing Order 76.1(5) regarding the selection of motions in amendment at the report stage.

The motions will be grouped for debate as follows:

Group No. 1, Motions Nos. 4, 5, 7 and 8.

Group No. 2, Motions Nos. 10 and 11 to 14.

The voting patterns for the motions within each group are available at the table. The Chair will remind the House of each pattern at the time of voting.

I shall now propose Motions Nos. 4, 5 and 8 in Group No. 1 to the House. We shall not proceed with Motion No. 7 as the hon. member for Hamilton West is not present to move the motion.

Business of the HouseOral Question Period

June 17th, 2002 / 3 p.m.
See context

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. We are happy to hear that the Liberal government accepted the amendments moved by the Bloc Quebecois under Motions Nos. 1 and 6, in the debate on Bill C-54, an act to promote physical activity and sport, which should be taking place this afternoon.

Now that the government party has agreed with the Bloc Quebecois' position, it gives me great pleasure to request the unanimous consent of the House to withdraw Motion Nos. 1 and 6, to amend Bill C-54.