Federal government to deliver budget money to 2024 Olympic, Paralympic athletes


Canada’s Paris-bound athletes to receive $55M infusion into sport system

Posted: 4 Hours Ago

Minister of Sport and Physical Activity Carla Qualtrough, seen on Parliament Hill in May, said she is “focused on a new vision for sport in Canada,” aiming to improve grassroots sports organizations and participation. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

The federal government fulfilled a budget promise to Canada’s athletes preparing for the Olympic and Paralympic Games with Monday’s announcement of $55-million infusion into the sport system.

National Sport Minister Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment Randy Boissonnault and Treasury Board President Anita Anand said in Calgary that money for athletes’ monthly cheques, safe sport and removing barriers to sport that was promised in April’s budget is on its way.

“I’m squarely focused on a new vision for sport in Canada with a sport system that looks like Canada,” Qualtrough said.

“A system that invests in athletes and organizations who are working hard to represent Canada internationally, and invest in grassroots organizations that enable more Canadians to participate in sport and live more active lives.”

The largest investment is in the Athletes Assistance Program (AAP) or carding money.

Top athletes were receiving $1,765 per month — $1,060 for a development-level athlete — to pay their bills and cover training and competition costs their national sports organization can’t.

The federal government will invest $35 million in the AAP over the next five years and $7 million annually thereafter, which represents an increase of about 25 per cent.

That’s above the 18.8 per cent called for by AthletesCAN, the Canadian Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission, and Canadian Paralympic Committee Athletes’ Council before the federal budget.

Vital funding increase

Roughly 1,900 athletes across 90 sports receive monthly cheques.

“This increase in AAP funding, also known as carding among the athletes, is vital,” said bobsled pilot Cynthia Appiah. “The funding hasn’t changed in seven, eight years.

“It can be the difference between being able to go to that last competition that will help you qualify for the Olympics or not, or Commonwealth Games or not.

“Right now, we’re in a bit of a flux. The sport system is struggling to be able to maintain and continue the high level of success this country expects us to get when we go to these high-level competitions.”

Athletes saw their AAP increase in 2017 by $265 a month, or 18 per cent, in the first raise since 2004.

The 2024 Olympic Games open July 26 and close Aug.11, followed by the Paralympic Games from Aug. 28 to Sept. 8.

The federal government will put $16 million over the next two years into safe sport and $15 million into removing barriers to community sport programs

The Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee had asked for $104 million in this year’s federal budget for 61 national sports organizations that COC president David Shoemaker said were “on the brink of crisis.”

That was not granted, and Qualtrough acknowledged that gap Thursday.

“Those conversations are ongoing,” she said. “I would expect in the future as we continue to get our own house in order at the Government of Canada and across the sport system, that I’m extremely hopeful we will continue to make investments in the sport system.”

Source link

Federal government to deliver budget money to 2024 Olympic, Paralympic athletes #Federal #government #deliver #budget #money #Olympic #Paralympic #athletes

Source link Google News

Source Link: https://www.cbc.ca/amp/1.7254899

Federal government to deliver budget money to 2024 Olympic, Paralympic athletes: