Ministers adopt new Canadian policy on doping in sport

Federal, provincial and territorial Ministers responsible for sport, recreation and fitness today adopted the new Canadian Policy Against Doping in Sport. Goals and objectives have been identified to increase physical activity levels by 10 percentage points in provinces and territories by the year 2010. Ministers also made decisions at their annual conference to advance a number of items in support of the goals outlined in the Canadian Sport Policy.

The Canadian Policy Against Doping in Sport represents a strong level of commitment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to work together in the fight against doping in sport. The new policy, which supersedes both the 1991 and 2000 policies, articulates the roles and responsibilities of governments and the sport communities in eradicating doping from sport.

By endorsing the new Canadian Policy Against Doping in Sport, federal, provincial and territorial Ministers have re-affirmed Canada's international leadership role in the fight against doping in sport. The new anti-doping Policy and Program will be firmly in place and in accordance with the new World Anti-Doping Code that comes into effect prior to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Athens in August 2004.

The Honourable Pierre Pettigrew, federal minister of health responsible for physical activity, joined his provincial and territorial colleagues on the second day of the conference. Together with his provincial and territorial colleagues, Ministers recognized the important role that physical activity plays in reducing chronic disease and improving health. Goals, objectives and priorities were identified for a six year plan of action to increase physical activity in every province and territory by ten percentage points by the year 2010, a target they set in February, 2003. They directed officials to develop options for a funding formula and to identify financial resources necessary to fund actions in the plan.

Ministers will immediately establish an Expert Advisory Group to provide them with further advice. Actions in the plan include: healthy public policies; a national public education initiative; creating supportive environments that encourage participation in physical activity; conducting research; and monitoring progress towards the achievement of the 2010 goal. The plan will focus on children and youth, Aboriginal Canadians and other less active populations. It will align with existing provincial and territorial strategies and the Pan-Canadian Healthy Living Strategy. The Government of Québec supports the objective of increasing the level of physical activity and plans on continuing the implementation of its own plan of action to reduce inactivity through its program "Kino-Québec". Quebec will continue to contribute by sharing information and best practices but is not a part of the Pan-Canadian Healthy Living Strategy.

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