Coalition For Active Living

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Board Updates October 21, 2005

Hello Coalition members:

Yesterday, the Coalition and many other sport and physical activity organizations received a short but powerful letter from Mr. Paul DeVillers, former Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister.

Paul DeVillers was appointed by the Prime Minister and was asked to coordinate government activities around promoting physical activity, recreation and sport. In July 2005, he recommended the creation of a new Ministry for Physical Activity and Sport and suggested substantial investment to increase physical activity in Canada. The letter informs stakeholders that the Prime Minister's Office "does not intend to proceed in this direction after providing clear indications to the contrary." As a result, Mr. DeVillers submitted his resignation as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister.

Many of you provided letters of support for this initiative with the hope that perhaps physical activity would gain some needed profile and much needed additional resources from the Federal Government. So, despite clear indications by the Prime Minister in two different Throne speeches that physical activity was going to be highlighted, there are as yet no tangible investments.

The letter reads as follows:

Dear Dr. Bell:

Thank you for your recent communication regarding my report to the Prime Minister on Physical Activity and Sport.

I received many suggestions to recommend the creation of a Ministry that combines Physical Activity and Sport in conformity with the Canadian Sports Policy and the legislation - an Act to Promote Physical Activity and Sport.

Unfortunately, I have now been informed that the PMO does not intend to proceed in this direction after providing me clear indications to the contrary. Because I cannot support this decision, I have tendered my resignation as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister to him on October 5th, 2005. This will permit me to continue advocating for the creation of such a Ministry.

I thank you for your continuing interests in our Canadian Sports System and the well being of Canadians and their children.

Sincerely,

Paul DeVillers


Mr. DeVillers' report to the Prime Minister is not a public document, but is available through an 'Access to Information' application. The Board of the Coalition for Active Living has recommended that as many organizations as possible make the application in order to demonstrate level of interest to the Prime Ministers office.

For your convenience, step by step information on how to use Access to Information to get a copy of Paul DeVillers paper to the Prime Minister as well as the application form is attached, and the cost is only $5.

The application process is very straight forward.

This morning, the Coalition issued a press release commenting on Mr. DeVillers letter (go to www.activeliving.ca to view the release).

Dr. Rick Bell
Coalition Chair

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