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Sport Policy in Canada

Sport Policy in Canada

Lucie Thibault
Jean Harvey
Series: Open Access
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 435
  • Book Info
    Sport Policy in Canada
    Book Description:

    Sport Policy in Canadaprovides the first and most comprehensive analysis of the new Canadian Sport Policy adopted in 2012. In light of this new policy, the authors, top scholars in the field, provide detailed accounts of the most salient sport policies and programs, while also discussing issues and challenges facing policy makers.

    In Canada and around the world, the last decades have known a sharp increase in state intervention and public funding in pursuit of medals on the international stage and in support of a more active lifestyle. Governments at all levels have made substantial investments in hope of hosting major sporting events to benefit from the economic impact and gain international prestige.

    The study of sport policies, often neglected in the past, is becoming an increasingly important research topic.Sport Policy in Canadaseeks to fill this void by offering the most comprehensive analysis of sport policy since Macintosh, Bedecki, and Franks'Sport Policy in Canada(1987).

    eISBN: 978-0-7766-2095-4
    Subjects: Political Science, Law

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. iv-xv)
  2. (pp. 1-8)
    Lucie Thibault and Jean Harvey

    The purpose of this book is to provide a comprehensive overview of current Canadian sport policy. More than ever, in order to understand the role and meaning of sport in society, it is important to recognize the inter-relations between the sport system and the state, to realize that numerous sport issues are indeed also public policy issues in which the state has a key role to play. Given the current international trend toward devoting increasingly large sums of money to ‘produce’ Olympic medalists, to what extent should governments support high performance athletes, and through which channels? To what extent should...


    • (pp. 11-35)
      Lucie Thibault and Jean Harvey

      As noted in the introduction to this book, contemporary analysis of government involvement in ‘amateur’ sport is not only warranted, it is essential given the significant changes that have occurred in Canadian sport and in federal government involvement in sport since the publications of Macintosh and his colleagues as well as others (cf. Cantelon, 2003; Harvey, 1988, 2002, 2008; Harvey & Cantelon, 1988; Macintosh, 1996; Macintosh, Bedecki, & Franks, 1987; Macintosh & Whitson, 1990). For example, since 1987, Canada has hosted two Olympic Winter Games (Calgary 1988 and Vancouver 2010), Ben Johnson was caught using a banned substance in the...

    • (pp. 37-68)
      Jean Harvey

      A few years ago, I attended a reception at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre in honour of recently appointed members of the Order of Canada. The reason for my presence was the nomination of the late Major Jan Eisenhardt, who was appointed for his work as the leader of British Columbia’s Pro-Rec program in the 1930s, as well as for his presidency of Canada’s National Fitness Council (NFC) between 1943 and 1946. As we were chatting about his past, he shared with me his recollection of the time when he met with the Honourable Maurice Duplessis, Premier of Quebec at the...

    • (pp. 69-94)
      Bruce Kidd

      Canadian policy makers, sport leaders and athletes eager to tackle the most pressing developmental challenges of our times have been at the forefront of the growing international effort to recruit sport and physical activity to the cause, the movement known as sport for development and peace (SDP). The idea is to use sport as an explicit strategy to help realize the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals with respect to basic education, gender equality, the treatment and prevention of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), infant and maternal health and the creation of sustainable global partnerships and similar ambitions such as...


    • (pp. 97-145)
      Lisa M. Kikulis

      This chapter explores the contemporary high performance sport initiatives that are aimed at enhancing the performance of Canada’s athletes at international competitions—increasing medals won and sustaining such performance levels in the future. In a paper commissioned by the Federal-Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Sport, Recreation and Fitness in 1985, the delineation of roles and responsibilities of the two levels of government relative to high performance sport were outlined and agreed upon. It is in this document where a definition of high performance sport was provided and has since guided policy, funding and program initiatives:

      High Performance Sport encompasses athletes who...

    • (pp. 147-176)
      Lucie Thibault and Katherine Babiak

      Athletes play an important role in any sport system. Athlete development and excellence in international competitions have been central to Canada’s sport system for many years (cf. Macintosh, 1996; Macintosh, Bedecki, & Franks, 1987; Macintosh & Whitson, 1990). As so aptly noted by the leaders of AthletesCAN, an organization created for athletes by athletes, “athletes are theraison d’êtreof the sport system,” and as such “it is critical that the sport experience be positive for athletes” (AthletesCAN, 1994, p. 3). In fact, the concept of an athlete-centred/participant-centred sport system has been raised as an important principle for Canadian sport....

    • (pp. 177-213)
      Peter Donnelly

      In some ways, it is intriguing to write a chapter on ‘sport participation’ for a book onSport Policy in Canadawhen Canada does not have a specific policy on sport participation. In fact, the only policy that is directly concerned with participation is Sport Canada’sPolicy on Aboriginal People’s Participation in Sport(2005). Of course, many documents recognize the importance of participation, and in theCanadian Sport Policy(Sport Canada, 2002) that was in effect from 2002–2012, ‘participation’ was given equal status to ‘excellence.’ However, as outlined in the this chapter, the lack of formal policy dealing specifically...


    • (pp. 217-242)
      Rob Beamish

      The Modern Olympic Games have always been plagued by the fundamental tension that exists between Baron Pierre de Coubertin’s original, lofty vision for the Games and the realities of modern, competitive sport. Throughout the twentieth century, this opposition has grown as the forces of modernity have increasingly permeated more and more aspects of the Olympic Games, but nowhere is the tension between de Coubertin’s original aspirations and the cold, calculated pursuit of victory more evident than in the use of performance-enhancing substances.

      After a brief overview of some of the central aspects related to de Coubertin’s vision of the Modern...

    • (pp. 243-265)
      Cora McCloy and Lucie Thibault

      Hallmark or “mega-events” are large-scale, planned occurrences of limited duration which can have a substantial social, economic, political, environmental and/or cultural impact on the host region (Emery, 2002; Essex & Chalkley, 1998; Hall & Hodges, 1998; Kavestos & Szymanski, 2010; McCloy, 2002; Roche, 2000; Whitson, 2004). Mega-events also involve significant mass media coverage usually on a global scale (Hiller, 2000; Roche, 2000). Multi-sport events such as the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, and Pan American Games, as well as specialist world-level international sport competitions such as the Fédération internationale de football association (FIFA) World Cup and the International Association of Athletics...

    • (pp. 267-293)
      Janice Forsyth and Victoria Paraschak

      In 2005, the federal government, through Canadian Heritage, releasedSport Canada’s Policy on Aboriginal Peoples’ Participation in Sport(Canadian Heritage, 2005).¹ It was a prolonged process, set in motion by a formal declaration of support from the federal-provincial/territorial ministers responsible for sport, recreation and fitness in 2002 and concluded with the public release of the document three years later. During that time, a number of representatives from relevant sectors including Canadian Heritage, Sport Canada, Indian and Northern Affairs, Aboriginal Affairs, Justice Canada, Health Canada, the Aboriginal Sport Circle (ASC, the national organization for Aboriginal sport development in Canada) and academe...

    • (pp. 295-316)
      P. David Howe

      It is rather disappointing that a book on sport policy in Canada should require a chapter on issues related to persons with a disability. This is not a reflection on any research that has been carried out on sport policies, but rather it highlights that legislation and policy positions established by the government that deal with ‘sport for all’ have failed. Over a quarter of a century ago theCanadian Charter of Rights and Freedomsof 1982 established equality rights for individuals who were considered marginal to mainstream society. Section 15(1) of the Charter states:

      every individual is equal before...

    • (pp. 317-349)
      Parissa Safai

      No one can deny that Canadian women have a rich history of participation and leadership in sport and that the current state of Canadian sport—at all levels—involves, and is vitally dependent upon, women as athletes, coaches, volunteers, administrators, and leaders. That said, girls and women in Canada continue to face obstacles to full participation and representation in the Canadian sport system—at all levels and in all capacities—and continue to require formal federal-provincial/territorial policy that advocates and pushes for gender equity in sport (cf. Sport Canada, 2011).

      While we must be cautious of the ways in which...

    • (pp. 351-379)
      Graham Fraser

      Canada’s language policy applies to all federal institutions and covers many facets of Canadian life, including social and economic development, immigration, transportation and the environment. The policy also addresses high performance sport and the staging of national and international sport events.² Both federal support for amateur sport and the federal legislative and administrative framework regarding official languages came into being in the 1960s. There have been a number of points of intersection since that time.

      The aim of this chapter is to discuss the intersection between sport and official languages at the Canadian federal level based on the experience of...

    • (pp. 381-403)
      Wendy Frisby and Pamela Ponic

      As the quotation below suggests, sport policy makers and researchers have been grappling with what social inclusion means and how to best achieve it:

      Inclusionary and exclusionary mechanisms that influence sport participation and positions of leadership in sport form a complex constellation of interacting factors and dimensions. Changes in the facilitation and organization of sport can enhance an inclusive sport practice, which might also foster social inclusion in broader society. (Elling & Claringbould, 2005, p. 498)

      There is also growing recognition that significant portions of the population do not have basic services, opportunities and democratic participation in all spheres of...

  6. (pp. 405-410)
    Jean Harvey and Lucie Thibault

    This book fills the need for a renewed overall examination of sport policy in Canada since the publication of Macintosh, Bedecki and Franks’s (1987) text entitledSport and Politics in Canada.Federal Government Involvement Since 1961. Moreover, this book offers the most comprehensive analysis of Canadian sport policy that has ever been published. Indeed, by bringing together the finest scholars in the field under this collective project, this book provides a broad selection of detailed assessments of the most salient aspects of Canadian sport policy both past and present. The generalCanadian Sport Policyalong with specific policies covering anti-doping...

  7. (pp. 411-416)
  8. (pp. 417-433)