Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the facts are that the government had been investing $4.5 million a year for a number of years in ParticipACTION, which is a very necessary and important program, but now, without any warning, the Conservatives have slashed over half of the ParticipACTION budget.
Slashing funding at a time when only 5% of children meet the physical activity guidelines just does not make sense.
I would like to ask the Minister of Health how she can explain to Canadians that the government is slashing funding for a program that saves health care dollars and keeps people healthier? How can she explain that?
Hon. Bal Gosal (Minister of State (Sport), CPC): Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned, the member is wrong. It was our government in 2007 that relaunched ParticipACTION to promote sports and physical activity among Canadians of all ages. During this period ParticipACTION was given special funding and it was expected to leverage this financial contribution for many years while evaluating and attracting new money from the private sector. Federal funding will continue and we are pleased to see it has developed partnerships in the private sector and non-profit partners to share the load with the taxpayers.