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August 17/06 5:52 am - Minister of Finance Appoints Expert Panel to Advise on Children's Fitness Tax Credit

Posted by Editor on 08/17/06

Minister of Finance Appoints Expert Panel to Advise on Children's Fitness Tax Credit

The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, announced the appointment of a panel of health and physical-fitness experts to advise on programs of physical activity that should qualify for the children's fitness tax credit proposed in Budget 2006. Plans to establish the panel were announced in Budget 2006.

"Studies show that regular physical activity has many positive effects on children, including balanced growth and development and improved physical fitness," said Minister Flaherty. "At the same time, the escalating costs of organized sports make it difficult for many parents to afford these activities."

The tax credit is proposed to come into force on January 1, 2007. It will apply to fees paid for an eligible program of physical activity for children under 16 years of age.

Panel members, who will receive a salary of $1, will provide advice on the working definition of an eligible program for this credit. This definition will need to take into account the many activities Canadian children pursue, while ensuring that eligible programs meaningfully contribute to children's physical fitness. The terms of reference for the panel are provided in the attached backgrounder.

The panel will be chaired by Dr. Khristinn Kellie Leitch. Dr. Leitch is Chair of Paediatric Surgery at the Children's Hospital of Western Ontario/Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry. The other two members are Mr. Michael Weil, President and Chief Executive Officer of YMCA Canada and Mr. David Bassett, Senior Investment Executive at Scotia McLeod and co-Chair of Sports Break, an organization that promotes a tax credit for organized youth sports. The panel will report to the Minister by October 6, 2006.

Persons wishing to submit views to the panel can do so before September 15, 2006, by writing to the Expert Panel for the Children's Fitness Tax Credit, Tax Policy Branch, Department of Finance, 140 O'Connor Street, Ottawa, ON K1A 0G5, or by writing to the panel's e-mail address at


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