March 19/07 8:12 am - COC Expresses Disappointment in Federal Government's Budget + Editorial Comments
Posted by Editor on 03/19/07
COC Expresses Disappointment in Federal Government's Budget
The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) expressed profound disappointment in the Harper Government's 2007 Federal Budget today after the document failed to commit to investing in the ongoing development of the Road To Excellence summer sport program.
"With less than 18 months until the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, the federal government missed a great opportunity today to boost support for Canada's summer athletes," said Chris Rudge, COC Chief Executive Officer. "When we released the Road To Excellence report last June, the Canadian Olympic Committee strongly outlined the urgent need for the federal government to adequately support Canada's summer athletes. While we applaud the federal government for recognizing the success of the Own The Podium 2010 winter sport program and accelerating the contribution of the program's annual funding, we are extremely disappointed that the Harper Government would fail to recognize the potential of the Road To Excellence initiative. Without proper support, it will be extremely difficult for Canada's summer athletes to achieve the same level of international success as their winter counterparts."
"Over the next few months, the COC will continue to take on a leadership role with all our sport partners to identify ways to help build an efficient and effective Canadian sport system," added Rudge.
The Road To Excellence Business Plan, released in June 2006, was developed by the 28 Olympic and Paralympic summer sports, the COC, the Canadian Paralympic Committee and Sport Canada as an initial action plan to start the process of creating a more coordinated, effective Canadian sport system resulting in world-class programs, policies and financing that will help Canada achieve podium success. The plan targets a top 16 placing for Canada at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and a top 12 placing at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Editor's Note: We have heard from numerous sources that this government has made it clear that it will only fund programs which have a strong chance of medals; meaning very little funding for medium or long term development. We can expect to see organizations such as the CCA have to drastically cut programs that have a low probability of immediate medals (ie, Beijing). One such example may well be the men's road program. This once again emphasizes the need for sports organizations to develop alternate sources of funding.