August 17, 2006 – The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, recently 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.
“The tax credit is an important element in the Government’s ongoing
investment in sport development and participation,” said the
Honourable Michael Chong, Minister for Sport. “This is good news for
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. Biographical notes
about the members are attached.
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 fitnesscred