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Sport Canada funding denied in 2012 for Orienteering Canada

Orienteering Canada received some frustrating news last week regarding Sport Canada funding for 2012. Sport Canada had recommended $42, 000 in funding through their Sport Support Program.  However, ultimately the Minister of State (Sport), Bal Gosal, must sign off on the funding requests and he did not grant our funding for 2012.

This result is extremely disappointing, to say the least, particularly with respect to the impact it will have on our proposed programs to grow the sport of orienteering in Canada as prioritized in our strategic plan. Fortunately Orienteering Canada has reserve funds and so while some programs will be reduced in scope none will be eliminated. We will continue to work towards a different Sport Canada funding outcome in 2013 and remain optimistic that we can learn from this experience and will be able to more fully fund a series of important projects in the near future.

Sport Canada has suggested that we ask for a meeting with the two ministers responsible. We will arrange to meet with both of the Minister of State (Sport), Bal Gosal, and the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, James Moore, to better understand the reasons for this decision and to get their thoughts on how our efforts need to change to arrive at a more positive decision next year. Undoubtedly such efforts will need to include better and more targeted promotion of our sport.

It was a unanimous decision of the board of Orienteering Canada that we apply again next year. The potential benefit for things like junior development, high performance programming and introductory orienteering programs are too high to not re-apply. One of the elements that we require to re-apply for eligibility in 2013 is to have over 5,000 members, which can be a combination of full members and recreational members, so we strongly encourage all the orienteering clubs to keep working hard to recruit more members in 2012.

Some of you may want to write to your MP or directly to the Minister of State (Sport) regarding this decision. We’ll be putting together a short info kit in the next few days with some key messages that you can include in your communication with your MP.

Please contact me (info@orienteering.ca) with any questions.

Charlotte MacNaughton
Executive Director
on behalf of the Orienteering Canada Board of Directors

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