Canadian Olympic Committee

On March 3, The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) asked the federal government for a funding increase. The COC requested $104 million in additional spending (USD $77, €70).

“This is something that is really needed in the sport system,” said Kerry Dankers, CEO of Biathlon Canada. National Sport Organization (NSOs) in turn provide funding for their respective athletes, coaches and expenses.

Canadian Olympic Committee logo

“Stability is something that athletes really need as a foundation for performance. Stability is also very important when it comes to providing accessible, safe and inclusive sport, and all of that can happen when the system is properly funded,” said Dankers.

“It is important that Canadians are aware of the situation of the sport and the NSOs in Canada.”

NSOs rely up to 90 per cent on funding from the COC. The culprit is inflation. The rate of inflation typically varies from 1 – 2 per cent annually. However, recently there have been peaks of up to 6.80 per cent. In 2021 the rate of inflation was 3.39 per cent, in 2022 a whopping 6.80 per cent and in 2023 3.89 per cent.

There are 61 NSOs in Canada. The COC claims that funding issues will also affect the general development of sport. Many athletes will end up paying their travel expenses to compete abroad each season. This will affect their performances as well as their ability to stay or not stay in sport.

The requested funding increase will see money go directly to the NSOs. The COC president David Shoemaker wrote in a press release that sport is “on the brink of a crisis.”

“NSOs cannot continue on this trajectory. They can’t run deficits, and if nothing changes difficult decisions will have to be made,” he said.

Athlete Assistance Program

The Athlete Assistance Program (AAP) is seeking $6.3 million CDN

AthletesCAN, which represents Canada’s national team athletes, along with the Athletes Commission of the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Athletes Council of the Canadian Paralympic Committee, jointly announced their request for an increase in federal funding for the APP. Again, inflation was blamed.

The organization also requested an indexing of the AAP funding to match annual inflation rates going forward.

The federal government of Canada funded the arts to the tune of $360 million in 2022 and 2023.

While research and science is important in Canada, what the COC and AAP are requesting is small in comparison to how much the government spends for 7,700 researchers and research projects nationally. Over $1.7 billion in funding was allocated to researchers and students, announced by the government on March 13.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation — a federally funded organization — published Canada’s spending for 2023/2024. In comparison, how much the COC and AAP are asking for is a veritable drop in the bucket.