Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary have big plans for the next generation of physical educators
Posted On July 17, 2021
Ottawa, Ontario – In an effort to ensure that every child has access to an enjoyable and healthy childhood, the Canadian government announced Monday that it has announced a $10.2 billion package to create and expand physical education opportunities in all provinces and territories, including funding for $4.8 billion for an Ontario-wide physical education curriculum.
The plan calls for the creation of the Ontario Physical Education Academy, a national, federally funded physical education resource, and a new National Physical Education Partnership, which will combine funding from both the federal and provincial governments.
The announcement comes a month after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged $10 billion to support a national physical education plan.
In his speech Monday, Trudeau pledged to create a National Physical education Partnership, and that will focus on improving the physical education, physical skills, physical fitness and safety of students and families across Canada.
“We know that there is a tremendous need in the country to better support our children’s physical health and well-being and to support physical education across the country,” he said.
The government announced plans to create new physical education training programs and to increase funding for Ontario’s existing program, the Ontario Early Learning Partnership, by $1.4 billion over the next two years.
Ontario is currently in the middle of a federal review of its curriculum.
In addition, Ontario is launching a new program to teach the principles of physical activity in children.
It will offer more than 1,500 training hours over three years, starting with a pilot project in the Greater Toronto Area this fall.
The province announced it would expand its funding for a new physical fitness program in the fall, with $250 million to hire 150 more instructors, expand the program and expand the number of programs offered to children in the city.
“The government is committed to creating the best possible physical environment for our children to grow and develop,” said Minister of Community and Social Services Deb Matthews in a release.
“I know parents are tired of the same old programs they’ve been told are safe and effective.
We are creating a new approach, and I’m proud to be part of that new approach.””
In this new program, we will focus the full spectrum of physical education instruction and curriculum,” Matthews added.
“The programs we will offer will support children from a young age to a senior child and will provide them with the necessary support to lead healthy and active lives.”
A full list of participating provinces and the territories will be released later this year.
The Ontario Physical Educators Association applauded the announcement, saying the funding would help to ensure all children in Ontario have access to physical education and the right tools to get the most out of their bodies.
“This announcement marks a great step forward in our vision to make the physical and health environment of our children the most attractive place for physical education in Canada,” said Karen Trenberth, president of the union representing more than 2,000 Ontario educators.
“In our long history of providing physical education to children, we have never seen a government program as important as this one to help achieve this goal.”
Ontario will create a new national program for physical fitness training, starting in 2018.
The program will provide a pathway for children to become physically active at an early age and will focus not only on physical fitness but also on physical health, and will have a focus on youth and young adults.
It will provide training for instructors in all five levels of physical fitness, from beginner to expert.
“There will be more than 3,000 instructors in the new program and they will have access from the beginning of the program to any equipment that they may need,” Matthews said.
“These instructors will be provided with equipment from both public and private sector providers, and from our community partners.
This will create an environment where children can learn to be active in the most appropriate and safe way.”
The Ontario Association of Teachers of Physical Education, a union representing nearly 4,000 teachers, applauded the new funding, saying this would ensure that teachers across the province will have the opportunity to develop new skills and be trained in the best physical environments possible.
“Our members are excited about the funding this funding brings to our schools, which is a big help for us to continue to create safe environments for our students,” said Jennifer Rizzo, a member of the association’s board of directors.
“We know in our country there is no place like home, and this new initiative will give our schools the support and support to ensure our children have a safe and healthy learning environment.”