Delivered on February 28, 2017
Mr. Speaker, I rise to provide an update on plans to move the operations of the Western Canada Lottery Program within government and the Department of Municipal and Community Affair’s response to the Sutcliffe Report.
In April 2015, the Department commissioned the Government of the Northwest Territories: Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity Review Report, also known as the Sutcliffe Report, to review the sector and provide advice on potential improvements. The Sutcliffe Report was tabled in November 2016.
The Report included 18 recommendations for improvements. Of these, 12 were accepted, four were accepted with modifications and two were not adopted. As part of the Department’s priority to strengthen relationships and improve communications with organizations and groups we will be reviewing all these recommendations with the appropriate partners. In addition, the Department is actively working with our partners to respond to several of the recommendations through the development of a Northwest Territories Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity Policy.
This new Policy describes how Municipal and Community Affairs can most effectively fund its partner organizations in sport and recreation with Western Canada Lottery funding beginning in 2017-2018. It will also proactively support the objectives and priorities set territorially by the Legislative Assembly, and nationally by the Canadian Sport Policy, the Framework for Recreation in Canada, and Active Canada 20/20.
In response to feedback received from our partners on the draft policy, Municipal and Community Affairs has agreed to support the development of an additional sector-wide policy which will describe in more detail the activity which will take place among the partner organizations to support the mandate goals and objectives of the Government of the Northwest Territories. Work to develop this sector-wide policy will begin in April 2017 and will support the development of the Northwest Territories Physical Activity Strategy which is currently under development.
One of the other key areas of focus for the Department has been on moving the Western Canada Lottery Program into the Municipal and Community Affairs. It is important to note that the Department has committed to ensuring that all proceeds from the lotteries will continue to be directed towards sport and recreation programming. The Department is close to the completion of a Legislative Proposal that will set in motion the legislative amendments required to enact this change.
Municipal and Community Affairs is working hard to ensure that the recommendations included in the Sutcliffe Report are incorporated into the business of the Department and the way we support our partners in sport and recreation to the benefit of all residents of the Northwest Territories. To this end, the Department intends to present a comprehensive update on the implementation of the recommendations and the Western Canada Lottery Program funding framework to the Standing Committee on Government Operations.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.