That the government build on its commitment to youth by investing $7M/year for five
years in the following wage subsidy employment programs:
- A new National Safe Swimming Recovery Program to address the crisis-level
shortage of lifeguards and swim instructors across Canada ($3M/year).
This shortage is endangering lives, affecting quality of life, and lowering levels of
physical activity. Fewer aquatics professionals mean less access to vital learn-to swim programs, unsupervised beaches, and reduced operating hours for pools. Safe access to water will be critical as our climate warms.
Data from the Lifesaving Society is compelling: on average, 500 people drown
annually in Canada. In 70% of those deaths, the victim never intended to go into the water and did not have basic swim-to-survive skills. Fewer than 1% of drownings occur in lifeguard supervised settings. Simply put, more lifeguards and swim instructors mean fewer tragedies.
The labour shortage we are witnessing in aquatics exists in other areas in recreation and parks. We recommend enhancing and extending: