Government of Canada and Heart and Stroke Foundation deliver on commitment to install AEDs in recreational hockey arenas

Devices continue to be installed across the country

NORTH SAANICH, BC, March 17, 2015 /CNW/ - Following an event yesterday in North Vancouver to highlight the recent installation of several Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in a local arena in that city, Parliamentary Secretary, Cathy McLeod, on behalf of the Minister of Health, Rona Ambrose, joined Mark Collison, Director, Advocacy and Stakeholder Relations for North Saanich at the Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSF) on-site at the Panorama Recreation Centre in North Saanich, BC to note AEDs installed in that facility.

PS McLeod congratulated the recreation centre for their dedication to the health and safety of Canadians and for helping expand the availability of AEDs. The recreation centres' AEDs were installed as part of the National AED initiative, a partnership between the Public Health Agency of Canada and the HSF to have these life-saving devices in recreational hockey arenas across the country.

To date, over 1,600 AEDs have been put in place in recreational arenas in Canada through the National initiative, and over 12,000 people have been trained on how to properly use them. The goal is to have 2,000 of these life saving devices installed in recreational hockey arenas across the country by the end of the program in March 2016, and we are already 80% of the way there.

Having an AED accessible for all users in arenas and recreational facilities where moderate to high physical activity takes place can mean the difference between life and death in the event of a cardiac arrest. In fact, three lives have already been saved, two in Ontario and one in British Columbia, using AEDs installed as part of this initiative.

Any recreational arena in Canada can apply for an AED through the National AED initiative by visiting the HSF website. Once all arenas are equipped, funding may be available for AEDs to be installed in other high-traffic non-arena based recreational facilities.

Quick Facts

  • The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, announced this 4-year initiative in February 2013.
  • Through this initiative, the Government of Canada is providing support to the HSF to develop a national database that will track AEDs installed in recreational arenas. The database is intended to provide local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) with valuable information regarding the availability of AEDs located in their jurisdictions.
  • Defibrillators are electronic devices used to restart a person's heart that has stopped beating. They are safe, easy-to-use, and they can be operated effectively by the public.
  • Over 700 new installations are expected across Canada in the coming months.
  • Approximately 130 AEDs have been installed under this initiative in British Columbia alone.
  • This initiative is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada and carried out by the Heart and Stroke Foundation.


"Recreational facilities are often the center of community activity across our country. Not only do they host a variety of sporting activities, but also community events like town halls and trade shows. The installation of AEDs in these facilities, as well as in rural and remote, First Nations, Inuit and Métis, community locations will benefit all those who use them. The Government of Canada is proud to work with the Heart and Stroke Foundation and its partners to support the installation of these life-saving devices."
Cathy McLeod
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

"Across Canada, close to 40,000 cardiac arrests happen every year. Arenas, rinks and other recreational facilities can be hot spots for cardiac arrests. If an AED and CPR are used quickly, the chance of survival doubles. That's why this initiative is so important; it puts lifesaving AEDs in places where they can save lives."
Mike Hoffman
Manager, National AED Programs for the Heart and Stroke Foundation

Related Products

February 21, 2013: PM announces support for defibrillators in community hockey arenas

January 22, 2014: Minister Ambrose announces one of the first AED installations

September 19, 2014: Government of Canada and Heart and Stroke Foundation continue installing AEDs across the country

February 12, 2015: Minister Ambrose provides an update on AEDs installed under the National AED initiative

March 16, 2015: Government of Canada and Heart and Stroke Foundation continue installing AEDs in recreational hockey arenas across Canada 

Associated Links

Additional information available on AED installation and training at the HSF's Resuscitation website

National Automated External Defibrillator Initiative

Automated external defibrillators

Funding for automated external defibrillators


SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada

For further information: Michael Bolkenius, Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Federal Minister of Health, (613) 957-0200; Media Relations, Public Health Agency of Canada, (613) 957-2983


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