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Archived - Government of Canada and Heart and Stroke Foundation on their way to goal of installing AEDs in 2,000 recreational hockey arenas in Canada

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Over 1300 already installed across the country through National AED initiative

February 12, 2015 - St. Albert, Alberta - Public Health Agency of Canada

The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, was joined by Crista Osualdini, Provincial Board Member, Heart and Stroke Foundation in St. Albert, Alberta to provide an update on the National Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) initiative.

Through this initiative, over 1,300 AEDs have been installed in recreational arenas across the country to date, and almost 11,000 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 halfway 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 using AEDs installed as part of this initiative.

With February being Heart Health Month, it’s an opportune time to apply for an AED through the National AED initiative. Any recreational arena in Canada can apply 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.
  • This initiative is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada and carried out by the Heart and Stroke Foundation. 


“As Canadians, many of us spend time at our local hockey arenas.  Unfortunately, each year we hear of stories of Canadians who suffered heart attacks while playing sports. Our Governments commitment to having AEDs in as many recreational arenas as possible will improve the survival rate of these Canadians who experience sudden cardiac arrests. I’m proud to announce that through the Government of Canada’s partnership with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, we have installed over 1300 life saving devices in communities across Canada, and still more will be installed in the coming months.”

Honourable Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health

“Servus Credit Union Place in St. Albert now joins the list of facilities that are prepared for a cardiac arrest by installing automated external defibrillators through this program. Having an AED nearby puts the power to save a life in anyone’s hands and if used quickly and in conjunction with CPR, can double the chance of survival.”

Mike Hoffman
Manager, National AED Programs for the Heart and Stroke Foundation

Associated Links

(February 12, 2015) The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, receives a demonstration of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) from Mike Hoffman, Manager, National AED Programs for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, as part of an update on the National AED Initiative in St. Albert, AB. The National AED Initiative is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada and carried out by the Heart and Stroke Foundation.


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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