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Archived - Harper Government and Heart and Stroke Foundation continue their work to install AEDs in recreational hockey arenas across the country

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Over 750 installed in Ontario alone through National AED initiative

March 19, 2015 – Waterdown, Ontario – Public Health Agency of Canada

Today, on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, the Honourable Peter Van Loan, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, was joined by Member of Parliament for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale, David Sweet, and Tom McAllister, CEO of Ontario Heart and Stroke Foundation, at the Harry Howell Arena to highlight Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) installed at that facility.

This followed two similar events earlier this week in North Vancouver and North Saanich, British Columbia, where Parliamentary Secretary, Cathy McLeod, noted recently installed AEDs in local arenas in those cities.

These AEDs were installed as part of the National AED Initiative, a partnership between the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Heart and Stroke Foundation to have AEDs 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 use them properly. This includes two AEDs installed at the Harry Howell Arena and over 20 people trained from that facility. 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 that goal is already 80% met.

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.

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 Heart and Stroke Foundation 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 750 AEDs have been installed under this initiative in Ontario alone.
  • This initiative is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada and carried out by the Heart and Stroke Foundation. 


“I am proud to highlight some of the AEDs that have been installed in the Hamilton area, under the National AED initiative. We know AEDs work – we hear countless stories about Canadians saved by these devices, which is why our Government has partnered with the Heart and Stroke Foundation to make this all possible. They are a leader in the field and the only organization equipped to deliver all aspects of this program, in collaboration with local partners. Together, we are expanding the availability of AEDs in Canada, and saving lives.”
Peter Van Loan
Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

“Under this program, 60 AEDs have been installed in recreational facilities across the City of Hamilton and hundreds of staff, coaches and volunteers have been trained on their use. This helps protect the thousands of Flamborough, Dundas, Ancaster and Hamilton adults and children that use these local hockey rinks, soccer facilities, tennis clubs and more on an regular basis.”
David Sweet
Member of Parliament for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale

“The Federal government has been a committed, long-time supporter of the Heart and Stroke AED Program. With the help of individuals, community groups and funding partners, like them, one day life-saving AEDs will become as commonplace as fire extinguishers.”
Mike Hoffman
Manager, National AED Programs for the Heart and Stroke Foundation

"These life-saving machines are for public use. We wouldn't be here today without access to AED’s and the fast-actions of bystanders and paramedic."
John Marechal

“Public awareness of what to do in an emergency and the placement of automated external defibrillators in public places are important public safety measures that improve the chances of a victim surviving a sudden cardiac arrest.  In these extremely critical situations where seconds count the defibrillators allow members of the public to safely take immediate action prior to the arrival of paramedics, making them a key link in the chain of survival. On behalf of the City of Hamilton we thank all of our partners, and particularly the Federal and Provincial governments, for making grant funding available over the last several years to support placement of the more than 360 public access defibrillators in public buildings across the City.  The leadership and support that makes these units possible is directly responsible for saving the lives of citizens who would otherwise not have survived. We look forward to continuation and expansion of this important program.”
Chief Michael Sanderson
Chief, Hamilton Medical Service

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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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