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e-4283 (Culture and heritage)

Initiated by Olga Mushtaler from Toronto, Ontario

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

  • The Government of Canada does not recognize chess as a sport, despite the fact that chess is considered a sport on a global scale by a) the International Olympic Committee; b) 24 out of 28 member states of the European Union (such as France, Italy, Spain); and c) many other countries which provide public funding for chess;
  • The Government of Canada excludes chess from sports funding programs, while in 2022, millions of dollars were spent on funding for hockey ($7M), curling ($5.2M), cricket ($1M), ringette ($0.7M), archery ($0.5 M), bowling ($0.3M), skateboarding ($0.25M) and surfing ($0.2M);
  • Chess is played nationally by millions of Canadians, and globally by hundreds of millions of people, but received $0 support from the Government of Canada; and
  • Chess has all the attributes of a sport, including a) a competitive struggle of high intensity for a sustained period of time; b) like any sport, chess requires top physical fitness, as the mental concentration and tension of tournament games are physically draining; c) in large tournaments, players are required to engage in intense struggle for up to 7 hours a day, sometimes 3-5 days in a row; d) there are rules, trained arbiters to oversee games, rating systems, and a behaviour code.
We, the undersigned, residents of Canada, call upon the Prime Minister to:
1. Recognize chess as a sport in Canada;
2. Include chess in government funding for sports;
3. Allow for grants and financial support to talented youth participating in chess competitions; and
4. Open the possibility for making chess part of the curricula in schools across the country.
Open for signature
January 31, 2023, at 3:23 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
April 1, 2023, at 3:23 p.m. (EDT)
Photo - Yvan Baker
Etobicoke Centre
Liberal Caucus