Stephen Harper comes through with defibrillators for hockey arenas

The Canadian Press
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is going ahead with a plan to put heart defibrillators in recreational hockey arenas across the country.

Harper announced the details of the four-year initiative at a rink in Saskatoon on Thursday. The needs of about 3,000 arenas are to be assessed before the actual machines start rolling out this spring.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation says up to 40,000 Canadians experience sudden cardiac arrest each year and, on average, only about five per cent survive.

“This hit home to many of us in 2009 when distinguished photojournalist Tom Hanson suddenly collapsed while playing hockey with friends,” Harper said.

“Tom was someone who had travelled extensively with me over the years. He was in the prime of his life.”

Hanson was 41 and Harper said The Canadian Press photographer’s sad story “helped to spur us into action.”

“This hit home to many of us in 2009 when distinguished photojournalist Tom Hanson suddenly collapsed while playing hockey with friends,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper

The Conservatives promised the $10-million defibrillator plan in the April 2011 election campaign.

The goal is to have 1,500 of the potentially life-saving machines in rinks that don’t already have them. The government will also support training on the devices.

“Let me be clear, that means a defibrillator in every recreational hockey rink from coast to coast to coast.”

The Heart and Stroke Foundation says defibrillators could potentially save the lives of thousands of adults and children.

“We have the technology and we know that it works,” Harper said. “We know that with minimal training defibrillators are easy to use.

“And we know that by making these devices more readily available, fast treatment will save lives.”



Organizations: Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadian Press, Conservatives

Geographic location: Saskatoon

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page



Recent comments

  • Appreciative
    February 22, 2013 - 09:21

    How very kind of Mr. Harper to personally place $4 million dollars worth of defibrillators in hockey rinks. Or, am I wrong on that? Perhaps it is the government, funded by taxes, that is doing this good work. I would suggest that the reason for hockey rinks is because Mr. Harper is a hockey fan and has seen the inside of rinks and likes it. How much do defibrillators cost anyway? When we talk about saving a human life, they are priceless. But...How come little old PEI already has these and got them without Mr. Harpers funds? Do we take care of our own? Sounds like a little rink welfare for big provinces to me.

  • JRCK
    February 22, 2013 - 09:09

    Greatest Prime Minister this country has ever had. I wish the whiners could go back to Pan B but now the pogey cry has taken over.

  • Joe Blow
    February 22, 2013 - 00:29

    Taxpayers dollars funded these defibilators....Harper is trying to take credit for something that he should be doing with our money anyways....this is shameful on his behalf! Our Prime Minister should be doing this kind of thing on a daily basis....afterall it is our money he's playing with. Decisions like this should simply be done and thats it...Harper shouldn't be trying to use it for publicity. Three cheers for Harper....he finally done something with our tax dollars that he was elected to do....provide for the People of Canada.....HERE HERE!! Its about time he got the message!!

  • Duffman
    February 21, 2013 - 22:21

    Mike Duffy is going to need one if he keeps feeding at the taxpayer trough. Clear!!

  • upwest proud
    February 21, 2013 - 21:56

    So the whining never stops, new stats out today, 7800 people from PEI on pogey out of a population of 150,000, 9700 people in Sask out of a population of 1,010,000. They have farming, they have tourism, they have winter and summer but they want to work. After 40 years of riding the pogey train PEI is addicted to this program and it is a curse. Everyone on her complaining about people going west, well why do you think that is, because there are no good job, that's why, pogey is not the cure, it is the disease. When are we going to learn, after the last person leaves?

  • Jim
    February 21, 2013 - 21:34

    Did anyone ready his other news flash saying the EI is losing millions every year. I think he better stop stealing it and blaming others.Anyone who gets EI spends it on food ,heat,kids.Not like him stealing from the EI to help out his buddies who want new houses,sports cars,trips,BIG pensions.Harper is just like other dictators he thinks everyone will kneel before him.Guess what happen to them there all gone.

  • reword the title
    February 21, 2013 - 19:10

    Let's be clear about one thing. Stephen Harper did not write a cheque from his personal bank account for the defibrillators. So please re-word the title of this article. It is CANADIAN TAXPAYERS who are paying for these defibrillators.

  • vick
    February 21, 2013 - 18:21

    Keep up the good work Mr. Harper.......the hell with "sick of it" their all scared they may have to work for living if you stay in power!

  • noarenabuff
    February 21, 2013 - 17:49

    Nice initiative but what about other public places. Just cause the "dictator" is a hockey buff does not mean the rest of us are. I have not been in a hockey arena in many years and probably won't be either. Remind me not to vote Conservative next election cause this guy only serves who he knows will vote for his party ( hockey buffs)next election to serve his own personal need to stay in power- he is buying the hockey enthusiast vote. Grow up, Canadians !!

  • Hard Worker
    February 21, 2013 - 16:36


    • Garth Staples
      February 22, 2013 - 08:49

      PEI has the highest taxes in Canada. What incentive is there to create long term jobs by entrepreneurs ? Some of this tax bill has been created by provincial govt being careless and reckless with tax dollars. Tourism is a PEI Govt responsibility which it has failed to promote. The list goes on. Pls don't be critical abt Islanders who want to improve their lot in life by finding high paying jobs in other parts of the world. Families are free to move . That's what PEI has asked immigrants to do.

  • A
    February 21, 2013 - 16:27

    Yes and placement in malls etc should also be a consideration as well. We should bring our heart patients home by ambulance from heart centres out of province instead of 4 hour car rides a week past multiple bypass. I was told they take patients over to Saint John by ambulance but do not bring them back. They are to find their own way home. Add winter weather, stress, and a sick , recovering bypass patient to the mix is risky and depressing in my opinion. Since we are sending more and more patients to Saint John for cardiac , are we sending ambulances back home empty then? Can we not arrange something by working together or charging a nominal fee to bring them home safely ? Thanks.

  • Already Did It
    February 21, 2013 - 16:14

    So PEI already did this a few years ago thanks to efforts from Recreation PEI who helped provide half the dollars to arenas purchasing them. Do those arenas in PEI get those thousands of dollars back for already getting ahead of the game before the Government stepped up?

  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    February 21, 2013 - 14:58

    So one of Harper's buddies has a surplus of defibrillators and King Harper wants to help out his friends, buddies, old pals, whatever. Again, where is our protection from the dangerous GMO foods that cause heart disease. Where is our protection from all of the causes of heart disease? Where are the programs to counteract the life style changes we all face as a nation of couch potatoes? WHERE ARE OUR PHYSICAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS IN SCHOOLS ETC.? I would prefer to put them in schools first but hey, we had better protect the athletic types who are already exercising regularly.

    • IRA
      February 22, 2013 - 10:46

      Again with the negative comment on a semi positive story. I'm not gonna argue with the waste of money part because that has some truth to it. The protection from genetically modified foods is with the federal food inspection agency (i.e the lysteria outbreak). Local sports are ways to counteract life style changes, it's up to the individual to get involved, and there are plenty of outdoor running tracks/hiking trails around the province. Our "PHYSICAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS" consist of Phys. Ed. courses which are manditory, along with various school sports teams and clubs that everyone has the right to participate in. So Bill you're really just an Old windbag spreading negativity to make himself feel better.

  • sick of it all
    February 21, 2013 - 14:20

    were gonna need them more than in the rinks with all the stress your putting on pei

    • Garth Staples
      February 21, 2013 - 15:29

      Not nearly the stress Chretien and Martin put on the province when they slashed healthcare and educational budgets and of course our own Liberal Ghiz who laid off 800 seasonal works. Get things in perspective ------please.

    • Tired of whiners
      February 21, 2013 - 18:32

      Do you people have to whine about everything? Harper is doing a great thing here to possibly save lives and some of you have to complain. Think before you complain