Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced on Thursday in Saskatoon an initiative to install AEDs ( automated external defibrillators) in hockey rinks around the country.


Thousands of rinks across the country will soon have access to the devices as the federal government  committed $10 million over four years to enable the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada to put AEDs in arenas country-wide to help save lives.


“Our Government is committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians while encouraging active and healthy lifestyles,” said the Prime Minister “Providing defibrillators and trained personnel to use them at arenas will help save lives.”


Defibrillators are devices used to restart a person’s heart after it has stopped beating. With the newest models ease of use they make an ideal investment for the Harper Conservatives.


“The early use of a defibrillator, combined with CPR”  Harper said “significantly improves the chance of survival from cardiac arrest”


Harper also pledged to provide training for the use of the devices for staff at the hockey rinks that will be receiving the AEDs.


He called Arenas the “Heart and soul of our communities” and across the country the facilities are used for far more than just hockey, but being Canadian Harper emphasized the hockey relationship.


“I am of course a big hockey fan” he said “Its the game we invented, the game we promoted around the world and the game we play better than anyone else”


Harper continued to tell the success story of a young boy in attendance who’s heart was restarted by an AED at the very rink the announcement was taking place.


Harper’s goal is to install a device in every recreational hockey rink from “coast to coast”, he also said that “under our governments program more than 1500 defibrillators will be distributed to arenas that do not already have one.”


Installation of the AEDs is slated to begin in spring of this year.

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