Canada’s New Government Commits New Funding to the Rick Hansen Foundation in Its Drive for a Cure for Spinal Cord Injuries

Prime Minister Harper celebrates 20th Anniversary of Rick Hansen’s Man In Motion World Tour with commitment to SCI Translational Research Network

Ottawa, Ontario
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that Canada’s New Government intends to provide $30 million in funding over five years for the Spinal Cord Injury Translational Research Network (SCI-TRN), established by the Rick Hansen Foundation.

“Canada’s New Government is proud to support the efforts of Rick Hansen – a true Canadian hero,” said the Prime Minister. “This funding will further aid the Foundation’s efforts to make an immediate, positive difference for Canadians living with spinal cord injuries.”

Building upon previous federal and provincial investments, the SCI-TRN is working to create a national network to accelerate the translation of innovative research discoveries into practical benefits for Canadians with spinal cord injuries, generate savings in health and social services and accelerate scientific advances towards a cure.

These practical benefits will be realized by focusing on the following five key priorities: exploring new ways to reduce permanent paralysis; identifying priority areas for quality of life investments; implementing national best practices; completing the roll out of a national registry as a reporting and tracking tool; and building the infrastructure needed to keep Canada on the leading edge of spinal cord research.

The Prime Minister was joined at today’s event in Ottawa by Rick Hansen, the president of the Rick Hansen Foundation, and by Health Minister Tony Clement, and Stephen Fletcher, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health.

“Thank you Prime Minister Harper for your government’s leadership and support in helping us improve the quality of life of the more than 40,000 Canadians with permanent spinal cord injuries. Through this initiative, we hope to make headway in finding a cure,” said Mr. Hansen. “I am overwhelmed by this support and truly honoured to be here today with many of our partners who collaborated on this big dream, in particular Drs. Michael Fehlings and Armin Kurt whose exceptional leadership is responsible for the network being announced today.”

The period from April 2006 to May 2007 marks the 20th anniversary of Rick Hansen’s Man in Motion wheelchair tour, which saw him visit more than 30 countries and raise more than $26 million for spinal cord research.

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