AthletesCAN urges collective pursuit of safe sport in Canada, commends federal government on tangible action

June 19, 2018 (OTTAWA, ON) – Today, The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities announced enhanced measures to eliminate harassment, abuse and discrimination in sport. 

“Harassment of any kind is completely unacceptable and the safety and security of athletes, coaches, and officials is always our top priority”, said Minister Duncan.  “We all must play a role in protecting our youth and our athletes - to speak up when we see something that doesn’t seem quite right - to listen, to really listen to our athletes. And most importantly, to act when the situation demands it to ensure our athletes always have the support they need from us.”

The announcement included new provisions in funding agreements which will support eligible sport organizations in fostering healthy and safe workplace environments. Effective immediately:

  • Federally funded sport organizations must take all necessary measures to create a workplace free from harassment, abuse or discrimination of any kind.
  • They must immediately disclose any incident of harassment, abuse or discrimination that could compromise the project or programming to the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities.
  • They must make provisions—within their governance framework—for access to an independent third party to address harassment and abuse cases.
  • They must provide mandatory training on harassment and abuse to their members by April 1, 2020 and are challenged to make this a priority and put mandatory training in place as soon as possible.

“As the collective voice of Canada’s national team athletes, we commend the federal government and Minister Duncan for taking a leadership role in the pursuit of safe sport in Canada”, says Ashley LaBrie - Executive Director, AthletesCAN. “Our athletes are people first, and should be afforded the same rights within the sport system as those outside of sport. We must ensure that the safeguarding of athletes is the top priority, and remove the risk of a sport culture that lends itself to institutional protection.”

As AthletesCAN continues to work with experts both national and internationally, we urge the Canadian sport system to come together to accomplish the following:

  • The development, support and implementation of an expert-driven standard of care and unified strategy through benchmarking and risk analysis;
  • Special and specific protection of the rights of youth within sport;
  • A framework to embed the human rights of athletes into the Canadian sport system;
  • Mandatory training and access to education to identify risks and recognize abuse, harassment and discrimination for all sport participants, and specifically those in positions of power;
  • Mandatory reporting of abuse for all sport officials and sport governing bodies;
  • System-wide policies and procedures to address and effectively remedy any violations swiftly through appropriate and unbiased measures;
  • A safe space for sport participants to report, address questions and concerns; and,
  • Access to appropriate support for those who have been harmed and/or affected.

AthletesCAN would like to thank Canadian Centre for Child Protection, Inc. and Respect Group for their work in this important area and direct support of our athletes through education and training; and our partners including CAC, SDRCC, CCES and many others for their drive to ensure we create the safest environment possible for our athletes.

As we work towards safe sport on a united front, AthletesCAN will continue to be steadfast in our support of the courageous athletes who speak out on this important issue and pave the way for others.

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About AthletesCAN
As the voice of Canadian national team athletes, AthletesCAN ensures an athlete-centered sport system by developing athlete leaders who influence sport policy and, as role models, inspire a strong sport culture.

For more information or to learn more about AthletesCAN, please contact:

Ashley LaBrie
Executive Director
AthletesCAN
[email protected]
www.athletescan.com

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