OTTAWA — An outside body to investigate allegations of abuse and harassment in amateur sports is hung up on legalities, says Sports Minister Kirsty Duncan.
Last week, Duncan announced a new code of conduct for handling abuse allegations in sport, from community teams to national sports organizations, but critics say it’s toothless.
Cheryl Hardcastle, a Windsor, Ont., MP and the NDP critic for sport, has been calling for an independent investigative body for some time.
“We started out with mandates and codes of conduct and it’s not enough,” said Hardcastle. “It’s not that it’s not working, it’s that it’s not enough to follow through on the complexities of these issues. Some of these investigations that are having to be done by organizations, they’re not even really equipped to do them.”
Hardcastle said she thinks Canada should follow the lead of the United States, which has established the U.S. Center for SafeSport. The non-profit organization allows athletes in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movement to report sexual abuse, provides information on abuse-prevention techniques and policies, and keeps a public database of coaches and other sports figures disciplined for sexual misconduct.
In an emailed statement, Duncan wrote that a third-party mechanism for investigating complaints in Canada is in the works but “legal and jurisdictional issues” need to be considered and that her officials are working with provinces and territories.
Duncan also wrote that the outside body will eventually “ensure all athletes can feel safe and confident in disclosing incidents of abuse and be assured their case will be given due process.”
Canadian Heritage spokesperson Daniel Savoie said in an email that the federal government already requires that all government-funded sports organizations allow for “access to an independent third party to address harassment and abuse cases.”
But establishing that independent body for abuse allegations requires “support and collaboration between federal–provincial/territorial governments and the sport community,” wrote Savoie.
Like other provinces, Alberta has been in talks with the federal government about how to reduce abuse in sports and recently hosted Canada’s sports ministers at a conference in Red Deer. They discussed the possibility of “a mechanism to report and monitor incidents of harassment, abuse, and discrimination in sport,” wrote Marion Nadar, a spokesperson for Alberta’s culture ministry.
Nadar wrote that the ministry isn’t aware of any legal or jurisdictional obstacles that would prevent the creation of a third-party body to hear complaints.
The provincial ministry that handles sport in British Columbia referred questions on the issue to the federal government. Ontario’s ministry condemned abuse in sport and said that province is working on a sports action plan but didn’t answer questions about problems with a third-party investigative body.
Duncan’s announcement came shortly after a CBC investigation found over 200 coaches in Canada have been convicted of sexual abuse in the last 20 years and another 34 cases involving coaches are before the courts.
—Follow @Dani_Edwards1 on Twitter
Danielle Edwards, The Canadian Press
Video attacking Canada’s response to COVID created by Conservative leadership hopeful is going viral
This video was posted by MP Erin O’Toole.
The RCAF veteran, and former Minister of Veterans Affairs is running to replace Andrew Scheer and hoping to become Canada’s next Prime Minister.
The video is a scathing review of Canada’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. It has already been viewed well over half a million times.
From the Facebook page of Erin 0’Toole
➡️ The Chinese regime, the WHO and the Trudeau government DO NOT want people to see this.Let's make sure Canadians see the truth! 👍🇨🇦
Posted by Erin O'Toole on Thursday, May 21, 2020
Canadian Forces Snowbirds release video of Jennifer Casey homecoming
From the Facebook page of Canadian Forces Snowbirds
You are joining us live from the Halifax International Airport for the homecoming of Captain Jennifer Casey, a military Public Affairs Officer who was killed in a CF Snowbirds crash during Operation INSPIRATION.
You are joining us live from the Halifax International Airport for the homecoming of Captain Jennifer Casey, a military Public Affairs Officer who was killed in a CF Snowbirds crash during Operation INSPIRATION.#CFSnowbirdsNous sommes en direct à l’Aéroport international d’Halifax afin d’assister au retour de la capitaine Jennifer Casey, officière des affaires publiques militaire qui a perdu la vie dans l’écrasement d’un appareil des Snowbirds des FC pendant l’op INSPIRATION.#SnowbirdsFC
Posted by Canadian Forces Snowbirds on Sunday, May 24, 2020
- Community2 days ago
Attention City of Red Deer; “It is best to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it”
- Top Story CP3 hours ago
The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Monday, July 6
- Top Story CP2 hours ago
Planned class-action lawsuit alleges illegal strip searches of federal prisoners
- Top Story CP17 hours ago
Theatre star Nick Cordero dies at 41 after months of complications from COVID-19
- Community13 hours ago
Lone Ranger and the Riders of Justice Chapter 12
- Culture13 hours ago
Bing and Ol’ Medicine Hat
- Alberta20 hours ago
After prior rejections, Alberta announces sandhill crane hunt for this fall
- Central Alberta1 day ago
Jo(e) Youth Creative. First-of-its-kind social media learning space for kids AND adults.