Ottawa, Ontario, February 21, 2019 - All Canadians participating in sport have the right to an environment that is safe and free from abuse, discrimination and harassment. The well-being of our athletes and children in sport must be at the forefront of all that we do.
The Government of Canada recognizes that a systemic culture shift is required to address abuse, harassment and discrimination in sport.
Today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, together with the Coaching Association of Canada, announced an important step in the development of a model Code of Conduct for sport in Canada and the creation of a new Gender Equity Secretariat.
The Code of Conduct will serve as a model that can be used in all sports at all levels, from national sports organizations to community teams. This Code will serve as a basis for the management of abuse, discrimination and harassment cases and as a model for common sanctioning for those who breach the Code.
To develop the nationwide Code of Conduct, the Government of Canada is investing $209,000 toward a Safe Sport Summit Series hosted by the Coaching Association of Canada. This March, provincial, territorial and national sport organizations, athletes, safe sport organizations, and groups that are independent of sport organizations such as researchers and child advocates, will collaborate in developing the Code through a series of regional workshops across the country. This series will culminate in a national Safe Sport Summit in Ottawa in the spring to further advance the work. The dates and locations will be announced in the coming weeks.
The Gender Equity Secretariat will be tasked with developing, implementing and monitoring a gender equity strategy. Having greater participation of women in leadership roles, coaching and officiating would contribute to greater safety in sport.
Through this Secretariat, Sport Canada will be supporting, administering and monitoring existing and emerging gender equity initiatives and programs aimed at attracting and retaining women and girls in sport, as well as initiatives to introduce women and girls to sport at all levels, including as athletes, coaches, officials, and leaders.
The announcement today further builds on the Red Deer Declaration agreed to by the Government of Canada and all provincial and territorial governments on February 14, 2019, committing them to move together toward the elimination of abuse, discrimination and harassment in sport.
As well, the announcement enhances the measures Minister Duncan introduced last June when she indicated she would withhold funding unless federally-funded National Sport Organizations strengthened their mandatory anti-harassment, abuse and discrimination policies; immediately disclosed any incident of harassment, abuse or discrimination; put in place an independent third party to address these cases; and provided mandatory training to their members by April 2020.
For more information (media only), please contact:
Office of the Minister of Science and Sport