Safe Sport for All

Backgrounder

March 13, 2019

Today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced funding to the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC) to launch two initiatives that will complement each other: an investigation unit and a national toll-free confidential helpline for harassment, abuse and discrimination.

These initiatives are important components of the Government of Canada’s overall approach to addressing the issue of harassment, abuse and discrimination in Canadian sport.

Investigation Unit

The SDRCC is launching a third-party investigation unit as a pilot project to provide an independent service for federally funded national sport organizations, multisport service organizations, and Canadian sport centres and institutes to investigate harassment, abuse and discrimination complaints.

The services offered by this unit are provided to sport organizations on a fee-for-service basis by a trained independent investigators.

This pilot project will end in March 2020, when it will be assessed with a view to improve upon best practices.

For more information, visit http://www.crdsc-sdrcc.ca/eng/investigation-unit.

Canadian Sport Helpline

The bilingual national toll-free confidential helpline for harassment, abuse and discrimination launched on Monday, March 11 and provides a safe place for victims and witnesses of incidents of harassment, abuse and discrimination in sport to report their concerns.

The Canadian Sport Helpline will provide callers with advice on the next steps they can take, as well as direct them to the most appropriate national and local services and resources available to them, including the police, child protection services, existing provincial/territorial helplines, or any other relevant services.

It provides professional listening and referral services by phone and text at 1-888-83-SPORT (77678) and by email at info@abuse-free-sport.ca, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, seven days a week.

For more information, visit www.abuse-free-sport.ca.

Government of Canada Actions

The Government of Canada, in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments and the sport community, has taken several actions to help prevent and address incidents of harassment, abuse and discrimination in Canadian sport. These include the following:

  • April 24, 2018: The Minister of Science and Sport convened a Working Group on Gender Equity in Sport to gather the experiences, perspectives and insights of 12 champions for gender equity in sport and to provide a range of views and advice on strategies to better understand and serve the specific needs of women and girls in sport. The topic of gender-based violence in sport was among the important issues discussed. June 19, 2018: Tough new measures were announced to address harassment, abuse and discrimination in sport. The Minister may now withhold funding from any organization that does not:
    • take all necessary measures to create a workplace free from harassment, abuse and discrimination of any kind;
    • immediately disclose any incident harassment, abuse and discrimination and that could compromise the project or programming;
    • make provisions—within their governance framework—for access to an independent third party to address harassment and abuse cases; and
    • provide mandatory training on harassment and abuse to their members by April 1, 2020.
  • November 28, 2018: The Minister of Science and Sport co-chaired, with her counterpart from Alberta, a conference call of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers responsible for Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation to discuss how they could work together to address harassment, abuse and discrimination in sport.
  •  February 15, 2019: The Government of Canada endorsed, along with provincial and territorial governments, the Red Deer Declaration for the Prevention of Harassment, Abuse and Discrimination in Sport, committing to move together toward the elimination of harassment, abuse and discrimination in sport.
  • February 21, 2019: The Minister of Science and Sport announced $209,000 in funding to the Coaching Association of Canada to develop a nationwide code of conduct for sport in Canada. The code will be developed through a series of workshops culminating in a national summit in May 2019. Minister Duncan also announced the creation of a Gender Equity Secretariat within Sport Canada that will be tasked with developing, implementing and monitoring a gender equity strategy. The Secretariat will ensure greater participation of women in sport leadership roles, coaching and officiating to contribute to greater safety in sport.
  • March 7, 2019: The Minister of Science and Sport supported a study from AthletesCAN to conduct a baseline prevalence study to measure athlete experience with all forms of maltreatment, including sexual, emotional and physical abuse, neglect, harassment, bullying, exploitation and discrimination in Canada.

Contacts

For more information (media only), please contact:

Daniele Medlej
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science and Sport
343-291-4204
daniele.medlej@canada.ca

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage
819-994-9101
1-866-569-6155
pch.media-media.pch@canada.ca


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