The Government of Canada Reinforces its Commitment to Safe, Welcoming and Inclusive Sport Environment

News release

TORONTO, June 25, 2019

All Canadians should have the opportunity to participate and excel in sport, regardless of age, ability, background, gender or sexual orientation, and they should be able to do so in an environment free from harassment, abuse, discrimination and maltreatment.

Today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced the Government of Canada’s continued commitment to safer and more inclusive sport with an investment of $30 million over five years, starting in 2019–20, as outlined in Budget 2019.

This investment will allow Canadian sport organizations to ensure a safe and healthy sport environment by:

  • Supporting additional measures to eliminate abuse, discrimination, harassment and maltreatment in sport;
  • Ensuring our anti-doping efforts remain world class and effective; and
  • Moving from the management of concussions in sport to the prevention of concussions in sport.

Today’s announcement builds on the Government of Canada’s work with the provinces, territories and sport partners over the past year to end harassment, abuse, discrimination and maltreatment in sport and ensure that everyone, including girls, women and Indigenous Peoples can thrive in sport, from the playground to the podium.

Our government has made significant progress towards creating systemic culture change in sport by:

  • Implementing tough new measures for federally funded sport organizations and being clear that the Government of Canada would withhold funding if they did not implement specific measures to encourage healthy and safe sport environments.
  • Signing the Red Deer Declaration committing to the elimination of abuse, discrimination, harassment and maltreatment in sport in collaboration with the provinces and territories;
  • Announcing the creation of a third-party investigation unit and a confidential toll-free helpline to report all forms of maltreatment in sport; and
  • Developing a model code of conduct for sport in Canada to end abuse, discrimination and harassment in sport.

To make sport more inclusive and welcoming, we:

  • Established a federal Gender Equity Secretariat that develops, implements and monitors our gender equity strategy for sport in Canada;
  • Supported the design, creation and implementation of a gender equity research hub that supports safe sport study and consolidates safe sport research;
  • Invested $9.5 million per year to expand the use of sport for social development in more than 300 Indigenous communities across Canada; and;
  • Implemented measures to prevent concussions in sport and improve concussion awareness.


“This has been an important year for sport in Canada. We have worked with our partners to drive a systemic culture change by putting our athletes and children in sport at the centre of everything we do. Making sport safer and more inclusive is critical to creating a better sport experience for all Canadians.”—The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport

“It is important to recognize the dramatic shift that has occurred for safe sport in Canada through all of these initiatives. Each successive step creates a stronger sport system through action and an awareness of the need for safe sport. Safety is a journey, not an end point. We are committed to working with our partners to build on this momentum well into the future.”

—Lorraine Lafrenière, Chief Executive Officer, Coaching Association of Canada

“The SDRCC is very grateful to Minister Duncan and to the Government of Canada for supporting the creation of the Canadian Sport Helpline and the Investigation Unit. These initiatives are already making a difference in the sport community, by facilitating access to independent professionals to address concerns or complaints of harassment, abuse and discrimination. The new federal investments are crucial to the success of our collective efforts to make sport safer for all. We are proud to be part of the solution and look forward to advancing this important cause, wherever our services and expertise can be of assistance.”

—Marie-Claude Asselin, Chief Executive Officer, Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada

“We are on the precipice of an unprecedented culture shift in sport, one that will better enable and foster the safety of its participants. This change has been the result of intensive collaboration driven by Minister Duncan between sport partners coast to coast to coast from grassroots to high performance. As we celebrate our progress as a collective, we must continue the forward momentum to ensure Canada is equipped to move past the status quo and address abuse, harassment and discrimination in a way that respects, protects and supports athletes and those around them.”

—Ashley LaBrie, Executive Director, AthletesCAN

“Conditions have never been better for creating the safe and inclusive sport system that every Canadian has a right to enjoy. We firmly believe that higher expectations, expanded capacity-building, tools and resources, and enhanced accountability measures are essential for creating lasting change. The legacy of this meaningful work will be significant.”

—Allison Sandmeyer-Graves, Chief Executive Officer, CAAWS

Quick facts

  • The Canadian Sport Helpline provides professional listening and referral services by phone or text at 1-888-83-SPORT (77678) or by email at, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time, seven days a week.

  • In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada announced a target to achieve gender equality in sport at every level by 2035. This included an initial three-year commitment of $30 million to support data, research and innovative practices to promote girls’ and women’s participation in sport, and provide support to national sports organizations to promote the greater inclusion of girls and women in all areas of sport.

Associated links


For more information (media only), please contact:

Daniele Medlej
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science and Sport

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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