Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ottawa, Provincial Governments Commit to Addressing Abuse in Sports

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ottawa, Provincial Governments Commit to Addressing Abuse in Sports

Article excerpt

Governments to address abuse in sports

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Canadian politicians are banding together to address harassment, abuse and discrimination in sports, but details on their plans remain slim.

Kirsty Duncan, Canada's Minister of Science and Sport, announced in Red Deer, Alta., on Friday that the federal government, along with each province and territory, has signed a declaration to tackle and prevent harassment, abuse and discrimination in sport.

"This pan-Canadian declaration will drive a systemic culture shift to prevent abuse, discrimination and harassment in sport," she told reporters following a meeting with federal, provincial and territorial representatives ahead of the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

"Athletes must be at the centre of everything that we do. They have a voice and we must listen. They are not commodities, they are people and they need to be respected."

The move brings various levels of government together on the issue and will drive action going forward, ensuring there are policies in place to address abuse, and concrete measures are implemented to prevent it, Duncan said.

While the declaration includes commitments to eliminate gender-based violence against women and girls in sport, and work on concussion prevention and awareness, Duncan did not provide details on what steps would be taken next.

"This is a priority for all jurisdictions going forward. This will be on all federal-provincial-territorial meetings going forward. There's still work to be done and we're considering at the national level a range of options," she said.

The news comes amid headlines about Canadian athletes being subject to abuse, including a CBC investigation published on Sunday which reported that "at least 222 coaches" were convicted of sexual offences from 1998-2018. The report also said 34 other cases of accused coaches are currently before the courts. …

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