OTTAWA – The federal government is developing a code of conduct for sport in Canada and a gender equity secretariat to address abuse, harassment and discrimination in sport.
Kirsty Duncan, Canada’s Minister of Science and Sport, announced the plans after meeting with provincial politicians to discuss a strategy last week in Red Deer, Alta.
The news comes following headlines about Canadian athletes being subject to abuse, including a CBC investigation published earlier this month 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.
The government says 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 code, the government is investing $209,000 toward a Safe Sport Summit Series hosted by the Coaching Association of Canada. The series will culminate in a national summit in Ottawa in the spring.
The 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, the government says.