*A previous version called the NDP’s resolution a bill. Global News has since corrected the error*
The NDP’s resolution to better protect young athletes against sexual predators was denied by the Manitoba government Thursday morning.
This comes after local high school football coach Kelsey McKay was arrested after numerous allegations of sexual assault on some of his former players.
“The stories of abuse in sport are devastating, but we are not powerless,” said Adrien Sala, NDP MLA for St. James.
“There are clear steps we can take to protect our children. As legislators we have a responsibility to create better policies that will prevent abuse and reduce stigma for survivors.”
According to a release from the NDP, the resolution would’ve called for a new policy to prevent coaches from having student athletes in their homes.
A dedicated text line for kids to report any instances of assault was also suggested, along with funds to promote the service.
“As a father, nothing is more important to me than the safety of my kids and I know every parent in our province feels the same,” said Jamie Moses, MLA for St. Vital.
“The fact is, the policies we have in place right now in Manitoba are not enough to protect our children from potential abuse and this needs to change immediately. We have to do better.”
The PC’s say the NDP’s resolution lacked collaboration and that the topic is worth much more than just a one-hour debate in the Legislature.
“As a government, we plan to move forward in a collaborative way certainly working with Sport Manitoba, provincial sports organizations and different stakeholders in the community,” said Manitoba Minister of Sport, Culture, and Heritage Andrew Smith.
“We know this is an evolving issue and we always have to make sure to keep on top of it and work together to help protect our children.”
Minister of Education and Early Childhood Learning Wayne Ewasko says there will be “more good news” on this file from the PC’s in a “short amount of time.”