June 4th, 2018

NDP Statement on Sexual Abuse in Sport

NPD Critic for Sport, Cheryl Hardcastle, made the following statement:

“I am encouraged that the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada and the Coaching Association of Canada took a strong stance against sexual abuse in sports. In a press conference organized by these organizations, four victims of former Canadian ski coach Bertrand Charest provided moving testimony of their abuse.

On behalf of New Democrats, I urge the government to act quickly to end sexual abuse in sport. In Canada, national sporting organizations have historically been charged with policing themselves in cases of sexual abuse, but this approach can cause conflicts of interest and endanger the safety of athletes.

Therefore, the NDP believes that the government should table legislation establishing an independent body—such as an Ombudsperson, a tribunal or commission—modeled similarly to the United States’ recently passed Safe Sport Act. The Safe Sport Act created an independent body called SafeSport, which will be responsible for ensuring compliance and investigating complaints. This new body must be fully independent and well-funded. It must also have the power to conduct investigations, to compel testimony and the production of documents, and impose sanctions.

Canadian athletes have waited far too long for the right to train and compete in a safe environment. The government must immediately act to end sexual abuse in sports.”