July 28th, 2022
NDP asks for ministers to come to the Heritage Committee
NDP critic for Canadian Heritage, Peter Julian, made the following statement:
“Canadians are horrified by the incidents of sexual assault and by what they’re hearing from Hockey Canada. They are left with many questions about how this toxic culture is allowed to persist in our sports organizations and what the government is actually doing to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
This past week, our committee heard from senior officials at Sports Canada and the Sports Minister who testified that the office of former Sports Minister Kristy Duncan was not informed in June 2018 about the specific case of sexual assault. But a week before the incident was reported, the Liberal government had issued a directive saying that, as of June 19, 2018, eligible sports organizations ‘must immediately disclose any incident of harassment, abuse or discrimination that could compromise the project or programming to the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities.’
The directive clearly states that the Minister must be informed. On behalf of all Canadian families who are deeply concerned, we want to know how is it that Minister St-Onge was not notified by her department given the directive that was already in place? And why didn’t her department notify former Minister Duncan when the policy change clearly came into force before the case was reported?
We would also welcome the opportunity to hear from Minister Guilbeault; he was both the Minister of Heritage and Sports between the 2019 and 2021 elections. He was also supposed to be aware of the cases following the change in 2018.
The NDP is asking for these three Liberal ministers to come before the committee and explain why it seems that this important government directive about incidents of sexual assault wasn’t followed. Canadians expect the government to be transparent and accountable to them, especially when deeply disturbing incidents like this occur.”