The federal body that governs sport, announced Tuesday they will be withholding funds to sport organizations if they don’t report allegations of abuse.
The announcement follows after a coach from Alpine Canada was convicted of 37 different offences of sexual assault and exploitation roughly a year ago. Those incidents took place in the 1990’s and it was only a short time ago where former athletes spoke out against Bertrand Charest, the former coach. At the time, those athletes said that Alpine Canada told them to keep quiet about the abuse, because their funding from corporate sponsors might be pulled in fear of bad publicity.
The new federal policy only affects private organizations, however Sask Sport is applauding the federal government in supporting Canadian athletes to make sure they are safe within their organizations.
Rob Kennedy, Manager of Provincial Development with Sask Sport said they have something like this in place as a part of being a member.
“All of our members have a dispute resolution and a harassment policy in place. We insist that our members build those policies with some templates,” said Kennedy. “It’s a really clear process and it’s a safe environment for anyone experiencing harassment to come forward. So we’ve provided that support to our members. It includes a code of conduct among other rules.”
Kennedy said the program, which is led by a third party for a fair investigation, was introduced to Sask Sport over two years ago.
“As a society, people are more comfortable with bringing in concerns on a number of topics. The good news is we now have a process in place that can help anybody that has a concern.”
Kennedy said the federal government will be approaching Sask Sport and other provincially governed sport organizations in the near future to discuss those policies and develop a national standard in abuse and harassment prevention.