Harassment in sports: St-Onge asks provinces for investigative systems by end of 2023

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Federal Sport Minister Pascale St-Onge is calling on her provincial and territorial counterparts to establish independent bodies to handle harassment complaints from athletes by the end of this year.

St-Onge says provinces and territories are making progress in offering athletes an equivalent standard for them to report abuse or harassment, as well as having those complaints independently investigated.

She says Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have such mechanisms in place, while the rest can either start their own bodies or join the jurisdiction of the federal Sport Integrity Commissioner.

During a Saturday press conference in Prince Edward Island, St-Onge announced a target for all provinces and territories to follow through on that pledge by the end of this year.

Recent allegations of abuse and harassment involving Hockey Canada — as well as from athletes in bobsled, skeleton and gymnastics — have led to what St-Onge has called a crisis.

She told a parliamentary committee this month that part of the problem stems from lack of coherence in how complaints are handled across the country, although a group of academics last month called for a national inquiry.

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