The Honourable Kirsty Duncan
Minister of Science and Sport
May 21, 2019 1:30 p.m.
Check Against Delivery
Good afternoon everyone.
Thank you John [John Oliver, Member of Parliament for Oakville] for those kind words.
I would like to acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional territory of the Attawandaron, Anishnaabeg, and Haudenosaunee Peoples.
And a special thank you to the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre for hosting us today.
I love sport, I live for sport.
Sport provides so many benefits – better health, reduced stress, new connections, leadership skills and life lessons, how to set goals and achieve them, how to overcome challenges and how to work together.
Everyone deserves the opportunity to benefit from sport.
Since being appointed Minister of Sport, I’ve been working hard to ensure that women and girls are welcome-and can thrive-in sport, from the playground to the podium.
That is why we have put in place new measures to make sport safer and more inclusive.
It is important that we recognize just how much change we’re making by working together to create a systemic change in sport.
This past year we:
- announced tough new measures for federally-funded sport organizations and made it clear we would withhold funding if they did not put in place these specific measures to foster healthy and safe sport environments;
- signed the Red Deer Declaration in collaboration with the provinces and territories, committing to the elimination of abuse, discrimination and harassment in sport;
- announced the creation of a third-party Investigation Unit through the established Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada;
- launched the Canadian Sport Helpline;
- established a federal Gender Equity Secretariat and announced funding support to design, create and implement a gender equity research hub;
- announced the development of a model Code of Conduct for sport in Canada to end abuse, discrimination and harassment in sport; and
- announced $3 million in funding to the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) to increase participation of women and girls in sport as athletes and leaders.
Last week, AthletesCAN released its study on the Prevalence of Maltreatment among Current and Former National Team Athletes.
It was important for us to fund that study. It gives us the hard data we need to make well-informed decisions to make sport safer in Canada.
This study shows us that a systemic culture shift is required to eliminate maltreatment, including sexual, emotional, and physical abuse, neglect, harassment, bullying, exploitation and discrimination.
With the Coaching Association of Canada, we funded a series of 13 sport summits across the country, which culminated earlier this month in a national sport summit.
A priority identified at the Summit Series was mandatory training to eliminate all forms of maltreatment in sport.
And that brings us to today.
We are creating momentum very quickly, and our partners have been supportive every step of the way.
But I do realize that sport organizations will need to invest substantial time, energy and money to meet our goals of reaching gender equity and eliminating abuse, discrimination and harassment in sport.
That’s why today, we are announcing $5 million over 3 years for our National Sport Organizations. This funding will be used to:
- deliver mandatory training on harassment and abuse in the form of e-learning, seminars and workshops to administrators, coaches, officials, parents and athletes;
- close the gaps and reinforce best practices for internal policies to create a workplace free from harassment, abuse or discrimination; and
- ensure access to an independent third party to provide a safe space to disclose and investigate harassment and abuse cases.
The funding will allow organizations to clearly define their needs and get support in reaching their gender equity goals.
Our government has proposed an investment of another $30 million over five years in Budget 2019 to enable Canadian sport organizations to advance safe, accessible, ethical and equitable sport.
This funding will help ensure a higher standard of sport experience for Canadian families, athletes, coaches and other participants. Details on this funding are expected to be announced in the near future.
We’ve accomplished so much this past year… but more work remains.
Thank you to everyone who has played a role in getting us here today.
We have the right players and the right plans to make gender equity and safer sport a reality.
And we will do this-by working together.
By taking action now. Because our children and our athletes deserve better.
So I thank you for your leadership, and for fighting to keep sport safe and fulfilling.
Thank you. Merci.