Sport-More than two dozen Canadian sport organizations asking Trudeau for national inquiry

More than two dozen sports and activist organizations are calling on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to launch a nationwide investigation into what they say is a toxic sports abuse culture in the country. This is the latest call for a full investigation.

“On behalf of thousands of Canadian athletes, we call on you to exercise your power as the leader of this country to protect every child, youth and elite athlete…” read Thursday’s letter, which was also shared on social media. Sports Minister Pascale St-Onge announced a series of reforms aimed at holding the country’s national sport organizations (NSOs) to account in early May. However, many who have been calling for a national inquiry for months said St-Onge’s measures do not go far enough.

“So far, more than 1,000 athletes from over 14 sports have called for a national inquiry,” the letter, signed by 27 organizations, reads. “Their claims have been endorsed by Scholars Against Abuse in Canadian Sport, Global Athlete, the Coaching Association of Canada, Canadian Women in Sport, Own the Podium, and the Canadian Center for Ethics in Sport.”

They wrote that St-Onge’s recent announcement did not avert calls for an investigation, but rather fueled them. “Many sports organizations and agencies have openly stated that the system is broken and needs to be fixed,” the signatories said. “They are begging for help along with the athletes.”

St-Onge’s reforms came after athletes from various sports testified before parliamentary committees last year, telling stories of physical and mental abuse they had suffered at the hands of coaches and other officials. Under the St-Onge reforms, non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) or non-disparagement clauses cannot be used to prevent athletes and other sport participants from disclosing abuse they have experienced or witnessed.

Read  2023-03-08 | NYSE:DKS | Press Release

An NSO’s annual accounts must also be audited and published on the organization’s website within six months of the year-end. The minutes of board meetings must also be published online. St-Onge told Canada Soccer earlier this week that they are subject to a financial audit and a corporate governance review. Rosemarie Aquilina, the American judge who famously sentenced US gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar to life in prison after he was found guilty of sexually abusing hundreds of female athletes, has spoken out vocally for Canadian athletes.

“My message: Canada needs to launch an independent national inquiry!” she tweeted Thursday. The letter was signed on behalf of Human Rights Watch, Scholars Against Abuse in Canadian Sport, and Global Athlete, among others.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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