CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada has announced it is now a full signatory to Abuse-Free Sport, the new independent program to prevent and address maltreatment in sport in Canada. Effective immediately, all complaints of abuse, discrimination and harassment at the national level will go directly to the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC).
For alleged incidents involving other levels of Hockey Canada-sanctioned programming, an additional confidential reporting mechanism overseen by an independent third party (ITP) has been established.
“Today’s announcement is an important step in working towards ending a culture of silence that exists in corners of our game,” said Natasha Johnston, vice-president of sport safety with Hockey Canada. “We are pleased to be part of this critical addition to the Canadian sport system and hope a strong message is being sent to Canadians that inappropriate behaviour in and around hockey will not be tolerated at any level.”
In accordance with becoming a full signatory, Hockey Canada has amended relevant policies and procedures to adopt the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport 6.0 (UCCMS) and shares the purpose of the UCCMS to advance a respectful sport culture that delivers quality, inclusive, accessible, welcoming and safe sport experiences.
For more information on Abuse-Free Sport, please visit abuse-free-sport.ca.
Independent Third Party
The Independent Third Party (ITP) is led by Erin Durant and Brian Ward and staffed by a number of experienced, diverse professionals reflecting both gender and racial diversity. Service is available in both English and French.
All hockey-related maltreatment complaints of someone affiliated with Hockey Canada beyond a national programming level, including sexual violence, harassment, abuse or discrimination will be assessed by the ITP, which will determine the proper jurisdiction and, where applicable, retain investigators and dispute resolution panels who are also independent of Hockey Canada.
“The ITP will work in conjunction with OSIC to confirm that there are no gaps in complaint coverage and that all complaints are handled using trauma-informed processes that provide fairness, respect and equity to all parties involved,” said Johnston. “This process is completely confidential and ensures that all efforts are being made to identify, investigate and discipline those who violate a Hockey Canada safe sport policy.”
Complaints can be confidentially submitted to the ITP by emailing [email protected].
Hockey Canada continues to make progress on its Action Plan and is working diligently with its stakeholders to provide a safe environment on and off the ice for all participants. It looks forward to providing further public updates in relation to future progress as it works to address systemic issues in and around Canada’s game.
For more information on Hockey Canada, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.