The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, today announced that the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC) has been selected to establish and deliver a new Independent Safe Sport Mechanism. The main objective of this new mechanism will be to oversee the implementation of the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS) for federally funded sport organizations. Furthermore, the Government of Canada will provide up to $2.1 million to the SDRCC in 2021–2022 to establish and begin the delivery of this new mechanism.
Today’s announcement is a result of a call for proposals that ran from November 23, 2020, to January 17, 2021, to identify the most appropriate and qualified organization to lead this important initiative. The SDRCC’s expertise, experience and readiness to deliver the independent mechanism will provide a stable foundation from which an effective and trusted independent mechanism can be built.
This new mechanism is a significant step forward in providing Canadian athletes, sport organizations and other sport stakeholders with trusted and fair processes for preventing and responding to future cases of harassment, abuse, discrimination and harmful behaviour. Once the mechanism is up and running, it will be a safe and independent place for victims to report incidents. It will provide support and guidance to victims, conduct independent investigations of reported incidents, identify appropriate penalties, and conduct fair and transparent hearings and appeals.
We know that more needs to be done and we are committed to continuing to work with the sport community on this important task so that anyone involved in sport in Canada can do so in a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment.
“We have heard the calls from the sport community for a safe, independent and trusted space to address maltreatment in sport. It is crucial that victims feel that they can speak out, call attention to harmful behaviour and challenge the system to be better. This new independent mechanism will give them the opportunity to do so in a supported environment.”
—The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage
“This new Safe Sport mechanism will oversee the implementation of the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport, which was recently developed by the sport community to help prevent abuse and harassment in sport. Our government is grateful for all the work that has gone into this, we are heartened to see this develop as we keep putting our athletes first. This is a great opportunity to come together, and continue being strong advocates for a sport system built on the foundations of respect, safety, integrity and inclusion.”
—Adam van Koeverden, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth and to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Sport)
“We are proud to be awarded this mandate, which has tremendous potential to create lasting benefits for generations of athletes in this country. The SDRCC team is committed to upholding integrity and fairness in the sport system and to fostering safe sport experiences for participants at all levels.”
—Marie-Claude Asselin, Chief Executive Officer, Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada
The proposals received were reviewed and assessed by a 12-member committee made up of independent subject matter experts in the prevention of maltreatment, government representatives, athlete representatives and individuals identified by the sport community to represent national sport organizations and national multisport service organizations.
The mission of the SDRCC is to provide expertise and assistance to the sport community to help prevent and resolve disputes at the highest levels in the sport sector.
The SDRCC previously established the Canadian Sport Helpline project to provide professional listening and referral services by phone or text at 1-888-83-SPORT (77678) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time, seven days a week. The Helpline is meant to be a reference source to other existing resources across the country and will be a key component of the new mechanism’s complaint intake and triaging process. The contact information stays the same.
Story and Photo: Canada.ca