Gymnastics Canada: Trudeau calls for more accountability


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s concerned sports organizations are not fulfilling their responsibility to keep athletes safe, and groups like Hockey Canada and Gymnastics Canada have work to do to restore trust and assure parents their children are taken care of.

“They shouldn’t be worried about satisfying the government, they should be worried about satisfying parents across the country, that they’re keeping their kids safe, that they are an organization promoting the kinds of values, the kind of safe environment that every parent has a right to expect for their kids, that we want kids to model,” Trudeau said Friday.

In a statement to CTV News, Minister of Sport Pascale St-Onge confirmed on Thursday that the federal government will freeze funding to Gymnastics Canada until the organization co-operates with the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC).

This came on the heels of more than 500 gymnasts signing an open letter to St-Onge calling on the minister to suspend funding to the organization, and reiterating previous calls for an investigation into what it calls “the systemic culture of abuse that prevails in Canadian gymnastics.” Gymnastics Canada was asked Thursday to comment on the letter but said it will issue a response Friday.

Last month the federal government also froze funding to Hockey Canada, under fire for its handling of sexual assault claims.

Trudeau says he wants sports organizations across Canada to be more transparent and sign on to accountability measures, such as the abuse-free sport program under the OSIC. There are currently only four program signatories: Canada Games Council, Canadian Sport for Live, Volleyball Canada, and Weightlifting Canada Haltérophilie.


Trudeau also says the government is committed to helping reinstate trust in sporting organizations.

“We’re going to continue making sure that as a government and working with other orders of government, we are pushing for changes that make sure that our kids are kept safe,” he said.

“We need to listen, we need to act, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

With files from CTV News’ Melanie Nagy and Alexandra Mae Jones

Read Also :