Heritage Committee Requests Meeting Minutes from National Sporting Bodies
In an article recently published by the Globe and Mail, entitled “MPs demand secret board minutes of sporting bodies as probe into safe sport intensifies,” author Marie Woolf discusses the unanimous vote by the House of Commons heritage committee demanding all private and public meeting minutes dating back to 2018 of several Canadian national sporting bodies. Gymnastics Canada, Swimming Canada, Canada Soccer, Rugby Canada, Skating Canada and Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton must share their board minutes as the House intensifies its investigation into allegations of mistreatment and sexual harassment across sporting institutions. Originally proposed by Liberal MP Anthony Housefather, as a means of determining how prevalent allegations of this kind are in Canadian sports, he cautions that it’s integral for MPs to consider written evidence before “passing judgment of any kind.”
The committee previously reviewed Hockey Canada’s meeting minutes as part of its investigation into the handling of several sexual assault allegations implicating the association’s players dating back to 2003. In 2018, Hockey Canada settled a $3.5 million lawsuit against several players accused of a group sexual assault. Public scrutiny only grew as details came to light that Hockey Canada utilized the National Equity Fund, made up in part of players’ registration fees, to settle the case.
To further these efforts, the heritage committee agreed to combine resources with a coinciding House committee to better understand the treatment of women and girls in Canadian sports. The heritage committee will share the findings of their investigation into the above sporting bodies with its sister committee to find ways to work together on their safe sport inquiries.