The Canada Games Council (CGC) believes that everyone involved in sport, has the right to participate in a safe and inclusive environment that is free of abuse, harassment or discrimination.
The CGC is committed to ensuring a safe and positive environment (within our programs, activities and events). The CGC supports equal opportunity, prohibits discriminatory practices and is committed to providing an inclusive environment free from harassment, abuse or discrimination. This includes providing access to a national Independent Third Party.
The CGC has several governing policies related to safe sport, which can be accessed through our Safe Sport Policies page.
The Independent Third Party (ITP) is an alternate point of contact for individuals wishing to make a complaint under Canada Games Council’s (CGC) Conduct Policy and other relevant policies.
The existence of this ITP does not prevent individuals from contacting CGC directly with complaints if they are comfortable with the process.
Lise Maclean is CGC’s ITP. Lise is a certified workplace harassment resource/investigator, who will guide you through the complaints process and/or explore other options to address your concerns. You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ITP’s mandate includes, but is not limited to:
Receives complaints, allegations and concerns of possible breaches of the CGC’s conduct policies on abuse, harassment or discrimination
Determines if a complaint warrants an investigation or other possible action,
Contact complainant(s) to learn more about the situation. The ITP will make efforts to respond to all complaints within 24 hours after being advised of the situation.
The results of the preliminary review are highly variable and may include:
Referring the complainant to the police or child protection authorities.
Referring the complainant to the applicable Host Society
Referring the complainant to other procedures or appeals.
Suggesting other counselling or support to the complainant.
Equipping the complainant to deal with the situation directly.
Supporting the complainant to come forward with a formal complaint.
Recommending that the CGC proceed directly to an investigation and liaising with the assigned investigator as appropriate.
Exploring informal resolution or other alternative dispute mechanisms.
Other solutions as deemed necessary.
Preserves the confidentiality of the complaints, allegations or concerns so that no one potentially conflicted in the organization may discover who the complainant is, who the person alleged to have breached the rules is, and what the allegations are about.
May report to the President / CEO and/or Board of Directors that a complaint was received, or that an investigation must be initiated, but in a completely anonymous fashion and as long as such individual is not involved nor conflicted in the matter at hand.
Is given clear guidance on the limits of his/her authority when an investigation is warranted, forexample:
to recommend who the investigator will be;
to facilitate the hiring of an investigator; and
to receive a copy of the full investigation report, promote compliance with the report’s recommendations, including any sanctions and oversee next steps required by the applicable policies.
Respects the highest standards in preserving confidentiality of the complaints, relateddocuments and personal information, to the extent required by law and by the applicable policies.
Canadian Sport promises to contribute to the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual health of individuals of varying abilities, backgrounds and interests, and contributes to societal engagement and pride. The Physical Activity and Sport Act states that: “The Government of Canada’s policy regarding sport is founded on the highest ethical standards and values, including [...] the treatment of all persons with fairness and respect, the full and fair participation of all persons in sport and the fair, equitable, transparent and timely resolution of disputes in sport.” 1
Only when sport environments are safe and inclusive can these values be realized. Individuals should have the reasonable expectation when they participate in sport in Canada that it will bein an environment that is accessible, inclusive, respects their personal goals and is free from all forms of Maltreatment. Maltreatment in all its forms is a serious issue that undermines the health, well-being, performance and security of individuals, communities, and society.
Maltreatment is unacceptable and fundamentally incompatible with the core values that lie atthe heart of Canadian sport as indicated in the Canadian Sport Policy, including being values-based, inclusive, technically sound, collaborative, intentional and effective.
The following principles will guide the determination of Maltreatment and imposition of sanctions:
[Comment to Section 1.2: Evidence or “proof” of maltreatment may include the words/report of a complainant if found credible by the relevant authorities. Depending upon the nature of the Maltreatment, physical evidence, corroboration or third-party verification may not be needed.]
Following the Safe Sport Working Group’s consensus statements and the Pan-Canadian consultation held from March to May 2019, all parties and organizations committed to the goal of Safe Sport have agreed that Maltreatment has no place in Canadian sport and, when present, must be sanctioned appropriately. The commitments expressed below reflect this common understanding amongst Canadian sport stakeholders:
Athlete: An individual who is a member, registrant or license holder of a sport organization subject to the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS). [Note: The UCCMS (when fully drafted and implemented) will set out in detail how jurisdiction overvarious groups of individuals, including Athletes, will be acquired.]
Complaint: A Participant or observer who makes a report of an incident of Maltreatment or suspicions of an incident of Maltreatment.
Consent by a Person over the Age of Majority: Consent is defined in Canada’s Criminal Code as the voluntary agreement to engage in the sexual activity in question. The law focuses on what the person was actually thinking and feeling at the time of the sexual activity. Sexual touching is only lawful if the person affirmatively communicated their consent, whether through words orconduct. Silence or passivity does not equal consent. Sexual activity is only legal when both parties consent. The Criminal Code also says there is no consent when: Someone says or does something that shows they are not consenting to an activity; Someone says or does something to show they are not agreeing to continue an activity that has already started; Someone is incapable of consenting to the activity, because, for example, they are unconscious; The consentis a result of a someone abusing a position of trust, power or authority or someone consents onsomeone else’s behalf. A person cannot say they mistakenly believed a person was consentingif: that belief is based on their own intoxication; they were reckless about whether the personwas consenting; they chose to ignore things that would tell them there was a lack of consent; orthey didn’t take proper steps to check if there was consent.2 For further information, please seethe comment below.
Sexual activity with a minor is a criminal offence as is sexual activity with a person under the ageof 18 years when the other person is in a position of trust or authority.
[Comment to Consent: The responsibility for ensuring there is consent is on the person who is initiating or pursuingthe sexual activity. When someone has said no to sexual contact, the other person cannot rely on the fact that timehas passed or the fact that the individual has not said no again to assume that consent now exists. No one canlegally consent in advance to sexual activity in the future when they will be unconscious. No one can legally consentto activity where they will suffer bodily harm, such as activity that will cause serious bruises, stitches or brokenbones. It is a criminal offence to engage in sexual activity with a child, as a child is unable to consent.]
Disclosure: The sharing of information by a Participant regarding an incident or a pattern of Maltreatment experienced by that Participant. Disclosure does not constitute a formal report that initiates a process of investigation to address the Maltreatment.
Duty to Report under Child Protection Legislation: A legal duty to report is mandated by law, and the requirement varies by province depending on provincial legislation. Everyone has a duty toreport child abuse and neglect under Canadian child welfare laws. Professionals who work with children and youth have an added responsibility to report. Adults are obliged to report child Maltreatment if there is knowledge or suspicion that it is occurring. This is called the “duty to report.” Every person in Canada has the duty to report known or suspected child Maltreatment by law. Known or suspected abuse or Neglect of a child must be reported to: local child welfare services (e.g., children’s aid society or child and family services agency), or provincial/territorial social service ministries or departments, or local police.
Duty to Report Concerns Outside of Child Protection Legislation: Participants have a duty to report concerns of inappropriate conduct of other Participants to uphold the ethical standards and values of Canadian sport. Reporting inappropriate conduct is important to ensure proper action is taken and expectations are re-established. By addressing inappropriate conduct, a collective responsibility to protect Participants from Maltreatment is enacted.
Grooming: Deliberate conduct by a Participant to sexualize a relationship with a Minor that involves the gradual blurring of boundaries and normalization of inappropriate and sexually abusive behaviour. During the grooming process, the Participant will gain the trust of the Minor and protective adults and peers around the Minor often under the guise of an existing relationship. Manipulation tactics are then used to blur perceptions and gain further access to and private time with the Minor in order to abuse or exploit the Minor. Grooming can occur whether or not harm is intended or results from the behaviour. 3
Minor: An individual who is under the age of majority at the time and in the jurisdiction where the alleged Maltreatment occurred. It is the responsibility of the adult to know the age of a minor. 4
Comment to Minor: The following table illustrates the definition of a child for the purposes of protection in eachprovince and territory at the time of writing this UCCMS. Please check your local jurisdiction for potential changes.
Note: Children with disabilities are eligible for protective services until age 19.
Maltreatment: Volitional acts that result in harm or the potential for physical or psychological harm. 5 Any of the various prohibited behaviours and conduct described in Section 2.0.
Neglect: Any pattern or a single serious incident of lack of reasonable care, inattention to a Participant’s needs, nurturing or well-being, or omissions in care. Neglect is determined by the objective behaviour but the behaviour must be evaluated with consideration given to the Participant’s needs and requirements, not whether harm is intended or results from the behaviour. 6
Participant: Every individual who is subject to the UCCMS. [Note: Participants may become subject tothe UCCMS by various means. Athletes through membership in an adopting sport organization and coaches, volunteers, doctors, trainers, administrators, directors, etc. by signing an expresscontract accepting the jurisdiction of the UCCMS.]
Physical Maltreatment: Any pattern or a single serious incident of deliberate conduct that has thepotential to be harmful to the physical well-being of the Participant. Physical Maltreatment includes, without limitation, contact or non-contact infliction of physical harm. Physical Maltreatment is determined by the objective behaviour, not whether harm is intended or results from the behaviour. 7
Power Imbalance: A Power Imbalance may exist where, based on the totality of the circumstances, a Participant has supervisory, evaluative, a duty of care, or other authority over another Participant. A Power Imbalance may also exist between an Athlete and other adults involved in sport in positions such as high-performance directors, sport specific health-care providers, sport science support staff, care or support persons, guides or pilots. Maltreatment occurs when this power is misused.
Once a coach-Athlete relationship is established, a Power Imbalance is presumed to exist throughout the coach-Athlete relationship, regardless of age, and is presumed to continue for Minor Athletes after the coach-Athlete relationship terminates or until the Athlete reaches 25 years of age.
A Power Imbalance may exist, but is not presumed, where an intimate relationship existed before the sport relationship commenced (e.g., a relationship between two spouses or life partners, or a sexual relationship between consenting adults that preceded the sport relationship).
[Comment to Power Imbalance: A Power Imbalance may arise whether the Participants are in 1) an authority-based relationship in which one person has power over another by virtue of an ascribed position of authority, such as between high performance director and coach; employer and employee; technical official and Athlete; 2) a dependency relationship in which the person in a position of lesser power is dependent upon the other person for asense of security, safety, trust, and fulfillment of needs, conducive to intimate physical or psychological connections, such as between parent and child; teacher and student; coach and Athlete; high performance directorand Athlete, sport science and medical support staff and Athlete; billet or host family and Athlete; and 3) a peer-to-peer relationship, including but not limited to teammate-teammate, athlete-athlete, coach-coach or official-official relationships. Power may be represented by seniority, ability, physical size, public profile, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, ethno-racial identity, level of physical and intellectual disability, and their intersections, as some examples. Maltreatment occurs when this power is misused. Moreover, it is recognized that those from traditionally marginalized groups have experienced positions of lesser power.]
Psychological Maltreatment: Any pattern or a single serious incident of deliberate conduct that has thepotential to be harmful to the psychological well-being of the Participant. Psychological Maltreatment includes, without limitation, verbal conduct, non-assaultive physical conduct, and conduct that denies attention or support. Psychological Maltreatment is determined by the objective behaviour, not whether harm is intended or results from the behaviour. 8
Reporting (or Report): The provision of information in writing by any person or a Participant to arelevant independent authority (the independent person or position charged with receiving areport and determining next steps) regarding Maltreatment. Reporting may occur through either: (i) the Complainant (of any age) or the one who experienced the Maltreatment, or (ii) awitness – someone who witnessed the Maltreatment or otherwise knows or suspects Maltreatment. In either case, the intention of Reporting is to initiate an independent investigative process, which could result in disciplinary action being taken against the Respondent.
Respondent: A Participant who is alleged to have engaged in Maltreatment and thereby to have violated the UCCMS.
Sexual Maltreatment involving a Child: Any form of adult/child sexualized interaction constitutes child sexual abuse. Sexual abuse of a child may occur through behaviours that do or do not involve actual physical contact. 9
Sexual Maltreatment involving a person over the Age of Majority: Any sexual act, whether physical or psychological in nature, that is committed, threatened, or attempted against a Participant without the Participant’s Consent. It includes any act targeting a Participant’s sexuality, gender identity or expression, that is committed, threatened or attempted against a Participant without that Participant’s Consent, and includes but is not limited to, the Criminal Code Offences of sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching, indecent exposure, voyeurism and non-consensual distribution of sexual/intimate images. Sexual Maltreatment also includes sexual harassment and stalking, cyber harassment, and cyber stalking of a sexual nature. Sexual Maltreatment can take place through any form or means of communication (e.g. online, social media, verbal, written, visual, hazing, or through a third party).
Scope of Application
In addition to any temporary or provisional measure that may be imposed, where there is sufficient evidence to support a finding that a Participant engaged in Maltreatment and thus violated the UCCMS, sanctions will be imposed. Different incidents constituting a violation of the same part of the UCCMS may arise out of markedly different circumstances, including various case-specific aggravating and/or mitigating factors.
[Note: Precisely how (and by whom) it will be determined that there is “sufficient evidence” will be finalized when the operational and implementation details for the UCCMS are designed.]
Any sanction imposed against a Participant must be proportionate and reasonable, relative to the Maltreatment that has occurred, taking into account previous disciplinary actions. However, progressive discipline is not required as a single occurrence of Maltreatment can lead to a very significant sanction.
Subject to Section 3.3, if Maltreatment is proven one or more of the following sanctions may be imposed:
In addition to the publication of a summary of the final outcome of a UCCMS resolution process, a publicly-available searchable database or Registry of Respondents who have been sanctioned by or whose eligibility to participate in sport has in some way been restricted shall be maintained, pursuant to the provisions contained in the UCCMS. [Note: Whether all sanctions shall be summarized and publicly disclosed (e.g. including a verbal warning or an educational update) and precisely how a record shall be maintained of every sanction outcome imposed on each Respondent has yet to be designed. These details will be included in the UCCMS. The objective is that all sanctions must be tracked so that sport stakeholders will know (i) who has breached the UCCMS and (ii) which Respondents are ineligible tobe involved in sport.]
The Canada Games Council fully supports the Government of Canada and SDRCC in their initiative to ensure that Canadian sport participants of all levels compete in a safe and welcoming environment. Are you aware of a suspected incident of abuse, harassment, discrimination or bullying? Do you have questions and/or concerns regarding this incident?
Please visit the Canadian Sport Helpline for more information.
To see CAC's Safe Sport Training, go to: https://safesport.coach.ca/