The Trudeau government has backtracked on its promise to open a public inquiry


Finally, there is no public commission to inquire into abuses around the game. Instead, the government chose an independent commission whose model is similar to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Federal Sports Minister Carla Qualtrough made the announcement Monday at a press conference in Ottawa.

“This is not a public inquiry under the Investigation Act,” he emphasized.

The model chosen is modeled on the model of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which is more “safe” for the victims and “less strict” at the legal level, the minister explained.

The order leading to its creation had not been given to the media at the time MME Qualtrough made his announcement.

In May, his predecessor, Pascale St-Onge, committed to launching a public inquiry into abuses in the world of sports.

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One who took over in July as part of the ministerial reshuffle argued it was “absolutely not” a broken promise.

“Even though my predecessor said this is the direction we’re going to take, when I did my analysis, I got a slightly different conclusion,” he said.

“I’m sorry”

In his opening statement, the minister, himself a former Paralympic athlete, acknowledged the harm that Canadian athletes can suffer.

“I acknowledge, on behalf of the Government of Canada, the fact that athletes and participants in sporting events have been harmed, abused, or mistreated by the Canadian sports system,” he said.

“I’m sorry this happened to you. The sports system doesn’t protect you or hold accountable those who harm you,” he said, adding that he had a special thought for children.

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And to the survivors who denounced the abuse, “I admire your courage,” Minister Qualtrough whispered.

Two House committees spent months looking into the crackdown after the sports network TSN revealed that a young woman had alleged that she was gang-raped by a group of Junior Team Canada players.

During the meetings, elected officials heard many stories of abuse or injustice in hockey, soccer, gymnastics, fencing, boxing, etc.

And many athletes argue that a public inquiry is needed.

This is particularly the case of Olympic boxer Myriam Da Silva Rondeau.

“A commission of inquiry into the toxic culture of abuse across Canada is desperately needed to provide the opportunity to build a system that will allow Canadians and sport to shine at the height of their abilities through results and medals,” he requested in December.

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“This is what we all want,” she said before the Standing Committee on the Status of Women.

Members of the bloc and New Democrats are in favor

The Bloc Québécois and the New Democratic Party have also strongly called for an investigation into the abuse of the games.

Less than a month ago, Bloc MP Sébastien Lemire lamented the government’s slowness of action.

“The federal government has been promising this investigation for more than a year,” he lamented in a statement to the House on October 19.

That day, Professor Declan Hill of New Haven University in Connecticut gave Canada a “Despicable” award for its refusal to hold a public inquiry into sexual misconduct in sports.