“Initiations must stop” in all sports, says Pascale St-Onge

“Initiations must stop” in all sports, says Pascale St-Onge

Sean Kilpatrick The Canadian Press Federal Sports Minister Pascale St-Onge

It is “unacceptable and shameful” that former junior hockey players have experienced the abuse, sexual violence and acts of discrimination described in a recent Ontario Superior Court ruling, federal Sports Minister Pascale said Monday. St-Onge, who calls for an end to initiation practices in all sports.

“It's something that is very easy to resolve. Sports teams and organizations should simply ban them,” she said in a scrum on the sidelines of an appearance before the Standing Committee on the Status of Women.

She said her request applies to all sports environments and not just those of hockey.

In a recent decision revealed by Radio-Canada in the morning, the Superior Court of Ontario reports the testimonies of former recruits of junior hockey leagues in Ontario, the West and Quebec who say they were victims of sexual abuse and humiliating acts committed by veterans. According to the document, several of the abuses were allegedly committed during initiation rites and took place with the knowledge of team leaders.

“It is unacceptable and shameful that generations of young people have been exposed to this type of abuse. It's shameful, too, that adults let this happen [and] the initiations must stop now, “said Ms. St-Onge before her testimony before the parliamentary committee.

Before the committee's elected officials, she insisted on the urgency of acting to make sports environments free from abuse and discrimination.

She indicated that announcements were coming in March in this regard and that all options were open. evaluated to ensure “more accountability”, among other things.

“But in the short term, I can't spend my time suspending funding for all organizations,” she continued. The best thing to do today is for adults and organizations in the sport system to send a clear message that it is forbidden [les initiations] and that it stops.

Last June, Minister St-Onge suspended federal funding for Hockey Canada after allegations of gang rape surfaced.