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The sports minister wants Hockey Canada to create a public sanction registry

The sports minister wants Hockey Canada to create a public sanction registry

Canada's federal sports minister is calling on Hockey Canada to create a public registry of misconduct sanctions assessed to players, coaches and officials.

Carla Qualtrough told TSN in a Feb. 19 interview that Hockey Canada should create a registry and encourage provincial and territorial hockey organizations to be similarly transparent about people who have been banned or suspended for bad behavior.

“I think anything that adds to the system, another layer or another level of transparency, is an excellent idea,” Qualtrough said, adding that public registration would allow parents “to make informed choices about who they hire to coach their kids.”

Hockey Canada committed to an organization-wide overhaul last year as it attempted to mitigate the damage from the alleged sexual assault scandal that has rocked the organization. The entire board and CEO of Hockey Canada were replaced, and the organization announced that an independent third party (ITP) would accept and investigate misconduct complaints if it had the jurisdiction to do so.

Hockey Canada spokesman Jeremy Knight said the organization's staff is reviewing the possibility of scoring penalties.

“Hockey Canada continues to review the implications and concerns associated with having a public sanction registry,” Knight wrote in an email to TSN. “In the meantime, our Abuse Complaint Management Policy gives the independent third-party adjudication committee the authority to determine whether or not a decision will be announced at the conclusion of the ITP complaint process.

“While we recognize that most national and provincial sports organizations in Canada do not currently have such a public registry, we are examining and evaluating possible options for implementing it in the future.”

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A modest but growing number of national and provincial sports organizations across Canada currently have or have adhered to a public sanction registry.

Athletics Canada, Swim Canada and Skate Canada all maintain public records. The Basketball Association of Canada and Canada Football said they are in the process of establishing records.

The Ontario Volleyball Association, Ontario Athletics, Ontario Gymnastics, Ontario Field Hockey, and Ontario Swimming are among the provincial federations that maintain public sanction lists.

The Office of the Sports Integrity Commissioner, which accepts and investigates misconduct complaints relating primarily to athletes and coaches at national team level, has also committed to publishing the public sanctions register before the end of March.

However, neither Hockey Canada, one of the most popular, organized and well-funded sporting organizations in the country, nor any provincial or territorial hockey associations, are currently sharing details of the sanctions with the public.

The Ontario Hockey League recently began announcing the number of complaints it receives, but did not provide any further details than that, while in Toronto, the Greater Toronto Hockey League recently said it would begin issuing public notices about penalties determined to be serious infractions (comment (more than 10 games or one month, whichever is greater), or fines of at least $1,000.

According to the new GTHL policy, the identities of sanctioned persons or groups will remain confidential unless the League President and Director of Operations determine that it is in the public interest to release such information.

Officials at some national sports organizations told TSN that they have delayed creating a public record because they are concerned about being sued for defamation by people whose names are published.

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Qualtrough said she did not accept that explanation.

“I think that perspective is wrong,” she said. “Quite frankly, I think this is taking a regulatory risk approach rather than a human rights or athlete rights or good governance approach. I think that is the wrong lens to make the decision to do something or not. Of course there will be risks, but imagine the risks.” “The children, the athletes and the system if the necessary steps are not taken.”

Qualtrough, a swimmer who has won three Paralympic medals and four world championship medals, said she is cautiously optimistic about the leadership and new direction of Hockey Canada.

She said: “The organization in general is moving in the right direction, but frankly I think it is too early to think and say that I am satisfied.” “I am not congratulating anyone at this stage. But they are attacking their rule, and they are working on new policies. They are asking the right questions within the system. So these are good signs. But we are still far from bringing about any real change in the system, which makes it too early for us to congratulate them.” .

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