Dear NGO community,
We write today to invite your organization to join our coalition in calling for a national inquiry into abuse in Canadian sport. Support for the call is growing, but additional pressure will be required to spark government action. Help us change the Canadian sport system for the better. Our coalition currently consists of Scholars Against Abuse in Canadian Sport; Gymnasts for Change Canada; Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children; Figure Skating for Change Canada; and Global Athlete.
More and more voices are calling for an inquiry. It has broad support from athlete survivors of abuse. MP and former Minister of Sport Kirsty Duncan has emphasized the need for an inquiry on multiple occasions. MP Brian Masse has called for an inquiry from the floor of the House of Commons. Allison Sandmeyer-Graves, the Chief Executive Director of Canadian Women & Sport, a group dedicated to improving sport through gender equity, called for an inquiry during her testimony before the Standing Committee on the Status of Women.
A national inquiry boasts the broad investigative powers and independence necessary to thoroughly examine the abuse crisis currently unfolding in Canadian sport. As Justice Charles L. Dubin explained, an inquiry “is intended to be an independent, objective inquiry into the subject matters referred to it by the Order in Council pursuant to which it was established, with a view to ascertaining what has transpired, to identify the problem areas, to define the issues, and to seek a way of correcting the errors of the past so that they will not recur.” Preventing abuse in the future means wrestling with our collective failings in the past.
A trauma-informed, national inquiry is our best hope for meaningful, sustainable change.
About the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children (CCRC): Formed in 1989, the CCRCconsists of over 50 non-government organizations focused on upholding, monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child and its related conventions and protocols in Canada and internationally. Children have the right to be protected from violence and duty-bearers, including governments and institutions, must work to ensure they can realize this right. The CCRC supports the call for an national inquiry as part of their broader advocacy for children’s rights in Canada.
About Gymnasts for Change (G4C) Canada: One of the earliest proponents for a national inquiry, G4C is a grassroots movement, led by survivors and supporters, to eliminate abuse and maltreatment from the sport of gymnastics. G4C has amplified the voices of over 600 survivors and supporters in their quest for safer sport nationwide.
About Figure Skating For Change (FS4C) Canada: The youngest of our partners, FS4Cformed in 2023 to help increase access to agency, remedy, and oversight in the sport of Figure Skating. FS4C stands with all athletes calling for national inquiry into abuse in Canadian sport.
About Global Athlete: Global Athlete has been a fierce ally of sport survivors in Canada and abroad. GA aims to help athletes gain a more represented voice in world sport, recognizing that the neglect and suppression of the athlete voice has gone on for too long.
About Scholars Against Abuse in Canadian Sport (SAACS): SAACSwas formed in 2023, but grew rapidly, becoming a truly interdisciplinary and international group. Although we embrace scholars at all stages of their academic journey, currently consists of 127 members, 98 of which are professors. The group currently has representation from 53 universities, including 34 Canadian institutions. SAACS strongly supports calls for a national inquiry as part of meaningful and sustainable change in Canadian sport.
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