As Canada’s first Sport Integrity Commissioner, Pelletier looks to be an agent for change

It wasn’t her sport abuse that made Sara Yves Peltier an avid and now powerful advocate of change, but vice versa.

The experience as an elite athlete in Peltier, a Canadian junior and senior champion of synchronized swimming in the early 2000s, was “great”. As a result, Montreal lawyers find it painful to hear about the abuse and abuse of athletes and other people whose sporting experiences are very different from their own.

“I was very lucky,” Peletier said in an interview with Sportsnet on Wednesday. “I had a great sporting experience, and I robbed me of a lot from my sporting experience, and that’s the kind of experience I want everyone to have, and everyone had a positive sporting experience. It’s a pain when I hear it’s not.

“My passion for sports was born (as an athlete), so when I decided to study law, the law for me was not the end, the law for me was the means, and the end was sports. I quickly learned that I wanted to become a sports lawyer, apply my skills to pursue a sports career, and be proactive in tackling changes in sports. “

As Canada’s first Sports Integrity Commissioner, Peltier is arguably one of the country’s most empowered agents of change. Her office is under the federal Government’s long-standing Canadian Sports Dispute Resolution Center (SDRCC) and opened on June 20 with the authority to independently receive and investigate allegations of abuse and code of conduct violations. I did.

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She stipulated that Hockey Canada should sign the Sports Integrity Office last week when Minister Sports Pascal Stoongji stopped government funding for hockey Canada over the handling of collective sexual assault by junior players in 2018. It was made. commissioner.

After last week, former CEOs of the Canadian Hockey Association, Tom Lenny and President Scott Smith gave explosive testimonies and were summoned by members of the Canadian Heritage Commission to members of the Diet, the government issued a subpoena for details and the law. We plan to hold further hearings with our office, Hockey Canada. Insurance company in Ottawa from July 26th to 27th.

This particular hockey Canadian file could eventually be placed on Peletier’s desk. Therefore, her office asked Sportsnet to avoid direct questions about the incident in her interview.

“I think we have to consider that there have been many groups of athletes in the last few months … and many individuals themselves have to clarify things. , Their voices and their individual voices, their collective voices, “Peletier said. “And those things weren’t always accepted.

“This is an office in need that has been identified by the sports world for quite some time. Many people in the sports community, professionals and organizations need what they need and discriminate against all forms of abuse and sports. We’ve been working for years to identify possible solutions to actually work to eradicate. “

Peltier said he has felt “increasing urgency” in action in recent months.

Her office investigates violations of the Universal Code of Conduct (UCCMS) for dealing with and preventing abuse in sports enacted in 2019 for all government-funded national sports organizations. increase. About 6% of Hockey Canada’s funding comes from Ottawa.

Mr. Peltier said that if a pre-2019 allegation is involved, it is “not all black and white” and the considerations should include any code of conduct in place at that time. ..

But she added: “It is possible that there was no code of conduct, but the act was a crime. Therefore, if it is a criminal, it means it was never accepted.”

Understanding the Hockey Canada Incident

•• Sponsor’s Answer: After Scotiabank announced on Tuesday that it would suspend sponsorship of Hockey Canada Several other sponsors have withdrawn support for the upcoming Men’s World Junior Tournament.

•• Investigation will continue: The Canadian Heritage Standing Committee A subpoena was issued to Canadian hockey witnesses, requesting an email and text for a hearing in late July.

•• Answered your question: More unknowns emerged after authorities testified before the Heritage Commission for two and a half hours. This is the answer we have ever known.


Another important point that may apply to the Hockey Canada proceedings is that most of the allegations of code of conduct violations relate to stakeholders within the same sports organization, such as between coaches and athletes, but to the Integrity Commissioner. Means that you have the authority to investigate external complaints. party.

“The most important thing to remember is that it doesn’t really matter who makes the complaint,” Peletier said. “What really matters is who the complaint was made to. Who committed the breach is exactly the anchor point and the most important criterion. That person is an approved member of the (sports) organization. Must be, and that organization must be the signer of our program. “

So far, only four state agencies have signed Peletier’s office, including an organization that oversees volleyball and weightlifting. However, 50 other organizations have signed agreements to do so, and the SDRCC is in talks with at least many other organizations.

Most organizations have their own conflict mechanisms, so it will take some time to move to the new model.

After retiring as an athlete in 2007, Peltier attended law school and eventually earned two law degrees. She was a member of the Canadian Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee before she became a certified civil mediator, joined Quebec Bar, and was appointed as the Integrity Commissioner.

“It’s refreshing in a way from an expert’s point of view to contribute to such an important program and actually make a difference,” said Peletier. “It’s not an easy task, and certainly my heart is aimed at those in distress. This is a professional challenge for me, but we’re talking about a very delicate issue. And again, it’s also very important to keep in mind that not all people in the sport have the positive experience they should have. We have a safe place for everyone and the process. We will do our best to provide … It will be as fair as possible. “

Resources for survivors

If you or someone you know endures sexual violence and needs help, Canadians can find state-specific centers, life counseling, and services. here..You can find a list of resources and references for American readers here..

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