I am upset and disheartened to hear that, once again, there is a story of sexual assault in sports.Minister St-Onge said by email.
I am deeply troubled by this story. It is important to remember that there is no place for a culture of silence in our society.
This is a complex and worrying file. We will take the time to analyze the facts and the role played by the federationshe added.
The young woman, identified by the initials EM, was allegedly repeatedly assaulted in a hotel room in London, Ontario, in June 2018, after hosting a Hockey Canada Foundation gala and golf tournament presentation.
The young woman’s lawyer, Robert Talach, confirmed that his client had reached an amicable agreement within the framework of a civil lawsuit that satisfies her. The victim was asking for $3.5 million. The amount received is unknown.
Hockey Canada also confirms that it closed the deal privately.
Where does the settlement money come from?
Organizations must be held accountablesaid Pascale St-Onge in an interview with all one morning Thursday.
The Sports Minister wants to know where the amount the victim received from Hockey Canada came from.
I want to make sure that no public funds were used to cover up such a story. My link with sports organizations is mainly economic through the public funds that we give so that athletes can train.
There are conditions when these organizations receive these public funds, said the minister. And clearly, public funds cannot be used in these types of situations, to cover up these types of events.
Pascale St-Onge will rely on verification mechanisms to get answers.
All Canadian sports organizations undergo regular audits, the Minister recalled. We can anticipate these audits, and every penny, every dollar must be accounted for. So there can be no money that is used to hide a story like this.
Editor’s note: An audit is an independent analysis that certifies the accounts of a company or organization.
Minister St-Onge revealed that she learned of the friendly agreement the day before the publication of the TSN report. It was the president of Hockey Canada who called her to let her know.
Neither Sport Canada, to my knowledge, nor I certainly knew that file was ongoing at Hockey Canada, Ms. St-Onge stated. No one had been notified that a case like this was before the courts.
This story testifies once again that there is a culture of silence that reigns, and we must end this culture. The environment of the athletes and the organization have responsibilities.
The Federal Sports Minister says that athletes must be better supervised.
Athletes must be educated in matters of consent. We need to talk about sex education to understand what is appropriate and what is not.
Since I came to the position, this is what I have been working on, changing the culture of the sport.concluded Pascale St-Onge.