Calgary, AB (May 13, 2021) – Today Alpine Canada announced major steps to safeguard sport, improve its policies and practices, and protect all Alpine Canada registered participants against discrimination, harassment, and abuse. Important areas of improvement include:
- Creation of a single, clear, and internally consistent Code of Conduct and suite of policies to safeguard sport to replace a number of policies created over the years;
- Implementation of comprehensive and clear definitions of all forms of maltreatment and how to report them;
- Clarification on how to report complaints, including the duty to report for both victims and those who become aware of maltreatment;
- Provision of an Independent Third Party (ITP) as the gatekeeper who not only receives all complaints and conducts investigations, but will now also provide direction on how complaints will be adjudicated to remove potential conflicts of interest;
- Provision of independent adjudication of all complaints related to maltreatment through the creation of a new Alpine Independent Advisory Board (AISB);
- Implementation of a more robust screening policy for coaches and employees that will now implement background checks for officials moving forward.
Alpine Canada has also implemented an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion policy that fomalizes the organization's commitment to advancing equitable and inclusive sport for all.
“As we look ahead to the next 100 years of ski racing in Canada, a healthy, safe, and inclusive sport experience is foundational to building a culture of excellence where every athlete, coach, staff member, and volunteer can be their very best,” said Therese Brisson, President & CEO of Alpine Canada. “Policy is only the beginning. I look forward to bringing this work to life with all our stakeholders in the ski racing community.”
Alpine Canada had already begun to communicate these new policies throughout the organization and the ski racing community across Canada. An updated Safe Sport page has been published online. Starting in April, Alpine Canada’s new Safe Sport Manager, Joseph Gurgis, has been leading training and education for stakeholders and members of the community including staff, coaches, athletes, and volunteers to ensure that these important changes take root in the fabric of our skiing community.
Alpine Canada engaged Professor Richard McLaren and Bob Copeland from McLaren Global Sport Solutions (MGSS) to provide guidance and legal review of the work. An internationally recognized expert in sports law and arbitration, Professor McLaren has spent his career working at the highest levels to protect the integrity of sports. Bob Copeland is an experienced leader in sport management in Canada specializing in university, amateur, and community-based sport. Both of these individuals have been leading Safe Sport work in Canada, including the ground-breaking report on Implementing the UCCMS for Canada released in December 2020.
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About Alpine Canada
Alpine Canada is the governing body for alpine, para-alpine, and ski cross racing in Canada, as well as for Canadian ski coaches, providing education, certification, insurance, and compliance with the coaching code of conduct. With the support of valued corporate partners and donors, along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, the Canadian Olympic Committee, and the Coaching Association of Canada, Alpine Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic, World Championship, and World Cup athletes to stimulate visibility, inspiration, and growth in the ski community. In 2020/21, Alpine Canada celebrates 100 years of rich tradition in competitive skiing in Canada.