The work of Canada’s first Sports Integrity Commissioner | you saw?


Q: How did you react to your appointment in this position?

A: As you know, I was myself a synchronous swimmer. My sport names have changed since I retired [NDLR : natation artistique]Well, that means I retired a while ago!

I had a positive experience in sports. Since I retired, what has always guided my professional journey to some extent has been my desire to act as an agent of positive change in the sport. Once I chose to pursue a career in law, which was not an end in itself, I found a way to give back to the sport.


Q: You studied to become a lawyer, which led to getting jobs at the International Olympic Committee and the Canadian Olympic Committee, among other things. How will all this background help you in your new role?

A: A lot of experiences and learning can be relevant, but there is definitely the idea of ​​listening to the needs of the community.

It is important to me to listen to people and try to meet their needs, while using the resources of outside experts in the appropriate areas.


Q: Since the beginning of April, I have been Canada’s first Sports Integrity Commissioner. Concretely, what is your mission in this new position?

A: Our role in the Office of the Integrity Commissioner for Sport is to administer the so-called Global Code of Conduct for Preventing and Addressing Abuse in Sport (CCUMS).

Concretely, what this means is that our office is responsible for receiving and handling complaints of abuse affecting individuals who are members of our program signatory organizations.


s. What role or link will you play within the independent complaints management mechanism that will be established in the coming weeks?

A: With regard to the role of the Commissioner per se, and therefore the individual role I will be called upon to play, it is not a role in deciding each of the files and complaints we receive. One of the really important concepts at the heart of the mechanism and the desk is the idea of ​​independence.

Our office receives complaints and does some management. On the other hand, when it is appropriate for the complaint to continue its progress towards a thorough investigation, such investigations are carried out through the services of independent investigators.

There will be a team, system and standards, if desired, to guide these independent investigators in carrying out their tasks. With regard to potential sanctions against individuals, this role is separate from that of the Commissioner’s Office.

The Commissioner’s role is to act as a central resource to oversee the proper functioning of all these functions. I can understand that it is quite a complex system to develop and understand, but we want to make sure that we create something that earns users’ trust and will be accessible to people.

We will also provide resources for psychological support, mental health, and legal assistance to certain individuals who may be eligible. And then, we think there is an important place for education.


s. The first phase of operations will begin on June 20. What steps will be taken when starting the process?

A: It will be a phased approach, and we will provide services to receive complaints. It must first be evaluated to determine the best course of action, through mediation or further investigation. We should start working as soon as we receive complaints, then provide support to people.

It is a service that will be progressive as it will affect the organizations that are signatories to the program, and we expect there will be more and more of them.

But this is not something that happens overnight because the organizational structure and reality of each sports organization are different, so it may take some time.


s. Allegations have been piling up for some time against the country’s national sports federations. Is elite sport in Canada healthy and safe?

A: I think sport should be, at any level, first and foremost about joy, about self-development and self-confidence, about making lifelong friendships. As the Commissioner of Sports Integrity, I cannot comment or comment on a specific sport or its reality.

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