Quebec City, Quebec, June 12, 2018 – This morning, four of Bertrand Charest’s 12 victims, Geneviève Simard, Anna Prchal, Gail Kelly and Émilie Cousineau, accompanied by JD Miller, B2ten president and co-founder, and Dominick Gauthier, B2ten co-founder and program director, attended the National Assembly of Quebec. On this occasion, the Minister of Education, Leisure and Sport (MELS) filed a motion to develop a government plan to prevent all forms of sexual, physical and psychological abuse in sport.
Adopted unanimously in a spirit of non-partisanship, the motion calls for the MELS to implement an action plan by 2020. The 12 victims asked that the plan contain the following:
- an amendment to the province’s sport federation recognition program (PQRFSQ) requiring that an action plan be adopted and submitted to prevent physical, psychological, emotional and sexual abuse in sport in Quebec;
- mandatory training for coaches, athletes, volunteers and all other persons in contact with athletes;
- accountability on the part of sport federations;
- clearly defined policies and procedures to protect athletes;
- a safe and independent approach to allow athletes and others in the sport world to report incidents;
- an independent body to investigate complaints;
- that the federations’ funding be contingent on compliance with the action
“This is an important day for the 12 victims, who have acted with determination to shine a spotlight on this significant problem in our society. The Government of Quebec has heard them and taken the necessary measures to prevent all forms of abuse in sport,” said JD Miller. “On behalf of B2ten, I would like to thank all the members of the National Assembly. Your unanimous adoption of this motion sends a strong, clear message to the other provinces and territories, and to Ottawa.”
“I’m extremely proud that I’ve been able to help make a difference in protecting athletes, regardless of their sport. It wasn’t easy to relive those moments, but knowing that regulations will be put in place to prevent abuse makes it worthwhile,” said Geneviève Simard.
“We decided to speak publicly because of all the encouragement we received from parents and other athletes. With an action plan to prevent all forms of abuse, I would feel more comfortable letting my children join a sport federation one day,” said Gail Kelly. “This past week has been particularly emotional. We received truly incredible, comforting support. You can tell that this issue strikes a chord with Quebecers and Canadians. I know that going public was the right choice now that I see things moving in the right direction,” said Anna Prchal.
“If our story inspires others to confide in someone, to seek help, that’s a victory in itself. With a program in place, athletes will be better protected,” said Émilie Cousineau.
“Quebec has always been a leader in amateur sport development. This was clearly demonstrated this morning. We hope that the other provinces and the federal government will quickly follow suit so that all athletes can practice sport in an abuse-free environment,” stated JD Miller.
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