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Federal government directs $13.8 million towards safe sport in budget

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OTTAWA -

The Canadian government committed $13.8 million in Tuesday's budget to addressing safe sport issues that have dominated headlines over the last year.

Federal sport minister Pascale St-Onge has said the sport system is in crisis.

Tearful athletes have testified at parliamentary committee meetings in recent months about the sexual, mental and physical abuse they've experienced, and how the sport system has failed to address it.

The budget committed $13.8 million over three years starting in 2022-23 to the Heritage department that oversees the sport portfolio to "enhance accountability and support efforts to build a safe and accountable sport system."

"From beginners to Olympians, every athlete in Canada should be safe from abuse, harassment, and mistreatment," stated the budget notes.

"Ensuring that our sporting institutions across the country are accountable for the treatment of their athletes is essential to building a sport system that promotes the safety and well-being of Canadian athletes."

The 2022 budget provided $16 million to fund the new Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC) over its first three years of operations.

OSIC began receiving complaints and reports June 20, 2022.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 28, 2023.

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