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Ottawa, provinces commit to addressing abuse in sports

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Canadian politicians are banding together to address harassment, abuse and discrimination in sports, but details on their plans remain slim.

Kirsty Duncan, Canada’s Minister of Science and Sport, announced in Red Deer, Alta., on Friday that the federal government, along with each province and territory, has signed a declaration to tackle and prevent harassment, abuse and discrimination in sport.

« This pan-Canadian declaration will drive a systemic culture shift to prevent abuse, discrimination and harassment in sport, » she told reporters following a meeting with federal, provincial and territorial representatives ahead of the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

« Athletes must be at the centre of everything that we do. They have a voice and we must listen. They are not commodities, they are people and they need to be respected. »

WATCH | Minister Duncan announces plan to deal with abuse in sports:

The Minister of Sport and Science discusses how the federal government plans to make sport safer for young athletes. 3:02

The move brings various levels of government together on the issue and will drive action going forward, ensuring there are policies in place to address abuse, and concrete measures are implemented to prevent it, Duncan said.

While the declaration includes commitments to eliminate gender-based violence against women and girls in sport, and work on concussion prevention and awareness, Duncan did not provide details on what steps would be taken next.

« This is a priority for all jurisdictions going forward. This will be on all federal-provincial-territorial meetings going forward. There’s still work to be done and we’re considering at the national level a range of options, » she said.

The news comes amid headlines about Canadian athletes being subject to abuse, including a CBC investigation published on Sunday which reported that « at least 222 coaches » were convicted of sexual offences from 1998-2018. The report also said 34 other cases of accused coaches are currently before the courts.

An investigation of numerous sexual harassment complaints prompted Marcel Aubut to resign as president of the Canadian Olympic Committee in 2015.

In June, several former members of Canada’s ski team spoke publicly about the abuse suffered at the hands of former coach Bertrand Charest in the 1990s. Charest was convicted last year of 37 offences of sexual assault and exploitation.

A group of Canadian wrestlers, including Olympic champion Erica Weibe, wrote to Duncan in December, appealing for an independent body to investigate harassment and abuse. They claimed that a conflict of interest and inconsistency in the current system had created an environment of fear and mistrust.

WATCH | 1-on-1 with Minister Duncan:

The Minister of Science and Sport talks about the response needed from sports organizations. 1:25
Minister of Sport and Science Kirsty Duncan discusses her desire to eliminate abuse in sport. 1:00
Minister Kirsty Duncan discusses her efforts to eliminate abuse in sport. 1:33

Duncan told reporters on Friday that she believes a « third-party mechanism » is important when it comes to investigating abuse cases.

« I’m working on it, » she said.

Tackling abuse in sport will take co-operation from an array of groups, said Duncan, a former gymnast and long-time coach.

« This is a long-standing systemic problem, it is a culture problem and it’s going to take our athletes, it’s going to take our parents, our families, our national sport organizations working together, it’s going to take governments working together, » she said.

The declaration shows that Ottawa, along with all of the provincial and territorial governments are committed to doing what they can to ensuring athletes are in a safe environment, said Ricardo Miranda, Alberta’s minister of culture and tourism.

« Now we have jurisdictions in agreement to share information and work together, things that perhaps that may not have happened in the past, that have allowed for certain situations to present themselves, » he said.



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Anglais

A stunning Water Lantern Festival is coming to Montreal

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What might just be the most magical night ever is coming up for Montreal this year.

The Water Lantern Festival has announced that it will be gracing Mississauga with thousands of floating lanterns later this year, as part of a celebration that spans the entire world.

According to the festival’s official website, the event is a celebration of life with proceeds going towards charities and non-profit organizations within the area.

“Water Lantern Festival brings together individuals from all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life to join in one emotional and memorable night. At the Water Lantern Festival, we cherish these moments and will do our best to help you have a memorable experience that you’ll never forget as you witness the beauty of thousands of lanterns reflecting upon the water,” the website states.

The festival takes place throughout multiple cities around the world, with the Canadian cities of Quebec, Regina, Vancouver, Hamilton, Calgary, Ottawa, Mississauga, and, of course, Montreal taking part.

For the Calgary event, a date has been confirmed and tickets are already rolling out. Montreal shan’t be far behind, and you can click the Notify Me tab on the event’s site to be kept in the loop.

Expect an evening filled with food trucks, music, lantern designing and finally, a magical launch of the lanterns into the water as the sun goes down.

For our pals over in Calgary, their event includes a floating lantern, a commemorative drawstring bag, a marker, and a wristband. Expect something similar, if not the same, when more details float through about Montreal’s event.

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Euthanasia order on hold for Montreal dog that attacked children

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A pit bull dog that attacked four children and two adults in August 2018 in Montreal North will not be euthanized in the immediate future.

The euthanasia order has been temporarily suspended pending the appeal of a Quebec Superior Court decision.

On Tuesday, Judge Lukasz Granosik rejected a request to halt the euthanasia order issued by the Montreal North borough, which declared the animal a “dangerous dog.”

The City of Montreal has not changed its mind. This is only a delay before it proceeds with euthanizing the dog, a source told the Canadian Press.

Shotta, the one-year-old dog, was in the care of its owner’s acquaintance in August 2018. The dog attacked four children and two adults, causing serious injuries in separate incidents on the same day.

After the attacks, the dog was taken from the home and entrusted to the SPCA.

WATCH: Dog found dead in Angrignon Park

The Road to Home Rescue Support, an American shelter, asked the court if it could take in the dog. Christa Frineau, the dog’s owner, had also asked that Shotta not be euthanized.

Granosik refused to grant the request.

—With files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise

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9 Things To Do In Montreal This Friday, Saturday & Sunday

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Today’s sunny skies have me itching to make weekend plans. I absolutely cannot wait to make the most of this warmer weather. This might be the time to inflate my bike tires and dust off my running shoes…

Whether you want to brush up on your cooking skills, let loose, or fill your stomach with amazing food, there’s an event out there for you. Read on for 9 fun things you can do with friends or a fling this weekend.

TL;DR Read on for 9 fun things you can do in Montreal this weekend.

Let Yourself Go At Dress Up

Where: 185 Avenue Van Horne, Montréal.

When: Friday, March 29, 9:00 p.m.

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