Talent Canada
Talent Canada

News Background Screening
Federal sports minister Carla Qualtrough says registry of offenders coming in March

December 12, 2023
The Canadian Press

Photo: Getty Images
By Donna Spencer

Canada’s sports minister says the target date to establish a registry of offenders is March 2024.

Carla Qualtrough was questioned in Ottawa on Tuesday by Heritage committee members of Parliament after her announcement that a commission, not a public inquiry, will delve into what she has called a safe-sport crisis.

A public registry of individuals who have been sanctioned under the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent Abuse and Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS), and whose eligibility to participate in sport has in some way been restricted, was announced earlier this year by Qualtrough’s predecessor Pascale St-Onge.

The purpose of the registry will be to alert organizations and prevent the re-hiring of abusers.


Sport bodies quietly parting company with abusers, which allowed them to be hired elsewhere, was a common complaint of athletes at parliamentary committee safe-sport hearings in 2022 and 2023.

Qualtrough, who returned to the sports portfolio in July after first serving in it from 2015 to 2017, said getting all federally funded sports organizations signed onto the UCCMS was the first step to a registry.

How to incorporate the provinces and territories in the registry, and how to handle people under investigation but not yet sanctioned, are details still to be worked out, the minister said.

“If an individual has been sanctioned under that code of conduct, then they will appear on the registry,” Qualtrough said. “As of this April, every funded organization by Sport Canada is now required and has signed onto the code, so we now capture all those organizations under the code.

“What isn’t yet part of that would be anyone who has been accused or perhaps in the process of an investigation, which is (what) I’m currently trying to track, is how we can remove people from the sport context during that investigatory period.”

Qualtrough was challenged on her choice of a commission, and not a public inquiry, to address the wave of reports of abuse and maltreatment in sport. Former federal sports minister Kirsty Duncan was among those lobbying for a public inquiry.

Qualtrough said she doesn’t want survivors of abuse subjected to the cross-examination of an inquiry, and wants them to be able to tell their stories to the commission anonymously if they choose.

She also said negotiating an inquiry’s terms of reference with provinces and territories could add another year to the process. The Future of Sport in Canada Commission’s mandate is to produce two reports and hold a summit within 18 months.

“It felt to me, and to us as a government, that was the best way forward to achieve the outcome that we want, which is better, safer sport,” she said.

NDP MP Matthew Green pointed out sports organizations were reluctant to provide documents to the Heritage committee in its safe-sport hearings with athletes, and asked what would compel them to participate fully in a commission.

“Through funding, I have the ability to require organizations to behave in a certain way,” Qualtrough replied. “I’ve considered, and have not left off the table by the way, requiring as a condition of funding they participate fully.

“Having said that, I cannot get them to produce material that they believe is protected.”

Print this page


Stories continue below