Canada Artistic Swimming joins federal government's safe sport program

OTTAWA — Canada Artistic Swimming says it has signed an agreement to join Abuse-Free Sport, the federal government's program to prevent and address maltreatment in sport.

The governing body for artistic swimming in Canada will have access to the new Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC), which is the central hub of Abuse-Free Sport, following a transition period that will end no later than Dec. 31.

Canada's sport minister Pascale St-Onge has given national sport organizations a deadline of April to sign on with OSIC, or risk losing federal funding.

Athletes in numerous sports including gymnastics, bobsled and skeleton have been vocal about maltreatment in their sports, amid what St-Onge has called a "safe-sport crisis'' in Canada.

Canada Artistic Swimming's agreement comes a day after Luge Canada and AthletesCAN, the association of Canada's national team athletes, said they are joining Abuse-Free Sport.

“Canada Artistic Swimming recognizes that safe sport is everyone’s responsibility," Jackie Buckingham, chief executive officer of Canada Artistic Swimming, said in a release.

"We’re fully committed to doing our part to support a growing national movement that is changing the culture of sport in this country."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 16, 2022.

The Canadian Press