“Ethics are at the heart of the RSEQ’s values,” says Deputy General Director Stéphane Boudreau
On Oct. 6, the Réseau du Sports Étudiants du Québec (RSEQ) announced its support of Hockey Québec’s decision to withhold funds from Hockey Canada.
Hockey Québec had announced two days earlier that they would cut financial ties with Hockey Canada. It was the first provincial organization to do so, and received the support of several federations in their protest against the multiple sexual abuse allegations the organization has faced this summer.
The decision from Hockey Québec came from a lack of trust in Hockey Canada “to take the necessary steps to change the culture of hockey.”
For the RSEQ, the safety of their members was at the heart of their decision.
“The support comes in regards to the security of all,” said Stéphane Boudreau, Deputy General Director of the RSEQ. “Since the last two years the RSEQ has been working on equity, diversity and inclusion and that includes having a safe environment. Hockey Québec is a big partner of the RSEQ. It was important for us to show our support to them in continuation with our values.”
The RSEQ has two main programs in place to ensure ethics are at the center of student sports in Quebec. The program “3R” aims to foster responsibility and respect in sports. More concretely, the government program “I file a complaint” featured on their website is a tool to report abuse, harassment, negligence or violence within the context of student sports.
Boudreau also said that he trusts how Hockey Québec has been dealing with the situation so far and will continue to follow their footsteps.
A week after Hockey Québec severed financial ties with its federal counterpart, the CEO of Hockey Canada Scott Smith and the entire board of directors officially stepped down from their positions.
Initially, interim board chair Andrea Skinner assured no changes to management were foreseeable. But as crucial sponsors, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and provincial hockey organizations pressured Hockey Canada, their board decided to step down.
Hockey Canada has yet to announce a new board of directors.