Justice Lise Maisonneuve appointed to lead Future of Sport in Canada Commission

The Commission will conduct an independent and comprehensive review of the Canadian sport system

Justice Lise Maisonneuve appointed to lead Future of Sport in Canada Commission

Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Physical Activity, has announced the appointment of former Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice, Lise Maisonneuve, as the Commissioner to lead the Future of Sport in Canada Commission.

The Commission aims to create a safer, more inclusive sport system in Canada. Supporting Justice Maisonneuve are Noni Classen and Andrew Pipe, who have been appointed as a special advisors.

The Future of Sport in Canada Commission will conduct an independent and comprehensive review of the Canadian sport system. Over an 18-month period, the Commission will engage a wide range of stakeholders and experts, including victims and survivors of maltreatment in sport, to uncover lived experiences, support healing, and make recommendations for improvement. The review process will be trauma-informed, survivor-centred, and grounded in human rights principles.

Justice Maisonneuve expressed her commitment to the Commission's mission, "We are very honoured to take on such an important role. We are committed to examining carefully the sport system in Canada and identifying the structures and processes that will support a values-based, safe sport system for all."

Minister Qualtrough highlighted the importance of the Commission’s work, “We need to change the culture of sport in Canada. Our sport system failed victims and survivors of abuse and maltreatment, including children. We must understand how and why this happened, and we must take action to prevent it from happening in the future. The Commission needs to hear from all Canadians—those within the sport system and those from other fields who can share new ideas, approaches and solutions. This will help ensure that all Canadians have access to safe and inclusive sport.”

The Commission's activities will include regional and subject-specific roundtables, a public online survey, and a submission portal for public input. It may also hold in-camera sessions, meetings, interviews, focus groups, and other activities as needed to fulfil its mandate. Participants will have various engagement options and the opportunity to provide impact statements. All Canadians are encouraged to participate.

Budget 2024 outlined the Commission's funding, allocating $10.6 million over two years, starting in 2024–25, to support its operations. Additional funding includes $16 million over two years for the Sport Support Program to create a safer and more inclusive sports environment, $15 million over two years to support community sports programming and reduce barriers to participation, and $35 million over five years for the Athlete Assistance Program to increase funding allowances for supported athletes and include new Olympic and Paralympic disciplines.

The Government of Canada will continue addressing maltreatment in the sport system while the Commission conducts its review. The Future of Sport in Canada Commission will report publicly on its findings and recommendations to ensure transparency and accountability throughout the process.

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