Despite the efforts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), Commissioner Gilles Courteau admitted to parliamentarians that there is still a “secret culture in the locker room” and announced that a program to prevent inappropriate behavior will be put in place.
“There is a moment when the locker room door closes. From now on, the QMJHL wants to install a window”, declared Gilles Courteau on Wednesday during the parliamentary committee on violence in sports.
The commissioner reiterated that he was “deeply disturbed” by the revelations linked to a culture of degrading initiations in the world of junior hockey. He claims that after doing some checks, it turned out that none of the cases mentioned in the Radio-Canada report that sparked the fire on February 13 concerned the QMJHL.
Mr. Courteau nonetheless stressed that the QMJHL is “not above other leagues”, and he admitted that “there is a harmful culture in sport”.
- Listen to the interview with Minister Pascale St-Onge on Mario Dumont's show via QUB radio: < /li>
To stop this “culture of silence” which would be the source of the unfortunate events that occur during initiation activities, the commissioner announced that an independent committee is working currently implementing an action plan and a program to prevent inappropriate behavior.
Mr. Courteau also undertook to launch a consultation process with the teams to meet the players and staff to measure the extent of the problem and identify courses of action.
Finally , a “QMJHL locker room code” will be implemented as of 2023-2024. This will dictate the behavior expected by all players and people with access to the locker room.
This parliamentary commission is the initiative of the deputies in response to the crisis raging in the world of junior hockey following revelations linked to a culture of violent initiations targeting recruits and which were denounced in Ontario courts by numerous alleged victims.
Three Canadian junior leagues, including the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (LHJMQ), are targeted by these allegations. Affidavits denouncing sexual abuse, assaults and other horrific abuses have been made public, shocking the political class and the whole of civil society.
During the day on Wednesday, parliamentarians will hear the representatives from the QMJHL and the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), as well as Hockey Québec, the Student Sports Network (RSEQ), and McGill University.
More details to come …
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