October 4, 2022
New Bill Introduced after PC MLA for Fort Whyte Led Government’s Refusal to Pass Resolution
After refusing to pass a resolution to protect youth in sports from sexual abuse, the PC government is once again being faced with an opportunity to vote in favour of safer sports for kids.
Manitoba NDP MLA for St. Vital Jamie Moses has introduced Bill 244, The Protecting Youth in Sport Act today in the House. The bill puts in place guidelines for sports organizations, coaches, parents and athletes to create safer spaces for young people and prevent abuse or harassment.
"As a young athlete, I know the relationship with a coach is built on trust. Now as a dad, there is nothing more important to me than the safety of my kids,” said Moses. “This bill would prevent harm against young people and create a model of responsible coaching behavior so everyone—parents, kids and coaches—can feel comfortable.”
Last May, after allegations emerged against a Winnipeg high school football coach, the Manitoba NDP presented a Private Members Resolution calling on the PC government to legislate protections against sexual abuse and sexual harassment. Moses, who sponsored the resolution, worked with local Winnipeg Rifles coach Geordie Wilson to identify straightforward guidelines to reduce the risk of abuse and low-cost investments to help kids and parents who have experienced abuse get help.
The PC government refused to pass that resolution. Led by PC MLA Obby Khan, the government talked out the clock in the Legislature to avoid voting on the bill, as Coach Wilson and dozens of families and youth impacted by sexual abuse watched from the gallery.
“Today, we’re giving the PC government one more chance to put kids ahead of partisan politics,” said NDP MLA for St. James Adrien Sala, who helped prepare the bill. “No child should feel powerless against harassment and abuse. Families are looking to us as lawmakers to step in with a plan to keep young people safe and keep sports fun. It’s time for the PCs to do the right thing.”