Hockey Québec says it’s launching an independent investigation into allegations of racism in Outaouais minor hockey, and that accused players who had been suspended can rejoin their teams while the investigation is ongoing.
Last season, six L’Intrépide de Gatineau players were suspended after formal complaints alleging racism by two other U15 AAA players.
In a French statement released Thursday, Hockey Québec said the complaint process couldn’t be completed and that certain requirements of its Integrity Protection Policy weren’t met.
But in light of the information complaints officer Vicky Poirier was able to collect, Poirier recommended that an independent investigation be done by Jules Bernier.
In the meantime, suspended players who want to return to their team must first complete an online training course on respect in sport, paid for by Hockey Québec.
Report with recommendations expected
When his investigation is done, Bernier will submit a report to Hockey Quebec with recommendations to sanction any wrongdoing and prevent future abuse, Hockey Quebec’s Thursday statement reads.
“The ultimate goal is to create a culture of respect where the wellbeing of the athlete is the priority,” it continues.
“The complaints officer will ensure the follow-up of the implementation of these recommendations.”