Last Updated: Nov 23rd, 2011
The Northwest Territories Soccer Association (NWTSA) is committed to creating and maintaining a sport and work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Each individual has the right to participate and work in an environment which promotes equal opportunities and prohibits discriminatory practices.
The NWTSA is committed to providing an environment free of harassment on the basis of race, nationality or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or disability.
In keeping with this policy, the NWTSA encourages the reporting of all incidents of harassment regardless of who the harasser may be and is committed to a process that is widely published in the soccer community, available to all participants and easy to follow and implement.
Notwithstanding this policy, any person who experiences harassment continues to have the right to seek assistance from the provincial human rights commission.
This policy applies to all employees, Board Members, volunteers, coaches, athletes, officials, administrators, members and participants who are under the jurisdiction of the NWTSA.
This policy applies to harassment which may occur during the course of all NWTSA business, activities and events. It also applies to harassment occurring outside those situations, when the harassment is occurring between individuals covered by this policy and when such harassment adversely affects relationships within the NWTSA's work and sport environment.
Harassment may occur in a number of ways, e.g. a staff member by a Board member, or of an athlete by a staff member, or of a staff member by an athlete, or of an athlete by an athlete.
Discrimination is any distinction, whether intentional or not, based on prohibited grounds, which has the effect of imposing burdens, obligations or disadvantages on an individual that are not imposed on others, or has the effect of withholding or limiting access to opportunities, benefits and advantages available to others.
The prohibited grounds of discrimination under the NWTSA Policy includes the grounds of discrimination prohibited by applicable laws such as: citizenship; colour; ethnic origin; language (but not where a language is qualification for employment or office); place of origin; race; sex; sexual orientation, family or marital status, and handicap or disability.
Harassment is a form of discrimination. Harassment is prohibited by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and by human rights legislation in every province and territory of Canada. In its more extreme forms, harassment, in particular sexual harassment, can be an offence under Canada's Criminal Code.
Harassment is improper behaviour related to one or more prohibited grounds that is offensive and which the person knew, or ought reasonably have known would be inappropriate or unwelcome. The behaviour can be verbal or physical and can occur on a one-time, repeated or continuous basis. A person does not have to intend to harass for the behaviour to be harassment.
Harassment can take many forms but generally involves conduct, comment or display that is insulting, intimidating, humiliating, hurtful, demeaning, belittling, malicious, degrading or otherwise cause offence, discomfort, or personal humiliation or embarrassment to a person or a group of persons.
Examples of harassment include:
Racial and/or religious harassment is deemed to include but is not limited to:
spreading hate literature or in any way promoting racial or religious hatreds;
expressing the view that any one race is superior to another.
Discipline in training is an indispensable part of high performance sport and should not be confused with discrimination or harassment. However, it is of vital importance that those in authority:
use non-discriminatory terminology; and
address individuals by name and avoid the use of derogatory slang or offensive terms.
In this policy sexual harassment means unwelcome sexual remarks or advances, requests for sexual favours or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
Sexual harassment may occur in the form of such conduct by males toward females, between males, between females, or by females toward males.
Some examples of types of behaviour which may be sexual harassment include:
For the purposes of this policy, retaliation by one person against another:
for having been associated with a person who has invoked this policy; or
Prevention and intervention are key to achieving a sport environment free of discrimination and harassment. The NWTSA must present a positive role model.
NWTSA participants should:
The Board Members and those acting on behalf of the NWTSA are expected to contribute positively to the development of an environment in which harassment does not occur.
The Executive Committee or Board is responsible for:
appointing case review panels and appeal bodies and providing the resources and support they need to fulfil their responsibilities under this policy; and
The NWTSA takes the view that intimate sexual relations between coaches and adult athletes, while not against the law, can have harmful effects on the individual athlete involved, on other athletes and coaches and on the NWTSA' s public image.
The NWTSA, therefore, takes the position that such relationships are unacceptable for coaches and their coaching staff in any way with a developmental or high performance team. Should a sexual relationship develop between an athlete and a coach, the NWTSA will investigate, in accordance with this policy, and take action, where appropriate, which could include reassignment, or if this is not feasible or appropriate, a request for resignation or dismissal.
Employees, members or registrants of the NWTSA against whom a complaint of harassment is substantiated may be subject to discipline, according to the severity of the substantiated conduct, up to and including dismissal from employment, termination of membership or registration, or a life time suspension from all soccer activities for a limited time period or permanently, depending on the nature of the conduct.
The NWTSA understands that it can be extremely difficult to come forward with a complaint of harassment and that it can be devastating to be wrongly accused of harassment. The NWTSA recognises the interests of both the complainant and the respondent and, to the extent practicable and appropriate under the circumstances, will maintain confidentiality through the process. However, if required by law to disclose information, the NWTSA will do so.
The NWTSA Board of Directors shall appoint a minimum of four (4) appropriately qualified persons, two male and two female, to serve as Harassment Prevention Officers. These Board members serving as Harassment Prevention Officers will be identified on the nwtkicks.ca website.
The role of Harassment Prevention Officers is to receive complaints, assist in informal resolution of complaints and preparation of formal written complaints that are referred to the Executive Committee for further investigation. The Harassment Prevention Officers shall deal with complaints affecting all members of the NWTSA. In carrying out their duties under this policy, Harassment Prevention Officers shall be directly responsible to the NWTSA Executive Committee.
All Harassment Prevention Officers will be required to have a Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) check to ensure that their suitability for this role has not been compromised by a conviction in offences concerning children.
The NWTSA shall ensure that Harassment Prevention Officers receive appropriate training and support for carrying out their responsibilities under this policy.
In the event that all duly appointed NWTSA Harassment Prevention Officers are unavailable, one of the National Harassment Prevention Officers may be appointed on a temporary basis to handle a complaint.
For the purpose of this section of the policy a person who experiences harassment is referred to as the complainant even where no formal complaint is filed.
Where a decision is made to lay a formal written complaint:
where the Harassment Prevention Officer files the complaint on his or her own initiative without the complainant's consent, if such action is believed to be necessary, the Harassment Prevention Officer will draft a formal written complaint; and
(1) The Harassment Prevention Officer will give copies of the complaint without delay to:
(a) the person against whom the complaint is made;
(b) the complainant; and
(c) the Executive Committee;
(2) The person against whom the complaint is made shall also:
(a) be given a copy of this policy;
(b) reminded of their right to retain outside counsel at their own expense, or otherwise be accompanied by a person of their choice at any stage in the proceedings under this policy;
(c) be advised that they may, within (10) days of receipt of the complaint file a written response with the Harassment Prevention Officer at their option; and
(d) be advised that an investigation will be undertaken.
(3) Where a formal complaint is filed, the Harassment Prevention Officer may also meet with the complainant with a view to obtaining an apology or otherwise resolving the complaint to the satisfaction of the parties.
(4) Where the meeting in section 10(3) is not appropriate in the circumstances, or does not result in resolution of the complaint, the Executive Committee shall promptly appoint someone to investigate the complaint. Where sexual harassment is alleged the Executive Committee shall appoint two individuals, a male and a female to investigate the complaint. A complaint shall be investigated by people who are independent and neither personally or professionally associated with the parties to the complaint. The investigators may be employees, members or registrants of the NWTSA, or may be third party professionals retained by the NWTSA as the Executive Committee deems appropriate for the circumstances.
(5) The results of the investigation shall be contained in a written report which may include material obtained during the course of the investigation and may also include recommendations based on the results of the investigation. A copy of the investigation report shall be provided to:
(a) the Executive Committee;
(b) the complainant; and
(c) the person against whom the complaint is made.
Within fourteen (14) days of receiving the investigation report the Executive Committee shall appoint a Case Review Panel comprised of three (3) independent persons. This panel shall consist of at least one female and one male. To ensure freedom from bias, no member of the panel shall have a personal or professional relationship with either the complainant or the respondent.
(6) Within twenty-one (21) days of its appointment, the Case Review Panel shall:
(a) if appropriate in the circumstances and at its discretion, make a finding based on the information contained in the investigation report that harassment has or has not occurred; or
(b) convene a hearing.
(7) In respect of a hearing convened by the Case Review Panel:
(a) the proceedings shall be governed by such rules and procedures as the panel may decide;
(b) the complainant and respondent shall be given fourteen (14) days notice, in writing, of the day, time and place of the hearing and a copy of the rules and procedures governing the hearing;
(c) members of the panel shall select a chairperson from among themselves;
(d) a quorum shall be all three panel members;
(e) decisions shall be by majority vote. If a majority vote decision is not possible, the decision of the chairperson will be the decision of the panel.
(f) the hearing shall be held in camera;
(g) both parties shall be present at the hearing to give evidence and to answer questions of the other party and of the panel. If the complainant does not appear, the matter will be dismissed, (unless the complainant decided not to lay a formal complaint but the Harassment Prevention Officer concluded that the evidence and surrounding circumstances were such as to require a formal written complaint). If the respondent does not appear, the hearing will proceed in their absence;
(h) the complainant and respondent may be accompanied by a representative or advisor and, where necessary, by a certified translator, at the expense of the NWTSA;
(i) the Harassment Prevention Officer may attend the hearing at the request of the panel.
(8) Within fourteen (14) days of the conclusion of the hearing the case review panel shall present its findings in a written report to the Executive Committee which shall contain:
(9) A copy of the report of the Case Review Panel shall be provided, without delay, to both the complainant and the respondent.
(1) When determining appropriate disciplinary action and corrective measures, the Case Review Panel may consider factors including, but not limited to:
(2) In recommending disciplinary sanctions, the panel may consider the following options, singly or in combination, depending on the severity of the harassment:
Please click on the following link for a printable pdf version of the NWT Soccer Association's Harassment and Discrimination Policy.
Northwest Territories Soccer Association - http://www.nwtkicks.ca