Government of Canada

Government of Canada

January 08, 2008 18:10 ET

Government of Canada: Settlement Reached in Women's Ski Jumping Complaint

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 8, 2008) - The Honourable Helena Guergis, Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (Sport), today announced that a settlement has been reached regarding a complaint filed with the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) by Jan Willis, on behalf of her daughter and other women ski jumpers, stating that a previous decision to exclude women ski jumpers from competition at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver was discriminatory. The settlement is the result of collaborative work between the Department of Canadian Heritage, Ms. Willis, and the CHRC.

The agreement is based on a shared intent to pursue Canada's commitment and leadership in the advancement and equality of women in sport. The settlement commits the parties to work together and with other key parties to explore how the International Olympic Committee (IOC) may be approached to reconsider its decision not to include women's ski jumping in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

The settlement was reached with the help of a mediator from the CHRC. The CHRC encourages parties to human rights disputes to use mediation as a means to get a better understanding of each other's positions and to address the needs and interests that are key to finding a mutually agreeable solution. Mediation is voluntary and is quicker, less adversarial, less expensive, and less time-consuming than investigation or litigation.

"The Government of Canada is pleased that this issue has been resolved," said Secretary of State Guergis. "The Government supports the inclusion and equality of women in sport, and we are committed to ensuring our policy on women and sport continues to be effective in increasing the involvement of women in the Canadian sport system."

"We are proud that the federal government has taken a leadership role in the promotion of gender equity in sport, and we welcome it as a partner in working towards the inclusion of women's ski jumping in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver," said Jan Willis. "There is a mature international competition circuit for top-level jumpers, with over 80 women from 14 nations participating. Our Canadian jumpers are among the best in the world. We look forward to working with the federal government and other stakeholders to urge the IOC and International Ski Federation to reconsider the decision."

This news release is available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under Media Room.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Secretary of State
    (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (Sport)
    Jeffrey Kroeker, Director of Communications and
    Parliamentary Affairs
    613-995-1293
    or
    Canadian Heritage
    Donald Boulanger
    A/Chief, Media Relations
    819-994-9101