Authority and Jurisdiction
The OSIC has the authority to administer the UCCMS in accordance with the contractual mandate received from Government of Canada. It is important to note that the OSIC's authority is limited given the principles described below.
We appreciate that questions around the OSIC's legal authority can be difficult to navigate. If you are not sure if your complaint or report can be addressed through the OSIC, the OSIC will determine whether it has the authority to accept your complaint or report once it is submitted. You may also consult with the Abuse-Free Sport Helpline for more information.
Principles regarding the authority of the OSIC:
1. What the Complaint/Report is about:
The OSIC only has authority over matters that are related to the UCCMS, meaning matters relating to allegations of maltreatment and discrimination.
The OSIC does not address other forms of misconduct (e.g. illegal sport betting, conflict of interest, etc.) or other types of sporting disputes, such as team selection and carding appeals.
2. Who can formulate a Complaint/Report:
Any person can formulate a complaint or report using the OSIC complaint/report form, as long as the complaint or report is formulated against a respondent who is under the authority of an OSIC Program Signatory. It is important to note that certain Program Signatories may only have authority regarding participants at the national level, whereas others may also have authority over participants evolving at the provincial/territorial, club or other levels.
The OSIC is committed to providing information regarding the signatory status of all federally funded sport organizations. This information will be updated regularly as more organizations may become Program Signatories over the coming months.
3. When the matter giving rise to the complaint/report happened:
The OSIC has the authority to administer matters under the UCCMS from the moment a Program Signatory has initially adopted the UCCMS.
Complaints/Report that relate to matters that occurred prior to a Program Signatory joining the Abuse-Free Sport program are called “Historical Cases”.
Historical Cases will be initially reviewed by the OSIC when received and, subject to the OSIC's Policies and Procedures, will be assessed through a number of factors to determine if OSIC has authority and what the applicable next steps may be.
Factors considered by the OSIC to determine whether it has authority to administer the matter may include, for example: the severity of the allegations, whether there is a current risk to people in sports, as well as the rules and policies in effect at the time of the alleged matter.
4. What remedy is sought?
The OSIC has the authority to administer the UCCMS and to receive complaints/reports regarding alleged violations of the UCCMS by participants under the authority of Abuse-Free Sport Program Signatories. As a result of the complaint management process, directly enforceable sanctions could be imposed by the Director of Sanctions and Outcomes (DSO).
In the context of Sport Environment Assessments, the OSIC also has the authority to make recommendations intended to improve the sport environment for current and future participants.
The OSIC does not have the authority reserved to administrative, civil and/or criminal courts and it cannot grant other forms of remedy (e.g. grant financial compensation, make a team selection decision, court order, etc.). The existence of the OSIC does not prevent individuals from seeking other remedies through criminal or civil proceedings.
What happens if a Complaint is not admissible?
If the OSIC does not have authority to address a Complaint, the case will be archived. The OSIC will consider the relevant circumstances based on the information provided and aim to accompany the person who came forward in identifying alternative routes or services that may be available to them. This could include services through the Abuse-Free Sport program as well as external resources. If appropriate, and with the person's consent, the OSIC may refer the Complaint to another organization that has authority to address the matter.