CALGARY, March 13, 2015 /CNW/ - In the case of the recent allegations of sexual harassment and abuse made against a former ski coach, Bertrand Charest, Alpine Canada wishes to provide the following additional statement.
Our first priority within Alpine Canada is our Athletes, and to ensure that they can train and compete in a safe and supportive environment. The Board and Management of Alpine Canada treat all allegations of the nature described in recent media reports with the utmost seriousness.
We understand that the charges against Mr. Charest span a period of time from 1990 to 1998. Alpine Canada can confirm that Mr. Charest was employed with Alpine Canada from 1996 through to 1998. More than 15 years have passed since Mr. Charest was employed by Alpine Canada and all of the organization's management and Board have since changed, however Alpine Canada can confirm the following regarding Mr. Charest's employment with Alpine Canada:
- Bertrand Charest was a coach with the Women's Alpine Canada Alpin (ACA) Development Team from 1996 to 1998.
- In February 1998, ACA was advised by a source that Mr. Charest may have engaged in inappropriate contact with a female member of the Team.
- Immediately following receipt of the information, ACA Coaching management commenced an investigation into the complaint.
- Based upon the initial investigation, Mr. Charest was promptly advised that he was being removed as a coach and informed that he was not to have any further contact with athletes while the investigation was continuing.
- A few days later, while the matter was still under investigation, Mr. Charest resigned from his position.
- ACA was also in contact with the RCMP in 1998 regarding this matter and provided full cooperation to the RCMP in their investigation of the complaint. ACA is not aware of the results of the RCMP's investigation.
- ACA provided professional services to the athletes concerned, including professional counselling.
Alpine Canada will provide its full cooperation to the authorities for the duration of this process.
Alpine Canada will, however, refrain from making any further comments on the matter at hand as it is now before courts.
Alpine Canada has a strict code of conduct and ethical guidelines governing the behavior of its coaches, officials and other personnel, with the aim of protecting our Athletes and participants. We have a zero tolerance policy on all forms of abuse. We consider any form of abuse to be unacceptable and intolerable, and we do all we can to eliminate and prevent it.
ABOUT ALPINE CANADA ALPIN
Alpine Canada Alpin is the national governing body for alpine, para-alpine and ski cross racing in Canada. With the support of valued corporate partners and donor's along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium and the Canadian Olympic Committee, Alpine Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic, world championship and World Cup medalists to stimulate visibility, inspiration and growth in the ski community. To learn more, please visit alpinecanada.org
SOURCE Alpine Canada
For further information: Brianne Fodor, Director, Marketing & Communications, Alpine Canada Alpin, T 403-777-3204, [email protected] www.alpinecanada.org