Sheldon Kennedy accepts apology from Sask. city where he was abused in hockey

SWIFT CURRENT, Sask. -- Former NHL hockey player Sheldon Kennedy, who was sexually abused by his junior hockey coach while playing in Swift Current, says he accepts an apology from the Saskatchewan city.

See Full Article

Kennedy said it needed to happen, but he's already been long-focused on healing.

"I wasn't sitting around waiting for an apology from the city of Swift Current," Kennedy said Monday in a phone interview with The Canadian Press.

"The way I look at it is that ... Swift Current is in a position to show great leadership on how a community can take such a negative tragedy and turn it into something positive, and be leaders in our country around child protection."

Kennedy revealed 20 years ago that he was abused by Graham James, his coach with the Western Hockey League's Swift Current Broncos. James would serve 3 1/2 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to sex offences against Kennedy and two others.

Kennedy said he doesn't hold a grudge against the city. He says he tweeted "APOLOGY ACCEPTED" to let Swift Current residents know that he supports them.

"I'm with them in the journey, because you know what, the people of Swift Current don't want to see kids being abused."

Swift Current Mayor Jerrod Schafer expressed his "sincere and absolute sorrow to the victims of Mr. James and their families."

Schafer wrote in a statement that sons were sent to Swift Current to chase their dreams and "too many players left with a lifetime of nightmares."

The city plans to launch a new initiative on Friday for community organizations. It will require a criminal background check of adults working with children, along with education on how to prevent bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination.

Schafer said he hopes community organizations that offer youth programming will adopt the new benchmark for their staff or volunteers.

"It's simple -- if you don't want to be youth-certified, either you have something to hide or you aren't willing to invest in yourself to do a better job of dealing with kids. Parents should demand such certification from anyone volunteering or working for profit with our kids," Schafer wrote in the piece which appeared in the Globe and Mail.

Kennedy, who is now an advocate for child victims, plans to attend the announcement.

He said groups such as Hockey Canada already have similar training, but there are gaps around rules for things such as private coaches and daycares.

"What we're trying to do is fill the gap of organizations that fall under the city's umbrella and, to us, that was a place where there was really no checks and balances, so ... the city making it a priority is critical," said Kennedy.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • 2 teen girls in custody after missing woman found dead in Manitoba First Nation

    Canada News CTV News
    FORT ALEXANDER, Man. -- Two teenaged girls have been charged in the death of a woman reported missing in Manitoba. RCMP say a 19-year-old woman from Powerview was last seen on Saturday. Police started searching on Sunday after she was reported missing and got a call later that day about a dead woman near a residence in the Sagkeeng First Nation. Source
  • P.E.I. says it's top in Canada when it comes to recycling and composting

    Canada News CTV News
    CHARLOTTETOWN - When it comes to recycling and composting, residents of Prince Edward Island can now boast they're the best in Canada. The P.E.I. government is citing newly released figures from Statistics Canada that show the province keeps more waste out of landfills, per person, than anywhere else in the country. Source
  • Sexual assault survivors to get free legal advice under new N.L. program

    Canada News CTV News
    ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Sexual assault survivors can obtain free, independent legal advice under a new program in Newfoundland and Labrador funded by the federal government. Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould was in St. Source
  • Dancing humanoid robot rolls in to Calgary banks

    Canada News CBC News
    The next time you walk into an ATB branch, you could be greeted by a four foot tall, dancing humanoid robot named Pepper. The companion robot, created by Softbank Robotics America, is the first of its kind capable of recognizing human emotion, and this is Pepper's first foray into the Canadian market. Source
  • Witness chokes back tears describing hit-and-run death at Calgary gas station

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY -- A woman who witnessed the hit-and-run death of a Calgary gas station worker in 2015 choked back tears Tuesday as she described the incident. Joshua Cody Mitchell, 22, is on trial facing several charges including second-degree murder in an incident at a Centex gas station in June 2015. Source
  • Deported illegal accused of raping sleeping girl, 9

    World News Toronto Sun
    An illegal Mexican immigrant who was booted from the U.S. 16 years ago is accused of sneaking back into the country and raping a nine-year-old girl as she slept. Cops say Santiago Martinez-Flores, 48, broke in through the little girl’s window in Clackamas, Oregon and sexually assaulted her. Source
  • United ranked worst for customer satisfaction

    World News Toronto Sun
    United Airlines was hitting turbulence with customers even before its spectacular PR debacle in Chicago two weeks ago. A new survey from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) of frequent fliers ranked the airline as worst among its peers. Source
  • Wild bison calves born in Banff National Park 'a huge step' to reintroduction

    Canada News CBC News
    Bison recently introduced into Banff's backcountry are settling into their new homes by welcoming new offspring to the herd. Parks Canada says it's the first time wild bison calves have been born in Banff's backcountry in 140 years. Source
  • Cops thwart death plot against Sun columnist Tarek Fatah

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Toronto Sun columnist Tarek Fatah was on an ISIS hit list because of “contentious issues related to Islam”, the Times of India reports. Cops in India say two terror suspects were arrested last week before they could get guns from an ISIS mole in Mumbai and make their sinister plot a reality. Source
  • B.C. players scramble after University of North Dakota cuts women's hockey

    Canada News CBC News
    Last year, Alyssa MacMillan got an offer she couldn't refuse — a chance to play hockey at the University of North Dakota. The Penticton native knew better than most what she was signing up for, having watched older brothers Mitch and Mark suit up with the men's Fighting Hawks (formerly Fighting Sioux) in hockey-mad Grand Forks. Source