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

  • Sisters of missing man praise Toronto police investigation

    Canada News CTV News
    The sisters of a Toronto man who police believe was murdered by a killer targeting gay men are satisfied with how police handled the case, and they hope investigators will soon find their brother’s body so they can lay him to rest. Source
  • Orphaned cougar in B.C.'s Interior recovers from frostbite and hunger

    Canada News CTV News
    WILLIAMS LAKE, B.C. - An young cougar, orphaned when its mother was hit by a vehicle, is recovering from frostbite and hunger in Williams Lake, B.C. Conservation officer Ron LeBlanc says they went to a home on Monday to find the animal hidding under some lawn furniture on the deck. Source
  • Here's what won't get done during a U.S. government shutdown

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Although the government won't actually close if Congress fails to pass a spending bill by Friday at midnight, there's plenty that won't get done if hundreds of thousands of federal employees are barred from working until Washington agrees on a budget plan. Source
  • Women will march again with aim to become a political force

    World News CTV News
    Activists are returning to the streets a year after more than 1 million people rallied at women's marches around the world with a message of female empowerment and protest against President Donald Trump. Hundreds of marches worldwide and a signature rally in Las Vegas this weekend are aimed at converting anger and enthusiasm into political force. Source
  • Egypt's el-Sissi will run for a second term

    World News CTV News
    CAIRO - Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has announced he will run for a second, four-year term in elections due in March. The former general made the announcement in televised comments carried live on Friday. Source
  • Sea King helicopters finally ready for full retirement on the East Coast

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX - Three geriatric military aircraft flew in formation above Halifax harbour Friday, marking the long-overdue retirement of the 54-year-old East Coast Sea King fleet. Several journalists were taken for a ride to record the flight, which comes one week before the helicopters end their operational duties on the East Coast at 12 Wing Shearwater. Source
  • Van full of dogs stolen near Toronto, suspect considered armed: police

    Canada News CTV News
    A police force east of Toronto is searching for a stolen van that they say contains 13 to 15 dogs. They are warning that the “suspect is considered armed.” Durham Regional Police said on Twitter that a white 2008 Chevrolet Uplander van was stolen around 11:30 a.m. Source
  • Dogs found safe after van stolen east of Toronto

    Canada News CTV News
    Police east of Toronto say they have located a stolen van that contained more than a dozen dogs. Durham Regional Police said Friday afternoon that the “dogs are fine and we will be making arrangements to get them home. Source
  • 3 former MMA rail workers acquitted in Lac-Mégantic disaster trial

    Canada News CBC News
    Jurors have acquitted the three former Montreal, Maine and Atlantic (MMA) railway employees charged with criminal negligence causing death in the 2013 Lac-Mégantic rail disaster. Locomotive engineer Tom Harding, 56, rail traffic controller Richard Labrie, 59, and operations manager Jean Demaître, 53, were all charged after the derailment of a runaway fuel train early on July 6, 2013. Source
  • All 3 MMA rail workers acquitted in Lac-Mégantic disaster trial

    Canada News CBC News
    Jurors have acquitted the three former Montreal, Maine and Atlantic (MMA) railway employees charged with criminal negligence causing death in the 2013 Lac-Mégantic rail disaster. Locomotive engineer Tom Harding, 56, rail traffic controller Richard Labrie, 59, and operations manager Jean Demaître, 53, were all charged after the derailment of a runaway fuel train early on July 6, 2013. Source