Boxing Canada | “It’s ignorance that we agree to maintain this climate,” Ariane Fortin said

(Montreal) An independent report suggested a change in Boxing Canada’s high -performance leadership in 2016, but six years later, Daniel Trépanier is still in office. Why? Because Boxing Canada does not want to deprive itself of Podium Ownership funds and does not want to pay severance pay, it will have to pay Trépanier in case the job is fired.

Posted yesterday at 10:25 pm

Frederic Daigle
The Canadian Press

This was said by Ariane Fortin, double world champion who is now president of Boxe Quebec and coach of the South Korean national team, on Thursday.

He was also one of 121 signatories who sent a letter killed Wednesday to Sport Canada, to the federal Minister of Sports, Pascal St-Onge, to the general manager of À Nous le podium (ANP), Anne Merklinger, to the Boxing Office of the directors of Canada, AthletesCAN and some media to demand Trépanier’s resignation.


Ariane Fortin

“Daniel is very good at writing reports, he’s a very straightforward person and he’s very good at justifying what he says,” said Fortin from Italy, where he was at a training camp for the World with the Korean team. He convinced the ANP to give us a lot of money and the boxing Canada board was afraid of losing that money.

“The other reason is that because of the labor laws in Quebec, it is very difficult to fire someone without offering them a severance pay, especially if there is no reprimand registered in his file. […] I know from a reliable source that this is too expensive for them: I had a meeting with two members of the board of directors before the holidays and clearly mentioned that it would cost too much to kick him out. So we don’t take the risk. When I pointed out that Daniel and I were stuck, just don’t take it seriously, these guys laughed. They have no answer.

“It has reached the point that some provinces are willing to contribute to pay his separation bonus. »

For Boxing Canada, Trépanier’s file is empty, but it just looks like that.

“The toxic climate (within Boxing Canada) means people don’t dare complain,” Fortin added. The rare instances that have, we swept it under the rug or said it went beyond the framework of Boxing Canada. In other words, his file appears blank, but in reality, it is not. »

It is ignorance that we agree to maintain this climate, that athletes are removed from their training environment that is considered unhealthy or psychologically unsafe. Why? Five or six thousand dollars will go into the coffers? We are not getting good results and we prefer to keep this unhealthy environment? Are these really the values ​​we want to convey to Boxing Canada? We are at the point where it is not important to lose (the ANP money) and start again.

Ariane Fortin

Removal is recommended

In a report in May 2016 produced by Irish firm Performance4Podium for Boxing Canada and ANP, of which The Canadian Press obtained a copy, the conclusions could not be clearer.

The three main points featured by this report are that Boxing Canada has no clear mandate, supported by modern infrastructure and policies that allow it to effectively operate a high-performance system; that its training environment for its select athletes does not meet worldly standards; and it has plenty of room for improvement in all areas of top athlete development, be it in coaching, medical teams, sports science and athlete lifestyle.

The report’s recommendations: immediately conduct a review of Boxing Canada’s management principles and identify a world-class High Performance Director and National Head Coach. Several times the report mentions how insane Trépanier holds these two positions, which is too demanding for a man.

“Boxing Canada’s response, which isn’t doing any mea culpa, really scares me,” Fortin said. This isn’t the first time (that Trépanier’s work has been selected): in addition to this independent report that draws the same conclusions we are reaching today, there is a letter sent to Pat Fiacco (then president of Boxing Canada) in 2015 that signed by all the athletes and coaches of the national team requesting Trépanier’s resignation, another report in 2019, the story of Mandy Bujold (who had to fight in court for the right to participate in the Tokyo Games).

“It will take something else. There are some good people on board (of Boxing Canada), but not enough to tip the scales. You also need people who are good at boxing. People know that it doesn’t matter to lose ANP money at this point: we’ve gotten to that point. »

Ontario and Quebec federations have also united their voices to demand a meeting with the national federation’s board of directors to “respond to a critical solution affecting Boxing Canada members”.

The two federations want to submit three motions: that Boxing Canada employees and the high performance program undergo a third-party review selected by the two provincial federations, the results of which will be disclosed to all members; the establishment of a national selection team consisting of one member from each province and responsible for writing all selection rules to be used today with an emphasis on results in competitions; finally, to have a vote of no confidence on the Board of Directors of Boxing Canada.

“For years, the path to the national team was blurred, until athletes turned to professional boxing or finally stopped boxing. It’s serious, Fortin underlined. […] We’re not just talking about an athlete being robbed of a fight and a marabout: we’re talking over 120 people who all have at least one story (about Daniel Trépanier) to tell. »

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