Discrimination complaint filed over UPEI athletics

P.E.I. NDP leader Mike Redmond says he has filed a discrimination complaint against UPEI with the P.E.I. Human Rights Commission.

P.E.I. NDP leader Mike Redmond says he has filed a discrimination complaint against UPEI with the P.E.I. Human Rights Commission.

NDP Leader Mike Redmond wants to see the same level of funding for men's and women's sports at UPEI. (CBC)

Redmond, who used to coach the UPEI women's soccer team, said the university doesn't provide the same kind of funding for women's sports teams as it does for men's.

"There are a lot of female athletes that want to come forward, but there is a lot of fear out there too that if I step out, I'm leaving myself in the lurch," he said.

"At a publicly funded institution, which UPEI is...we need to ensure that both the male and female athletes are treated the same, dollar for dollar. I would expect that UPEI would ensure that a female and a male in the classroom would be treated the same," said Redmond.

"I am happy to lead that group to take the next steps and ensure that we have a public discussion on inequalities that exist in our post-secondary institution, that is publicly funded by the way."

Redmond said he has spoken to the university about his concerns, but he is not satisfied with the results of those discussions. He said he filed a complaint with the commission last month. He hopes UPEI will be forced to provide equal funding to male and female teams.

The university said it was "disappointed" to hear of Redmond's complaints.

"UPEI offers sport and recreation opportunities that are open to all, allocating scarce resources based on needs, demand, and the university’s over-arching goals," read a statement from Jackie Podger, vice-president administration and finance for UPEI, sent out Wednesday.

"In the last number of months, the Department of Athletics and Recreation has been reviewing all of its operations and has initiated a number of processes and programs to improve our offerings."

The school said it will co-operate with the Human Rights Commission.

For mobile device users:Should UPEI provide equal funding for men's and women's sports teams?


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