A Canadian Athlete Assembly is scheduled for next week as Canada deals with multiple safeguarding scandals ©Getty Images

AthletesCAN, the Canadian Olympic Committee Athletes' Commission and the Canadian Paralympic Committee Athletes' Council are set to hold a national assembly on Thursday (April 21) in response to escalating safeguarding concerns in Canadian sport.

The Canadian Athlete Assembly will also provide an update on a meeting with Sports Minister Pascale St-Onge.

"We are all united in calling for governance reform, meaningful athlete representation both on National Sport Organization Boards and in the implementation and effective operation of the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada’s (SDRCC) independent safe sport mechanism," read a statement from AthletesCAN, an association which represents Canadian national team athletes.

"We are also asking for increased accountability, and the addressing of policies and funding structures that have led to the circumstances we find ourselves in today." 

AthletesCAN claims that this is the first step in changing the culture which exists within Canadian sport - one serious concerns have been raised over recently.

Earlier this month, more than 300 athletes called for an independent investigation into a "toxic culture and abusive practices" at Gymnastics Canada.

Multiple complaints about emotional, physical and sexual abuse have been made over the past five years, it is claimed, with Gymnastics Canada's Board and chief executive accused of failing to adequately address the issues.

This comes soon after group of more than 80 past and present Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton (BCS) athletes and stakeholders called for senior officials at the organisation to step aside while an investigation takes place into alleged governance and culture failings.

The group want President Sarah Storey and high-performance director Chris Le Bihan to resign.

A BCS offer of group mediation was "outright rejected" by the disgruntled athletes, who have made their complaints public because of frustration at previous attempts to drive change which they claim "have never resulted in permanent and adequate change or restitution".

AthletesCAN and the Olympic and Paralympic Athletes' Commissions have thanked St-Onge for meeting with them.

A CAD16 million (£9.7 million/$12.6 million/€11.7 million) investment in sport safety announced this month has also been welcomed.

The funding is partially directed at the implementation of the SDRCC's independent mechanism for reporting safeguarding concerns in sport, which St-Onge says is a critical step confirming the Government's strong commitment to building a sport system free of abuse.

"We look forward to working with the Minister and her team to ensure all athlete voices are prioritized and heard, and building together a healthier, more welcoming sport environment for all athletes across the country for years to come," added the AthletesCAN statement.