Operation “cleanup” in Canadian Baseball
According to the new president Jean Boulais, cleanliness is important in Canadian Baseball and he aims to manage the federation first.
Boulais, who was elected president last November, says, “I will start cleaning the house myself before you ask me to clean it.”
The tsunami that will hit Hockey Canada in 2022 will force many sports federations to reconsider their actions. While the cleanup at Baseball Canada has nothing to do with the major work being done within the national organization that governs hockey in the wake of the sex scandals, significant progress is on the agenda.
Image credit: PHOTO PROVIDED BY BASEBALL CANADA
“Currently, when we look at the composition of the committee of directors that forms the board of directors, we have no equality, no diversity, none of which strongly condemns the new 66-year-old president. It had been bothering me for some time already, but I didn’t have the power to act. »
System to change
Specifically, a group is being formed these days to make recommendations to Baseball Canada. Me Benoit Girardin, a lawyer specialized in sports law, will act as a special consultant.
Now, equality between men and women on the board of directors is not only desired, but we also want it
completely change the current system by removing the president of each state baseball federation from the decision-making committee. These will still be listened to, but will no longer have to decide major directions.
“There is a bit of a conflict of interest on the committee with the president of each province,” Boulais concluded, explaining that some naturally pulled the blanket over their side. This is not necessarily healthy for an organization. »
Obviously, Boulais’s strategic plan, with its many changes, is not alarming. However, he predicts that Baseball Canada, whose CEO, Jason Dixon, will arrive in 2023.
“You don’t need to be in your committee to lead a sports federation [d’avoir] exclusively people who are already involved in this sport,” says Boulais, who wants to invite experts from various fields.
Women and Natives
Among other documents Boulais wants to see progressed by 2023, she aims to promote the sport of women’s baseball nationally and in Aboriginal communities. He even talks about traveling to the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut to teach “Baseball 5,” an indoor sport with just five players per team.
“I always like to plant my seed and then water it every once in a while,” says Boulais, who has helped popularize the sport among girls in Quebec.
And does elite development remain a priority? It begs the question… Remember, Canada’s men’s team failed to qualify for the next 18-and-under World Cup in last November’s qualifiers ahead of the USA, Panama, Mexico and Venezuela.
“The boys are not doing so well,” the president said, noting that Canada is now ranked 14th in the world. We are in third place among girls [derrière le Japon et Taïwan]. »
The upcoming changes to Baseball Canada are not related to the release of a new Universal Code of Conduct for the Prevention and Elimination of Misconduct in Sport (CCUMS). First published in 2019, the Code was updated in 2022 by the Sports Dispute Resolution Center of Canada.
The document aims to establish the rules that must be adopted by sports organizations that receive funding from the Canadian government. The goal: to maintain a respectful culture that offers “inclusive, accessible, welcoming and safe quality sports experiences”.
Quebecer is now president
Born in Montreal and a resident of the Outaouais region for nearly 50 years, Jean Boulais has been a baseball fan for many years. Long before he was president of Baseball Canada, he remembers Expos games at Jarry Park, where he came to cheer on Rusty Staub as a teenager.
“I had a Jonesville card, in left field,” the 66-year-old said, recalling the section so nicknamed because Mack Jones homered in the Expos’ first home game.
Before joining Baseball Canada, where he was vice-president from 2020 to 2022, Boulais had a long stint with Baseball Quebec. He was its president for ten years starting from 2008. His new term as president of Baseball Canada will last at least two years as British Columbian Chris Balison has been called up following his resignation.
“I’m a little proud to come from Quebec and be the president of Baseball Canada,” Boulais said. I can finally really influence what happens in the country. »
The first since Belec
Boulais was elected as the 13th president in the history of Baseball Canada last November after a vote of the presidents of the various provincial federations as part of the fall convention in Edmonton.
The last Quebecer to hold this position was the late Richard Beleg from 1994 to 1996. Only one other representative from Quebec has previously been president of Baseball Canada, Jean-Robert Nolet (1973-1974).