Prince Edward Island Human Rights Commission
When it comes to funding for UPEI athletics, not everything is equal, but NDP leader Mike Redmond is hoping to change that.
Redmond, who is a former UPEI women's soccer coach, says he has filed a human rights complaint against the university alleging the way it funds athletics is discriminatory because it favours men over women.
In an interview with The Guardian, Redmond said he spoke with representatives from UPEI and Atlantic University Sport about the issue, but didn't get the response he was looking for so the human rights complaint was the next step.
"It needs to be addressed," he said.
The complaint filed with the P.E.I. Human Rights Commission in September said there has been an ongoing practice of gender inequity between male and female athletics at UPEI.
More money is spent annually on male athletics than on female athletics at UPEI, the complaint said.
Redmond's complaint cited several examples, including core funding given to men's hockey while the women's team gets none and preferential treatment when it comes to use of the team bus.
In discussing the complaint, Redmond said the core funding should be equal for everything, including coaching, equipment, travel and marketing.
"Now having said that, if one team goes out and raises more money than another team then obviously they have the right to spend that money as they see fit," he said.
As for what he wants to see as the outcome of his complaint, Redmond said he would like to see the commission force the university to provide equal funding.
"You need to be respectful of the fact it's the taxpayers of this province and this country that fund your institution and you have a right to ensure men and women are treated equally," he said.
UPEI was contacted about the complaint, but a spokeswoman said no one was able to comment.
An attempt was also made to contact the P.E.I. Human Rights Commission, but executive director Brenda Picard, who is the commission's spokeswoman, was out of the province.