Time to replace Hockey Canada? Trudeau floats idea


Justin Trudeau says the federal authorities is not within the enterprise of making organizations.

However as scandal-plagued Hockey Canada continues to vigorously defend its management amid a landslide of criticism over the nationwide group’s dealing with of alleged sexual assaults — and the way cash was paid out to settle lawsuits — the prime minister swung the door open on that chance Thursday.

“There must be wholesale change,” Trudeau informed reporters in Ottawa. “They should understand that if we have now to create a corporation, do away with Hockey Canada, and create a corporation referred to as ‘Canada Hockey’ as an alternative, individuals will have a look at doing that.”

The feedback got here throughout one other tough week for the federation following Tuesday’s Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage assembly the place former Hockey Canada board chair Michael Brind’Amour and interim chair Andrea Skinner have been grilled about why president and chief government officer Scott Smith had not been fired.

Parliamentarians additionally needed to know why an costly public relations agency was employed by Hockey Canada to assist with harm management.

“I believe that will be very impactful in a damaging method to all of our girls and boys who’re taking part in hockey,” Skinner testified Tuesday of mass resignations or firings. “Will the lights keep on on the rink? I do not know. We will not predict that.

“To me, it isn’t a danger value taking.”

Trudeau mentioned Thursday the federation has “utterly misplaced the arrogance of Canadians,” including it is “inconceivable” the federation stays steadfastly behind its present leaders.

“It isn’t like there’s one thing terribly particular concerning the individuals at Hockey Canada which means they’re the one individuals within the nation that may run a corporation like this,” the prime minister mentioned.

“There’s tons of people that may run it, and sadly, the full lack of religion in that group by everybody signifies that it is nonsensical that they’d be digging of their heels on this one.”

The federal authorities paused funding to Hockey Canada within the spring after information broke it had rapidly and quietly settled a $3.55-million lawsuit with a lady who alleged she was sexually assaulted by eight gamers — together with members of the nation’s world junior group — after a 2018 gala in London, Ont.

The allegations haven’t been confirmed in courtroom.

Amongst different revelations that adopted was that Hockey Canada drew on a fund partly maintained by minor hockey registration charges to pay for uninsured liabilities, together with sexual abuse claims. Halifax police have been additionally subsequently requested to analyze an alleged sexual assault by members of the 2003 junior males’s group.

Hockey Canada officers have been referred to as to testify on Parliament Hill thrice for the reason that center of June.

It was revealed on the July hearings Hockey Canada had paid out $7.6 million in 9 settlements associated to sexual assault and abuse claims since 1989.

That determine did not embrace this 12 months’s undisclosed payout to the London plaintiff. Hockey Canada mentioned the vast majority of the $7.6 million went to the victims of junior hockey coach Graham James.

Dealing with misplaced company sponsorships and public outcry, the group launched an motion plan to handle protected sport points in July. It additionally appointed former Supreme Court docket justice Thomas Cromwell to conduct a governance evaluate.

In the meantime, two provincial hockey organizations disavowed Hockey Canada this week over its dealing with of the allegations.

Hockey Quebec mentioned it has misplaced confidence in Hockey Canada and won’t switch funds to the nationwide group.

The Ontario Hockey Federation, the most important provincial and territorial hockey associations with greater than 200,000 members, has requested a second time that Hockey Canada not gather the $3 participant evaluation payment from its members for the 2022-23 season.

On the sponsorship entrance, Canadian Tire Corp. introduced Thursday the retailer has ended its partnership with Hockey Canada.

Tim Hortons, Telus Corp., and Scotiabank have all pulled males’s program funding for the upcoming season, however will proceed to assist girls’s, para and grassroots applications.

The businesses all initially paused sponsorship {dollars} for the boys’s program again within the spring.

“There’s a lack of knowledge that they’ve misplaced the arrogance of Canadians,” Trudeau mentioned Thursday.

“And the earlier they get to that, the higher it is going to be for everybody.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first printed Oct. 6, 2022.


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