Hockey Canada must “do more” to ensure safety in its sport

Hockey Canada said it must “do more” to ensure safety in its sport.

The national organization released a statement after the federal government cut its funding in response to its handling of an alleged sexual assault case and subsequent settlement with the victim.

“Hockey Canada is committed to a hockey culture where everyone feels safe and that all Canadians can be proud of,” spokesperson Esther Madziya said. We are working on it. »

“We recognize that as leaders we need to do more — and we are committed to doing so. In the days and months ahead, Canadians can expect to learn more about our work towards that future,” added Ms. Madziya.

The press release also recognizes the funding conditions of the Minister of Sports, Pascale St-Onge.

The minister said Wednesday that Hockey Canada will resume receiving public funds only when it obtains an incomplete investigation report from an independent firm into an incident that allegedly happened four years ago and involved eight players on the sidelines of a gala held in London, Ontario.

St-Onge added that the sports federation will also have to join the Office of the Integrity Commissioner, a new government agency with the power to independently investigate complaints of abuse and impose sanctions.

Hockey Canada president Scott Smith and outgoing director of operations Tom Renney were flagged by events on Parliament Hill earlier this week.

This was done during a meeting of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, on the organization’s handling of the alleged incident in London.

“We are all waiting for answers to the many questions about how they handled the situation,” St-Onge said. Unfortunately, we haven’t had many responses. »

Hockey Canada settled the lawsuit last month after a woman claimed she was assaulted by members of the 2018 world championship gold-medal junior hockey team outside a gala and event golf.

The woman, now 24, was seeking C$3.55 million in damages from Hockey Canada, the Canadian Hockey League and Players Anonymous.

Details of the settlement have not been made public, but Scott Smith said Monday that Hockey Canada provided the funds, adding that no government money was used.

St-Onge ordered a check to make sure this is indeed the case.

No allegations against Players Anonymous have been proven in court.

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