Sports minister freezes government funding for Hockey Canada following sexual assault settlement


Hockey Canada’s federal funding is frozen following the national sport body’s handling of an alleged sexual assault and an out-of-court settlement.

Pascale St-Onge, Canada’s Sports Minister, made the announcement on Wednesday.

She said in a statement that Hockey Canada will only see its funding restored once it discloses recommendations for improvement provided by a third-party law firm hired to investigate the alleged incident.

“On Monday, Hockey Canada’s testimony did not provide us with enough information. We haven’t learned much, and what we’ve learned is deeply troubling,” St-Onge said. “Hockey Canada said it would not share with the committee the advice it received from the independent firm (Henein & Hutchison) responding. We have also heard that the independent investigation has not been completed and that John Doe’s 8 players have not been identified. This is unacceptable.

“Hockey Canada testimony also revealed that they had another case of alleged sexual misconduct by players in the past five to six years. I cannot accept this standard as business as usual in our national sport organizations, and neither should Canadians.

Hockey Canada is to become a signatory to the Office of the Integrity Commissioner, a new government body with the power to independently investigate complaints of abuse and sanction inappropriate behavior.

The move comes after Hockey Canada President Scott Smith and outgoing CEO Tom Renney were questioned by MPs earlier this week during a hearing of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage on the response of the organization to an alleged sexual assault involving eight players. judicial settlement.

WATCH | Hockey Canada denies using public funds to settle sexual assault allegations:

Hockey Canada denies using public funds to settle sexual assault allegation

Hockey Canada executives told a parliamentary committee they did not use public funds to pay a settlement following allegations of sexual assault against players.

Hockey Canada quietly settled the lawsuit last month after a woman claimed she was assaulted by members of the 2018 gold medal-winning World Junior Hockey team in June of that year at a Hockey reception. Canada to London, Ontario.

The woman, now 24, was seeking $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 Smith said Monday that no government money was used.

Hockey Canada received $14 million from Ottawa in 2020 and 2021, including $3.4 million in COVID-19 grants, according to government records obtained by CBC News and TSN.


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