Hockey Alberta remains silent as parents and advocates call for change


Parents, players and advocates in every province are turning to their hockey organizations on Wednesday after Hockey Quebec announced it will no longer send the $3 participant assessment fee for the upcoming season to Hockey Canada .

The Ontario Hockey Federation has asked Hockey Canada not to take the participation fee this year, but Global News has not received confirmation that the Ontario organization will follow in the footsteps of its eastern neighbor. .

The sexual assault allegations involving the national organization first came to light in May.

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Although there is a great deal of outrage towards the national hockey organization and many people, including Canada’s sports minister, Pascale St-Onge, are calling for a restructuring of Hockey Canada’s top brass, still others require changes in action.

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“If they keep sending money, that tells me they’re okay with the things that Hockey Canada has done and continues to do. And as a parent, that’s where your money goes — that tells me you’re okay with that, too,” said Janise Sherman, hockey player and mom to young kids in the sport.

Garrett Nestorowitch’s three boys all played hockey in the Edmonton area. He said hearing all the news about Hockey Canada over the past few months was concerning as a parent.

“I think all we want to know… where the money is going. I don’t know if we still have those answers, I don’t know if we will. Hopefully we will…because the players get paid X dollars – we don’t know how much goes to Hockey Canada – but obviously we fund something through them, with them. We hope the money will go to places of good faith and be used for programs designed to help these athletes play. We don’t seem to know at the moment,” he said.

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Senior Hockey Canada executives spoke at a parliamentary committee meeting on Tuesday following allegations the organization was using funds to pay for sexual assault allegations dating back to 2018.

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“One of the problems is that Hockey Canada seems a bit narrow-minded because they think they want to be part of the solution. But people’s expectations are different now about how much change is needed and who can actually make it,” said Dan Mason, professor of sports management at the University of Alberta.

As for Quebec’s decision, « it’s a statement about continuing to support Hockey Canada more than an overhaul of the structure of the system itself, » Mason said. “I think Hockey Canada is already suffering financially, so it won’t hurt them so much financially that it sends the message that this is something that will not be tolerated at all, especially by a province the size of Quebec.

In Alberta, registration fees are collected by Hockey Edmonton and Hockey Calgary, respectively, with $23 of each registration going to Hockey Alberta, of which a percentage then goes to Hockey Canada.

Click to play video: “Trudeau says organizations are distancing themselves from Hockey Canada”

Trudeau says organizations are distancing themselves from Hockey Canada

Trudeau says organizations are distancing themselves from Hockey Canada

Hockey Edmonton’s Kylee Quinn said fee reallocation is not something Hockey Edmonton has discussed as the organization chooses to focus on how it can implement changes at the local level.

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“We can’t say hockey is our national sport until everyone commits to change and we all feel safe and welcome. And so we want anyone who is thinking of playing hockey (to know) that they are welcome here, that there is a place for them.

Hockey Edmonton has agreed to full transparency, Quinn said. And while they received no direction from Hockey Canada or Hockey Alberta, they took matters into their own hands to begin implementing changes at the local level.

« We strongly believe that everyone involved in sport must have the tools to identify what is harmful behavior, have the means to challenge harmful beliefs and actions and also have the skills to intervene and prevent abuse. «

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It’s not a problem unique to hockey and it’s something we need to change around the world, she added.

As a community, she says, we need to consider changing the way we address these issues and implement educational programs on and off the ice.

Women’s rights advocates agree that having conversations about sexual assault at the national level provides an opportunity to have more conversations at the local level.

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« I think the positive thing that comes out of it is just this extra conversation that we can have where we take these topics that are really taboo and can often be kept in the dark, and we bring them to the light and have these conversations,” said Jillian Shillabeer, Call to Action for Change Coordinator at Alberta Council Womens Shelters (ACWS).

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ACWS works with sports teams to educate players on topics such as sexual assault, consent, toxic masculinity and gender-based violence.

“This conversation is one that we have with these young men who play in the NHL. We want to make sure they really understand what it means to have consent and when consent isn’t possible,” Shillabeer said.

“So when there are situations of extreme intoxication, consent is not possible. It is simply the facts of the situation. And so we want them to understand that it’s not just about “no means no”. It’s that yes means yes, which means yes can’t happen in a situation where there’s coercion, where a person isn’t able to make that answer because they’re intoxicated.

Hockey Alberta and Hockey Calgary have yet to make a statement on their future plans with Hockey Canada. Global News has contacted both organizations but has not received a response as of press time.

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— with files from Dan Grummet, Global News

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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