Hockey Canada: 2019 email does not reflect ‘current direction’ of federation


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TORONTO — Hockey Canada says a 2019 email detailing its desire to self-govern its safe sport cases doesn’t reflect the organization’s current direction.

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The national federation, which has come under scrutiny since news of an alleged sexual assault in 2018, and subsequent silent payment, broke in May, reacting to a three-page email sent at the office of the Minister of Sports.

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In the email obtained by The Canadian Press, Hockey Canada boasted that its handling of safe sport was « second to none » but raised concerns about a third-party investigator or toll-free reporting line.

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« Hockey Canada recognizes that we must do more to foster a safe and positive environment on and off the ice, » the governing body said in a statement Wednesday. “That’s why we are implementing significant changes in the way complaints are received and investigated. This includes creating a new, independent third-party complaints process and becoming a full signatory to the government’s Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner.

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Sports Minister Pascale St-Onge launched the OSIC in June to conduct independent investigations into allegations of abuse and mistreatment in sport, and set an April 2023 deadline for organizations national sports sign collaboration agreements with the new office.

Weightlifting and volleyball are the only two national sports federations to have signed up so far, although dozens of other NSOs are in negotiations.

The three-page email signed by Glen McCurdie, who was Hockey Canada’s vice-president of insurance and risk management at the time, also detailed the organization’s national equity fund used for uninsured liabilities, including including sexual abuse claims.

« Hockey Canada’s comments to a 2019 safe sport consultation with the Office of the Minister of Science and Sport do not reflect our organization’s current thinking or direction on these issues, » Hockey said. Canada in the press release. « In fact, contrary to the letter (The Canadian Press) referenced, Hockey Canada proactively participated in the government’s Safe Sport Hotline, which included requesting third-party investigators to investigate all complaints received.

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“As part of the consultation, Hockey Canada also provided information on our insurance policies related to sexual misconduct claims. Additionally, the use of the National Equity Fund is currently suspended and under review as part of an independent third-party governance review.

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Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport from 2015 to 2019, said she did not receive Hockey Canada’s email to Michael Paramathasan, a former senior policy adviser to the Minister of Sport, when he was sent on October 29, 2019.

The alleged sexual assault following a 2018 gala in London, Ont., involved eight unidentified players, including members of that year’s World Junior Team. Gang sexual assault allegations involving the 2003 World Junior Team emerged in July.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Hockey Canada has had its federal funding cut due to its handling of the case and the settlement, while a number of companies have suspended sponsorship funds.

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