The latest development in the Hockey Canada saga saw Michael Brind’Amour stepping down as chairman of its board of directors on Friday evening, effective immediately.
“My last term ends in November 2022, and I know there is no need to wait for a new era. Immediate action is essential to address the significant challenges facing our organization and our sport,” Brind’Amour said in a statement from Hockey Canada. Release.
The Board of Directors and members of Hockey Canada will meet in the coming days to determine next steps and appoint an interim chair.
The next board election is scheduled for the annual meeting in November.
In June, the organization’s access to public funds was frozen by the federal government due to its response to an alleged sexual assault and subsequent out-of-court settlement.
A woman filed a $3.5 million lawsuit in April that said in 2018 eight hockey players, including members of Canada’s world junior team, sexually assaulted her. Hockey Canada reached a settlement with a young woman the following month.
The complainant says she always cooperated fully with a police investigation into her case, although Hockey Canada initially said she did not.
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Recently, retail giant Canadian Tire and telecommunications company Telus, among others, suspended their Hockey Canada sponsorships.
And last month, Hockey Canada executives testified before a House of Commons committee on Wednesday that they had paid out $8.9 million for sexual abuse settlements to 21 plaintiffs since 1989 from the National Defense Fund. ‘equity’, which they claim is generated through membership fees and investments.
WATCH | Hockey Canada has paid 21 sexual misconduct settlements since 1989
“I have listened carefully and attentively to Canadians’ feedback on the culture of our sport and our organization, as well as our actions and our leadership,” Brind’Amour said in a statement. “I understand that the steps we have taken in recent weeks are part of the solution.
“I am reassured that the Honorable Thomas Cromwell, CC has agreed to lead a review of the governance of our organization which will help us to make the necessary changes. I am confident that the recommendations will guide the organization towards a future of desired change .”
On Friday, Canada’s 13 regional hockey federations announced they were threatening to withhold Hockey Canada dues payments in light of the organization’s alleged mishandling of sexual assault allegations in 2018.
Led by Hockey Quebec, the organizations sent a letter Thursday asking for a detailed action plan and an “extraordinary” meeting by the end of November to address their concerns.
The statement, which has not been proven in court, says the hockey players brought golf clubs into the hotel room to further intimidate her, ordered the woman to take a shower after the sexual assault and told her to say she was sober while they recorded a video. consent video.
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As first reported by The Globe and Mail earlier this week, plaintiff’s attorney Robert Talach released a statement saying his client made it clear to police in June 2018 that she wanted criminal proceedings are instituted.
Talach provided a series of new details about the case, including that his client spoke with a detective days after the alleged sexual assault and underwent a physical exam at a hospital.
His client also later gave his clothes to police for examination and met with officers on two other occasions that summer, Talach said. After seven months, he was told the investigation was closed and no charges would be laid.
Following an eruption of public outrage, London’s police chief recently announced he would be carrying out an internal review to “determine what, if any, further avenues of inquiry exist”.
Talach said his law firm set up a polygraph test for the woman and she passed. The results have since been released to police, Hockey Canada investigators and the NHL, which launched its own investigation in May.
Talach confirmed that his client will not participate in an interview with Hockey Canada or NHL investigators, as she has already provided an eight-page statement, five pages of photos and 4.5 pages of text messages.