Hockey Canada board resigns on recommendation of Justice Cromwell

A former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada recommended a complete overhaul to the management of Hockey Canada 24 hours before its president and chief executive officer and its board of directors resigned en masse on Tuesday.

Hockey Canada unveiled Thursday a memorandum from Justice Thomas Cromwell, in addition to his interim report on the governance of the national federation.

This memorandum, dated Monday, indicates that « there is no doubt » that the leadership of Hockey Canada has lost the confidence of important partners and that the requests to wipe the slate clean must be heard.

Cromwell recommended that Hockey Canada put in place a board of directors and a board chair who agrees to serve only for a four-year term as a transition board. This board would be responsible for responding to « many public concerns about the organization’s senior management. »

Hockey Canada announced Tuesday that its president and CEO Scott Smith is leaving the organization, along with the entire board of directors. The latter will remain in place until the election of a new board, during the annual general assembly of the federation, on December 17th.

“I do not recommend that all directors immediately step down for these reasons. The federation would not be able to function without a board of directors,” Cromwell wrote.

In his memorandum, Cromwell identified four main tasks for the transition board:

— Respond, together with Hockey Canada members, to the governance changes it will propose in its final report;

— Reassure the public about its many concerns about its management team;

— Begin to repair damaged relationships with partners;

— Ensure stability allowing operations to resume.

« It is not with lightheartedness that I submit these recommendations, » Cromwell wrote. Nevertheless, I do so in what I believe to be the best interests of Hockey Canada and the game of hockey. »

Last August, Cromwell was given the mandate to carry out a comprehensive governance review of the federation after it was revealed that the body had agreed to an out-of-court settlement with a woman who alleged she had been raped by eight players. , including members of the 2018 National Junior Team, after a Hockey Canada banquet in London, Ont., in 2018.

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