Hockey Canada partners with independent program Abuse-Free Sport

Hockey Canada says it has become a full signatory of Abuse-Free Sport, the new independent program to prevent and address abuse in sport in Canada.

Effective immediately, all abuse, discrimination and harassment complaints at the national level will go directly to the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner.

The announcement comes as Hockey Canada struggles to recover its reputation after it was revealed in May that it paid an undisclosed settlement to a woman in London, Ont., after she alleged she was sexually assaulted by eight men, including members of the 2018 men’s world junior team.

Media and government investigations revealed that Hockey Canada had established three funds to pay for, among other things, sexual assault settlements.

Hockey Canada advises that for alleged incidents involving other levels of Hockey Canada-sanctioned programming, an additional confidential reporting mechanism overseen by an independent third party has been established.

Sports Minister Pascale St-Onge created the OSIC earlier this year as Hockey Canada and Gymnastics Canada had their federal funding revoked following complaints of toxic cultures.

In August, Sport Integrity Commissioner Sarah-Eve Pelletier told CBC News that her office was only able to handle complaints from organizations that had joined Abuse-Free Sport.

However, she then said the office was in its infancy and « working hard and fast » to begin preventing and responding to reports of abuse and discrimination.

“There is simply no place for any form of abuse in sport,” Pelletier said. « We will work hard to fulfill our mandate and be part of the change the sport system needs right now. »

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