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Hockey Canada says it needs to do more

In the midst of the turmoil, Hockey Canada reacted in a press release to the federal government’s decision to suspend funding to the organization until it meets certain conditions.

• Read also: Hockey Canada in the penalty box

• Read also: Federal politicians are firing red balls at Hockey Canada

“Hockey Canada is aware that the Minister [des Sports Pascale St-Onge] has established conditions relating to the funds that the organization receives from the federal government, ”reads the press release obtained by the Sportsnet network on Thursday.

The federation added: “Hockey Canada is deeply committed and actively working to foster a culture in our sport where everyone involved feels safe and of which all Canadians can be proud. We recognize that as leaders we need to do more – and we are committed to doing so. In the days and months to come, Canadians can expect to hear more about our work in this area.”

On Wednesday, Minister St-Onge established two conditions for the resumption of funding. Hockey Canada will have to send Sport Canada the “albeit partial” report of its independent mechanism, which includes “a plan that details how they will implement the recommendations in the organization”.

The federation will also have to join the Office of the Commissioner for Integrity in Sport and work “in close collaboration to change the culture of silence”.

Hockey Canada depends on government funding for approximately 6% of its annual budget, which amounts to approximately $7.8 million.

Out of court agreement

Recall that the organization finds itself in the hot seat for having notably settled out of court a lawsuit brought by a woman who alleged that she had been sexually assaulted by eight players of Team Canada junior in 2018.

Senior Hockey Canada executives were called to testify before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage in the House of Commons last Monday. Chief executive Scott Smith had declined to discuss two other sexual assault complaints that are currently being investigated by Hockey Canada. He also said that his organization receives two or three sexual assault complaints a year.

Subsequently, all Canadian political parties had expressed their dissatisfaction after this passage. On Wednesday, the Bloc Québécois tabled a motion in the House to launch an independent investigation into Hockey Canada’s handling of the situation. This was supported by all parties.