Hockey Canada chased after the trouble. But the decision of the Minister of Sports, Pascale-St-Onge, to suspend the granting of federal funds to the Canadian ice hockey federation is only a slap on the wrist.
Madam Minister must demand the resignation of President and Chief Operating Officer, Scott Smith, whose mandate is due to officially begin on 1er July.
Since 2014, Smith has acted as an assistant to Tom Renney, who announced his retirement on April 20.
Renney knew the storm was coming. Because the same day, the alleged victim sexually assaulted by eight players of the Canada junior team, in 2018, filed a complaint with the police in London, Ontario.
If Mme St-Onge really wants to put an end to the antiquated culture that persists at Hockey Canada, she must ask for a top-to-bottom restructuring of the organization.
She should also take the opportunity to see how Quebec and French are treated by the organization. She will see that we do not represent much for the leaders of the federation.
Hockey Canada badly needs to be rejuvenated and brought up to date. Its main players do not live in the time of the present century.
Scandalous and shameful!
What we have seen and heard since the unveiling of this sordid story by Murray Westhead, renowned investigative journalist for the TSN network, is a direct resounding in the face of the federation and Canadian hockey.
The image of our national sport takes a serious blow. It is shameful that a national organization like Hockey Canada has opted for silence rather than confronting the problem head on.
This sad episode is a copy-paste of the scandal that occurred at the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2010 playoffs.
Sweeping the sexual abuse of up-and-coming player Kyle Beach by video coach Brad Aldrich under the rug, general manager Stan Bowman and coach Joel Quenneville ended up losing their jobs.
President John McDonough quietly left before the case came to light. He is the most wanted man by the media in Chicago. It has completely disappeared from circulation. It’s as if he never existed.
Where were their heads?
The eight John Does of Team Canada Junior 2018 have lived since the disclosure of the affair with a sword of Damocles hanging over their heads.
If there are any among them who play in the National League, they must be in their little shoes. They have to get up wondering if their identity has been revealed.
But what did they think?
Where were their heads?
Haven’t they followed the awareness and prevention programs provided by the teams and the leagues in which they play?
Were they listening?
Were they sleeping?
Haven’t they heard of the MeToo movement?
Do they believe themselves above the law because they are athletes?
Do they live in the same world as us?
To all these questions there is only one answer. Their behavior is irresponsible, inexcusable and unforgivable.
It’s as if they didn’t care about anything and anyone, starting with their peers who respect the rules of good conduct, teammates and opponents alike.
Players who follow the rules must be in good shape and for good reason!
The teams do their job
In the Canadian Hockey League – the organization that oversees the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League and the Western Hockey League – teams are required to announce their schedule on the road.
Supervision is especially tight in the playoffs. But some players fall through the cracks.
Let’s remember the incident that occurred in Quebec last season when two players from the Victoriaville Tigres abused a young woman after winning the President’s Cup.
Should we go so far as to have players followed by security guards or place one outside their bedroom door?
It’s not possible, but good.
We are talking about young adults who must assume their responsibilities and who are preparing to enter the world of work, whether as professional players or later in a trade or profession.
So be responsible!