Taking allegations ‘extremely seriously’, Hockey Canada ‘welcomes’ appearance before committee

Hockey Canada said on Tuesday it “welcomes” the opportunity to testify in Ottawa about the settlement last month of a civil lawsuit in which eight former Canadian Hockey League players were charged. of sexually assaulting a woman in June 2018.

In a statement issued in response to the parliamentary invitation to testify before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage next week, the organization also said that “no government funds were used in the recent settlement of the lawsuit.”

“Hockey Canada is pleased to have the opportunity to appear before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage,” the statement read. “We take the allegations against members of the 2017-18 National Junior Team very seriously, as well as the safety and well-being of anyone involved in our programs. We respect the wishes of the young woman who disclosed this incident to maintain her privacy and we encourage others to respect her wishes as well. We look forward to discussing with the committee Hockey Canada’s ongoing commitment to the safety and integrity of youth sport and to ensuring that our code of conduct and the expectations we have of our staff, athletes and our volunteers in our programs reflect the mission of our organization and the values ​​of the country. In the meantime, we can say with certainty that no government funds were used in the recent settlement of the lawsuit.

On Monday, the federal committee voted in favor of inviting four members of Hockey Canada and the Hockey Canada Foundation to appear in Parliament for questioning.

Four officials will appear in Ottawa on Monday, June 20 for questions: outgoing CEO Tom Renney, who announced April 20 that he would step down effective July 1; President and COO Scott Smith, who is expected to replace Renney as CEO this summer; former vice president Glen McCurdie, who served as senior vice president of insurance and risk management from July 2018 to December 2021; and David Andrews, chair of the board of the Hockey Canada Foundation.

The session will be made public.

In April, a woman filed a lawsuit in Ontario Superior Court in London, Ont., alleging she was sexually assaulted in June 2018 by eight Canadian Hockey League players, including some team members. Canada of the 2017-2018 World Junior Championships. The alleged incident happened in a hotel room in London after a Hockey Canada Foundation event. The woman, who wishes not to reveal her identity, did not name the players involved – they are referred to as John Does 1-8 in the official statement.

The allegations have not been heard in court. Terms of the settlement involving Hockey Canada, the CHL and the eight players were not disclosed.

Earlier this month, Canada’s sport minister Pascale St-Onge said she was ordering a forensic audit to determine if public funds were used in Hockey Canada’s settlement of a lawsuit filed by a person alleging sexual assault by some of the organization’s players.

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