Earlier this week, Hockey Canada President Scott Smith and outgoing CEO Tom Renney testified before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage regarding allegations from a woman who said she was sexually assaulted by eight Canadian Hockey League players in 2018. As we recall, this testimony was embarrassing to say the least for Hockey Canada officials...
As a result of the meeting, the Canadian government announced a freeze on millions of dollars in federal funding to Hockey Canada until the organization partners with a new federal agency with the power to receive and investigate complaints of abuse and impose sanctions.
"This is about changing a deeply ingrained culture, it's not about simple band-aid solutions. I'm going to use every tool at my disposal to make sure that people are held accountable for what happens in the hockey world." - Pascale St-Onge, Federal Minister of Sport
Over the past two years, Hockey Canada has received nearly $14 million in grants from the federal government. The federation has even received nearly $3.4 million from the Canadian government to help it recover from the effects of VDOC-19. This money cannot be used until the federation meets the requirements of the political authorities.
As mentioned above, the testimony of Hockey Canada representatives caused consternation last Monday. Current CEO Scott Smith refused to even discuss two other sexual assault complaints that are currently under investigation by Hockey Canada, stating that the Federation receives two to three such complaints per year. A revelation that shocked many, including Minister St-Onge.
"This is the most disturbing revelation we have heard. To me, this cannot be the status quo for Hockey Canada, one of the most powerful sports organizations in Canada. This culture can no longer be protected." - Pascale St-Onge