Shocking testimony in the Hockey Canada case and the noose is really starting to tighten

Jeff Drouin
October 7, 2022  (4:08 PM)

Hockey Canada's current Interim Chair of the Board of Directors, Andrea Skinner, and former President Michael Brind'Amour were questioned for two hours on Tuesday by members of the federal heritage committee about the organization's handling of multiple allegations over the past few decades.

It will be recalled that Hockey Canada came under scrutiny after TSN reported that a woman filed a $3.55 million lawsuit alleging she was victimized by several members of the 2018 Canadian junior team.
That lawsuit was settled through a Hockey Canada fund, called the National Fairness Fund, built up through player registration fees, the Globe and Mail reported this summer. The settlement also ended an investigation by the organization into the incident before it was completed.
Over the summer, media outlets reported that Hockey Canada had paid out nearly $9 million to 21 people linked to misconduct complaints over the past 33 years.
On Monday, the Globe and Mail reported that Hockey Canada had created a second, previously undisclosed multi-million dollar fund to be used to settle cases.
On Tuesday, Skinner began his testimony before MPs by acknowledging that a "toxic culture" and a "culture of silence" undoubtedly exists at Hockey Canada, but that it also exists in many other areas of society such as education, business, politics and religion.
She argued that it is counterproductive to say that this is a problem specific to hockey or to scapegoat hockey as the centerpiece of a toxic culture.
She also said the board disagreed that changes to senior management were needed. It is in the best interest of the organization and its participants that the leadership remains stable, she said, noting that the Federation was a victim of the media.
"Skinner said Hockey Canada has an excellent reputation and the board does not feel it is appropriate to replace senior management based on what she described as substantial misinformation and unduly cynical attacks."

Skinner's testimony obviously shocked members around the committee table, who said they had lost confidence in Hockey Canada, that the organization was acting "like Trump" with its attacks on the media and "encouraging" a culture of silence with regarding victims.
The MPs were not the only ones shocked, that same night Hockey Quebec voted a resolution to suspend its usual $3 per registration transfer to Hockey Canada.
Worse yet, in addition to seeing its members lose confidence, Hockey Canada is now seeing its main sponsors jump ship. After Tim Hortons and Scotiabank, who have stopped their sponsorship of the men's hockey program for this season, TELUS, Esso, Chevrolet, Sobeys, Skip the Dishes and Canadian Tire, followed suit on Thursday.
The screws are tightening on Hockey Canada, and it's only gotten worse since Skinner's recent shocking testimony. It's about time management realized that...
Shocking testimony in the Hockey Canada case and the noose is really starting to tighten

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