BRAMPTON, Ontario (AP) – The Canadian government has restored funding to Hockey Canada.
Hockey Canada made the announcement Sunday, adding that Canadian Sport Minister Pascale St-Onge made it official ahead of the Canada-United States gold medal game at the Women’s World Cup of Hockey.
The federal government has cut funding to Hockey Canada and a number of sponsors have pulled funding since May when it was revealed that a woman was allegedly sexually assaulted by eight players – including members of the 2018 world junior team – following the induction ceremony in London, Ontario, in February 2018 .
Hockey Canada and the woman peacefully settled the lawsuit for $3.55 million out of court.
The organization then announced that members of the 2003 world junior men’s squad – the last time Halifax hosted – were also being investigated for gang sexual assault.
It was also revealed that Hockey Canada’s little-known national capital fund – maintained by fees collected from players across the country – was used to pay uninsured liabilities, including sexual assault claims.
Hockey Canada executives revealed in July that they have paid out $8.9 million in sexual-abuse settlements since 1989, excluding the 2018 contract.
In order to get the funding back, Hockey Canada had to meet three conditions outlined by St-Onge:
– Become a full signatory of Sport without Abuse and the Office of the Commissioner for Sports Integrity (OSIC);
– Review and implement recommendations from an independent governance review led by retired Justice Thomas Cromwell;
– And commit to more frequent reporting to the federal government.
“Today is an important milestone for Hockey Canada on our journey to earn and maintain the trust of Canadians,” Hockey Canada president Hugh L. Fraser said in a statement. “While I would like to thank Minister St-Onge and the government for their vote of confidence and their continued efforts to prioritize safe sport in Canada, I also want to emphasize that we still have work to do to change the culture of our sport. .
“This is a significant moment for the future of Hockey Canada and hockey in Canada, as it will allow us to continue our commitment to support all levels of the sport”
Hockey Canada elected a new nine-member board in December after the previous board resigned and CEO Scott Smith was ousted amid controversy.
Cromwell recommended that the new board serve only a one-year term focused on improving the organization’s governance and safety across the sport.
Hockey Canada has yet to hire a new CEO.