Canadian Sports Minister asks hockey leaders to “intensify their efforts”

Canada’s new sports minister is not ready to congratulate Hockey Canada for its efforts to change the culture of sport.

“No one will hear me congratulate anyone on what has been done so far because we are not there yet,” Carla Qualtrough told the Canadian Press. “Children are always at risk and we can do better. »

The Delta MP, who was reappointed to the sports portfolio in July after serving there from 2015 to 2017, was on the list of speakers Friday at Hockey Canada’s “Beyond the Boards Summit” in Calgary.

The two-day summit, which Hockey Canada intends to be part of a series, will address toxic masculinity and the culture of elite men’s hockey.

Hockey Canada became a lightning rod in what Qualtrough’s predecessor, Pascale St-Onge, called Canada’s safe sport crisis last year when it emerged that the organization had settled a lawsuit with a woman alleging that She had been gang raped by members of the 2018 World Junior Men’s hockey team during a gala.

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The allegations have not been proven in court. The furor was further fueled by revelations that a portion of minor hockey registration fees had been used to settle such lawsuits.

Hockey Canada leaders were called to the table in Ottawa. Federal funding for the organization was withheld until it was determined that no public funds had been used to settle lawsuits.

The president and CEO left the organization and the entire board of directors was replaced.

New board chair Hugh Fraser, new president and CEO Katherine Henderson, abuse survivor Sheldon Kennedy, academic researcher Teresa Fowler, Vancouver Canucks a*sistant general manager Emilie Castonguay, hockey expert Melody Davidson, agent Bayne Pettinger and White Men as full diversity partners co-founder Bill Proudman join Qualtrough on the summit’s speaker list.

All provincial and territorial members of Hockey Canada, the Canadian Junior Hockey League, the Canadian Hockey League, the American Hockey League, the NHL, the International Ice Hockey Federation and the new Professional Women’s Hockey League have indicated that representatives would attend the summit, Hockey Canada said. Pat McLaughlin, Chief Operating Officer.

“They’re the cream of hockey, so step up and get the job done, that’s the message from the top,” Qualtrough said.

“You have to show bold leadership, restore trust in the system, and everyone is looking at us and we have to get this right. Everyone deserves a safe, welcoming and inclusive sports experience, period.

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She also wishes to underline the urgency that actions must accompany words.

“If people don’t have confidence in making a complaint, that the complaint will be investigated promptly and that people will be safe in that process, it will undermine all the good work” , she said.

“The room needs to know that as soon as you can take steps forward, it can be compromised if you don’t do the really important, but the smallest, things right. »

A standing heritage committee unanimously pa*sed a motion in March demanding Hockey Canada provide the final report from an independent law firm hired to investigate allegations involving the 2018 junior team.

An amendment to the motion required the report to first be seen by the committee’s law clerk, who would redact names for confidentiality purposes.

Qualtrough does not know the status of that report, but said she plans to discuss it with the Hockey Canada board of directors at the summit.

&copy 2023 The Canadian Press

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