Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Hockey Canada officials confront lawmakers about sexual harassment payments. CBC News

Hockey Canada’s board chairman and his predecessor have been summoned to appear before the Commons Canadian Heritage Committee on Tuesday to face questions about multimillion-dollar payments to victims of sexual abuse.

The embattled governing body has faced criticism for its covert use of player registration fees and other investments to compensate sexual harassment complainants.

This summer, several news outlets, including CBC News, broke stories about the existence of these funds, with Hockey Canada revealing that it has paid $8.9 million in settlements to 21 complainants with sexual misconduct claims since 1989. .

Some of that money was funneled through the body’s National Equity Fund, with much of it going to settlements related to former junior hockey coach Graham James, convicted of sexually assaulting young hockey players.

Andrea Skinner, the current chairman of the board, will be facing questions about the fund – amid new reporting from the Globe and Mail that there was a second, previously unknown fund called the Participating Legacy Trust Fund.

Third round testimony for Hockey Canada execution

Skinner replaced Michael Brind’amore as chairman of the board earlier this year amid questions about the handling of sexual harassment in the sport. Brind’Amour will also appear before lawmakers on Tuesday.

This will be the third time that Hockey Canada officials have testified before the committee, since reports of alleged sexual assault of players on Canada’s junior team surfaced in 2018, following the Hockey Canada gala in London, Ont., and between the organization a quiet agreement. complainant.

A second charge against members of the 2003 junior team has since surfaced.

Hockey Canada CEO Scott Smith has previously defended the governing body’s actions, saying that the shady money was not designed to protect the governing body’s image but to compensate victims.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government have called for major changes in the governing body. Sports Minister Pascal Saint-Onge has said the sport suffers from a “systemic problem” of sexual violence.

Speaking to reporters ahead of Question Hour on Monday, Saint-Onge said Hockey Canada’s management needed to “change”.

“What I’m expecting… is the resignation of executive management at this point,” she said.

She said the use of these funds for payments reflects a “total lack of transparency”.

“This suggests that sexual violence in Hockey Canada has been treated as an insurance problem rather than a systemic problem that needs to be addressed at the root of the problem,” she said.

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