Hockey Canada’s board chairman has resigned

The latest development in the Hockey Canada controversy saw Michael Brind’Amour resign as chairman of its board, effective immediately, on Friday night.

“My last term ends in November 2022 and I know there is no need to wait for a new era. Immediate action is necessary to address the important challenges facing our organization and our sport,” Brind’Amour said via a Hockey Canada release. to release.

Hockey Canada’s board and members will meet in the coming days to determine the next course of action and appoint an interim chairman.

In June, the federal government froze the organization’s access to public funds over its response to the alleged sexual assault and subsequent out-of-court settlement.

A woman filed a $3.5 million lawsuit in April alleging she was sexually harassed by eight hockey players in 2018, including members of Canada’s world junior team. Hockey Canada settled with the young woman the following month.

The complainant claims that she has always cooperated fully with the police investigation into her case, despite Hockey Canada initially claiming that she did not.

WE ARE PREPARING LIVE | The Sports Minister will discuss the recent meeting with the Provincial Sports Ministers:

Sports Minister Pascale St-Onge discusses a recent meeting with provincial sports ministers

Sports Minister Pascale St-Onge is meeting with her provincial colleagues as Hockey Canada faces criticism for its handling of sexual assault allegations against professional hockey players.

Recently, retail giant Canadian Tire and telecommunications company Telus, among others, suspended sponsorships of Hockey Canada.

And last month, Hockey Canada executives testified before a House of Commons committee on Wednesday that they paid $8.9 million in sexual abuse settlements to 21 complainants since 1989 from a “National Equity Fund” they say is generated from membership fees and investments.

FOLLOW | Hockey Canada has paid 21 settlements for sexual misconduct since 1989

Hockey Canada has paid 21 settlements for sexual misconduct since 1989

Hockey Canada officials revealed the organization has paid out almost $9 million in settlements since 1989 to 21 people for alleged sexual misconduct.

“I have listened closely and carefully to the comments of Canadians about the culture of our sport and our organization, about our conduct and leadership,” Brind’Amour said in a statement. “I understand that the steps we have taken in recent weeks are part of the solution.”

The announcement follows Hockey Canada’s appointment of former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Thomas Cromwell to review the management of the country’s hockey governing body.

The review is expected to make preliminary recommendations before Hockey Canada’s annual general meeting in November.

“I am confident that the Honorable Thomas Cromwell, CC, has agreed to lead a review of the administration of our organization which will help us to make the necessary changes. I am confident that the recommendations will lead the organization into a future of desired change.”

On Friday, Canada’s 13 regional hockey federations announced they would threaten to withhold payments from Hockey Canada over the alleged mishandling of sexual assault allegations in 2018.

The organizations, led by Hockey Quebec, sent a letter Thursday asking for a detailed action plan and an “extraordinary” meeting by the end of November to address their concerns.

The lawsuit, which was not proven in court, said the hockey players brought golf clubs into the hotel room to further intimidate her, ordered the woman to shower after being sexually assaulted and told her to say she was sober while they were filming a video. consent video.

WATCH: Hockey Canada suspends players who don’t cooperate with investigation:

Lawyer Danielle Robitaille says Hockey Canada will ban players who do not participate in the investigation

Robitaille appeared before a House of Commons standing committee investigating allegations of sexual abuse in the sport. Robitaille said legal counsel for eight of the nine players she did not speak with told her they were concerned about being pre-judged by Hockey Canada.

As first reported by the Globe and Mail earlier this week, the plaintiff’s attorney, Robert Talach, released a statement saying his client made it clear to police in June 2018 that she wanted to pursue criminal charges.

Talach provided a series of new details about the case, including that his client spoke with a detective within days of the alleged sexual assault and was given a physical exam at the hospital.

His client also later gave her clothes to police for examination and met with officers on two other occasions over the summer, Talach said. After seven months, she was told the investigation was closed and no charges would be laid.

After the public outcry erupted, London’s police chief recently announced that he would conduct an internal review to “determine what, if any, further avenues of investigation there are.”

Talach said his law firm set up a polygraph test for the woman and she passed. The results have since been provided to police and investigators from Hockey Canada and the NHL, which launched its own investigation in May.

Talach confirmed that his client will not be interviewed by Hockey Canada or NHL investigators because she has already provided an eight-page statement, five pages of photos and 4.5 pages of text messages.

Ferdinand Medina

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