Canadian government not closing book on Hockey Canada's stable lawsuit -

Canadian government not closing book on Hockey Canada’s stable lawsuit –

The Canadian government has put Hockey Canada under the microscope.

Sports Minister Pascal St Ong has ordered a financial audit of an out-of-court settlement of a woman who alleged she was sexually assaulted by young hockey players after a Canada hockey event in London, Ont.

A motion also passed Thursday in the Canadian House of Commons calling Hockey Canada to the Canadian Heritage Standing Committee “to highlight his involvement in an alleged sexual assault case committed in 2018”.

As first reported by TSN, the woman accused eight Canadian Hockey League players, including members of the 2018 junior national team that won the junior world gold medal that year, with sexual assault after a Canada Hockey Foundation party in London, Ontario, in June. 2018. .

She filed a $3.55 million lawsuit against Hockey Canada, CHL and the players whose names have not been released. The lawsuit was settled. The allegations against the players were never proven in court.

Robert Tallach, the plaintiff’s attorney, confirmed that his client had agreed to a settlement but offered no further comment.

The Canadian Hockey Board declined to comment Friday on the forensic audit and summons of the commission. A spokesperson for the Canadian Press noted an earlier statement in response to the settlement:

“Hockey Canada is deeply disturbed by the very serious allegations of sexual assault against members of the National Junior Hockey Team 2017-18. As soon as Hockey Canada became aware of this matter in 2018, we contacted the local police authorities to notify them. The same on the same day, we also appointed Henein Hutchison LLP, a company with extensive experience in this area, to conduct a thorough independent internal investigation and to make recommendations on areas for improvement that we have implemented and will continue to pursue.

“The person making the allegations chose not to speak with the police or with the independent Canada Hockey Investigator, and also chose not to identify the players involved. This was her right and we fully respect her wishes.

“We have settled this matter and as part of that settlement we will not comment further,” he added.

But neither the Canadian government nor the NHL appears willing to close the book on the matter.

In a discussion with reporters before Thursday’s question period in Ottawa, St-Onge said she wants a criminal scrutiny of the settlement to ensure Hockey Canada did not use taxpayer dollars to settle the case.

“What I want to know and what I think all Canadians want to know is, was there any public money that was used to cover up that horrific story of gang rape?” St-Onge asked.

“The other thing Canadians want to know is how such an important organization can ensure that their players are not responsible for these allegations and that most of them are now playing in the National Hockey League. I think Canadians deserve to know.”

Safe sports were at the forefront of Saint Ong’s first eight months in the sports portfolio due to a recent wave of complaints about abuse and mistreatment in high-performance sports.

The Minister announced that she would raise the organizations’ feet to the fire to clean up inappropriate and abusive behaviour.

Government aid accounts for six percent of Hockey Canada’s funding, according to the organization’s 2020-21 annual report that did not specify how much of the money.

Canadian field hockey received a total of $7.8 million in high-performance funding at Own The Podium for its men’s and women’s national teams in the four years between the 2018 and 2022 Winter Olympics.

Own The Podium makes funding recommendations that direct Sport Canada money to the associations based on medal potential.

Since the defendants are likely NHL players now, this league is running its own analysis.

“The National Hockey League has been notified of a lawsuit relating to sexual allegations being brought against eight unidentified members of the 2018 Canadian Junior World Hockey Team,” the National Hockey Association said in a statement.

“We were then provided with the statement of allegation, which contains allegations of reprehensible and reprehensible behaviour.

“We will endeavor to establish the essential facts, and to the extent this may include players now in the NHL, we will determine the appropriate action, if any.”

Author Laura Robinson, who wrote about violence and sexual assault in Canadian junior hockey in the 1998 book Crossing the Line, says the hierarchical nature of some men’s hockey teams can breed abuse by teammates, and can spill over to people outside the team.

She draws a direct line between hazing on her teammates and sexual abuse of women.

“It’s still happening,” Robinson said. “I looked at what was happening to the players mainly in terms of training and how they were sexually abused in training.

“It was part of the culture to be subjected to. It’s always sexual, it’s always sexual assault and always degrading. It’s always a performance. I think what a girl’s body is, it’s the stage where players perform for each other,” she continued.

“It’s terrible that young men whether it’s a boy who goes to the bathroom at the wrong time, or a rookie player who gets stuck in the locker room, or a girl stuck in the so-called party who knows they are the recipients of this highly toxic, very violent, always sexist masculinity.”

This report was first published by The Canadian Press on June 3, 2022.

2022-06-03 17:46:54

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