Hockey Canada audit report expected in December, sport minister says – National

The final report on a government-ordered forensic audit of Hockey Canada’s finances and governance is due in December, Sport Minister Pascale St-Onge’s office has confirmed to Global News.

A spokesman said in a statement on Friday that the review would conclude this week, with preliminary findings expected to be presented in September, followed by a draft report later this autumn.

The results of the final report will be made public, the statement said.

St-Onge ordered the review on June 2 after TSN reported in late May that Hockey Canada had quietly settled a lawsuit involving a woman who claimed she was in a hotel room with eight players, including members of the world junior team after being sexually assaulted at the Hockey Canada Gala in London, Ontario in June 2018.

The review was ordered to ensure that no public money was used in the settlement.

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Nearly 60% of Canadians question Hockey Canada’s plan to tackle sexual abuse: poll

The revelation quickly became a national scandal over how Hockey Canada is handling allegations of sexual assault against its players. There is now a renewed police investigation into the 2018 London incident, as well as a separate allegation against members of the 2003 world junior team, stemming from an event in Halifax.

Hockey Canada executives, meanwhile, faced several barbecues from a parliamentary committee over the settlement and their decision not to require players from the 2018 team to work with investigators. Also revealed was the existence of a National Equity Fund that relies on small hockey membership dues to pay uninsured liabilities, including settlements with sex abuse plaintiffs.

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That fund, which Hockey Canada says will no longer be used for sexual assault claims, has paid out nine settlements totaling $7.6 million since 1989, executives told the Canadian Heritage Committee last month.

Meanwhile, federal funding has been frozen and a number of high-profile sponsors have drawn support from Hockey Canada, including Tim Hortons, Scotiabank and Canadian Tire.

Beyond the forensic review, former Supreme Court Justice Thomas Cromwell is leading a governance review of the organization due in November.

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Former Supreme Court Justice presiding over the review of Hockey Canada

Former Supreme Court Justice Leads Review of Hockey Canada – August 4, 2022

Scott Smith, President and CEO of Hockey Canada, said in a parliamentary hearing last month that he believes he is the right person to lead the organization further, but if the governance review reveals otherwise, he is “ready to accept this”.

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The NHL and the International Ice Hockey Federation are also among a growing number of official bodies investigating Hockey Canada’s handling of sexual assault allegations. A number of players from the 2018 world junior team are now playing in the NHL, many of whom have publicly stated they were involved in the alleged attack.

The scandal cast a shadow over last week’s World Junior Championships in Edmonton, where ticket sales were sluggish, although Team Canada won the tournament and picked up gold.

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Despite the numerous investigations and vows to improve the culture within Hockey Canada, a recent survey by the Angus Reid Institute found that nearly 60 percent of Canadians don’t trust anything will change.

– With files from Amanda Connolly and the Canadian Press

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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