Hockey Canada Investigation: Answering Your Questions

When Hockey Canada officials testified for two and a half hours before the Heritage Committee on Monday, they were confronted with a series of questions from four members of parliament.

But the more questions they answered, the more they were raised. Here we are trying to dig deeper to help clarify some of the biggest and most important topics covered in the hearing.

Editor’s note: The following story deals with sexual violence and may be disturbing to some readers.

If you or someone you know needs support, those in Canada can find country-specific centers, crisis lines and services. TIMES. For readers in America, a list of resources and references for survivors and their loved ones can be found TIMES.

Why did Hockey Canada appear before a parliamentary committee for a settled civil case?

Hockey Canada relies on federal funding of six percent of its annual budget, or about $ 7.8 million. Although lawmakers were equally appalled by allegations of sexual assault on a woman by eight KHL players, at least some of whom were on the 2018 World Youth Team, the committee’s initial intention was to find out if taxpayers’ money was used to pay for the settlement. caused by a civil lawsuit from the woman.

In the lawsuit, from which Sportsnet obtained a copy, the woman sought $ 3.55 million in damages. The final amount of the settlement is unknown.

Was this a criminal case?

The hearing was not a criminal proceeding and it was not possible to bring charges against him. However, the information disclosed at the hearing can be used by the authorities to launch a new investigation and the actions requested by the commission – such as requesting documents and calling witnesses – must ultimately be respected.

Who testified on Monday?

Testing under oath were Hockey Canada CEO Tom Renee, who officially resigned on July 1; President of Hockey Canada and Chief Operating Officer; Hockey Canada’s Chief Operating Officer Scott Smith; and Hockey Canada Foundation Chairman Dave Andrews.

Former director of hockey risk management in Canada Glenn McCurdy was called to attend, but was acquitted by the commission for compassionate reasons, as his father recently died. Andrew Winton, a hockey lawyer in Canada, was also present but did not testify.

What are the main facts of the civil case?

On April 20, a woman filed a civil lawsuit against Hockey Canada, the Canadian Hockey League and eight CHL players in the Ontario Supreme Court in London, Ontario. In the lawsuit, the woman says she was sexually assaulted by eight CHL players – including some members of the 2017-18 Junior Canadian World Cup team – at a hotel room in London after a golf and gala event at the Hockey Canada Foundation on June 18, 2018. The woman chose not to reveal her identity or the identities of the eight players, and they are listed in the case as John Does 1-8.

The case was decided in May, and the case has not been heard in court. The terms of the agreement have not been announced.

Does Hockey Canada know who the eight John are?

Hockey Canada said Monday it did not know the identities of the eight John Does, citing an “incomplete” investigation by a third-party law firm in Toronto. Henein Hutchison LLP. Smith said that neither the law firm nor the London police could identify John Dawes because the woman did not identify them.

Smith would not answer MP Sebastian Lemire’s question about what Hockey Canada would do if a player identified himself as one of John’s. Smith said Hockey Canada did not order or have ordered all players on the team to participate in the investigation.

Will the law firm’s report be published?

In an exchange between Smith and commission deputy chairman John Natter, Smith said Hockey Canada would not want to present the report because it was incomplete. Nather replied that the commission could force Hockey Canada to submit the report.

What is the chronology of events surrounding the Hockey Canada investigation?

Renee said Hockey Canada was notified by the stepfather on the morning of June 19, 2018, shortly after the incident. Hockey Canada discussed the report internally – Smith said he and Renee were on a plane flying back to Calgary for part of the day – and his staff told the London Police Department around 6pm ET.

Hockey Canada contacted the law firm in the early stages of the investigation. Sports Canada was informed of the incident on June 26, 2018. Renee said speculation that the incident was “covered” was “inaccurate.” Smith later added that he “strongly” opposes the assumption that the incident was covered up. In February 2019, Hockey Canada was informed that there would be no further investigation by the London police. Hockey Canada continued its investigation and stopped it in September 2020, as it could not identify the eight John Does and did not receive a statement from the woman.

Renee said at the beginning of the hearing that four to six players were involved in the investigation, but Smith later said he thought the number was more than 12-13.

“The independent investigation we ordered could not be completed in the end because the young woman chose not to talk to the investigator,” Renee said in her opening statement. “It was her right and we respected her wishes, just as we continue to respect her clear and repeated wishes not to identify herself or the players involved.

“While we understand the public’s frustration that the players involved have never been identified or disciplined, the young woman is free to do so, and we encourage everyone to pay due attention and respect to her basic desire for privacy above all else.”

So who is investigating the incident?

NHL Commissioner Gary Batman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said before match 1 of the Stanley Cup final last week that the league, in cooperation with the NHLPA, was investigating the incident.

If Hockey Canada failed to complete its investigation, why did it settle the case?

“We settled the lawsuit quickly because we felt a moral obligation to respond to the alleged behavior that occurred at one of our events by players who attended our invitation,” Renny said in his opening statement. “We thought that the correct answer to the woman’s legal request was the one that did not require her to take part in lengthy court proceedings. The agreement allows her to seek any support she may need as she tries to overcome the incident. “

Was taxpayers’ money used to pay for the settlement?

Smith said Hockey Canada was “liquidating some of its investments” to pay for the settlement. He added that Hockey Canada was looking forward to the audit requested by Sports Minister Pascal Saint-Onge and that no state funding had been used.

Are there other, unrelated investigations into such incidents?

“In recent years, I believe we have reported three incidents of assault as required, and I know this is one of them,” Smith said. “I cannot comment on the level of investigation of the other two. I do not have this information in front of me.

“My understanding is that we have had one to two cases on an annual basis in the last five to six years. I’m sorry, I can’t give you more details. I’ll tell you that one for the last five to six years, not one to two every year, one there have been too many in the last five to six years. And that’s why we’re moving to change the culture in this game. “

What is Hockey Canada doing to prevent this from happening again?

Both Renee and Smith said Hockey Canada strengthened its code of conduct for players in the fall of 2018 by adding training on sexual violence, harassment and bullying. Renee said events such as the gala fall into a “blurred” zone because they are not ice activities that are more closely monitored by Hockey Canada, but expects this to be tightened so that off-ice events are also covered by the Hockey Code. behavior, leadership. Smith added that Hockey Canada also recently hired a director of safe sports who will set up a department to better train players, coaches, etc.

What punishment can Hockey Canada impose if it finds out the identity of John Does?

This is a good question. Hockey Canada has players on its national teams for only a short time, so the real punishment in cases like these is unclear. Hockey Canada may remove players from a future international game, such as a game for Canada at the Olympics or World Cups. The real punishment may be the result of an NHL investigation.

“On the advice of our third-party investigator, we were unable to impose sanctions,” Smith said. “They advised us that there would be no proper procedure for them. This is not something we take lightly. I have said several times that if additional information comes out, we will re-engage with the investigation process and deal with the investigation and any potential discipline exactly as we intend to do in the summer of 2018. We take responsibility. We are responsible for that. ”

What will happen next?

The committee is scheduled to meet again on Wednesday, 15: 30-5: 30 ET, ahead of Parliament’s expected summer break on Thursday. The parliamentary document states that the meeting will be closed, which means that it is closed to the public. One member of the committee speculated that the next steps would be determined at this meeting, but it is unlikely that more witnesses will be called. The MP added that most members of the commission will be present by videoconference, not physically. But in the end, the leadership of the commission will be determined by Chairman Hedy Fry.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.