Hockey Quebec withholds funds from Hockey Canada, Tim Hortons pulls sponsorship
Hockey Quebec says it has lost confidence in Hockey Canada and will not transfer funds to the national organization, while a well-known Canadian brand extended its sponsorship boycott.
Hockey Quebec confirmed to The Canadian Press that its board of directors adopted a motion Tuesday night stating it does not believe Hockey Canada's current structure can change hockey culture. The resolution was first reported by La Presse.
The provincial hockey body also decided to keep the portion of registration fees normally handed over to the national organization, which amounts to $3 per sign-up.
Also, Tim Hortons announced Wednesday it won't sponsor any Hockey Canada men's programming this season, including the world junior men's championship in Halifax and Moncton.
The company, which first suspended its sponsorship in June, says it will continue to fund national women's and para hockey programs, as well as youth hockey.
The Ontario Hockey Federation, the largest of Canada's 13 provincial and territorial hockey associations, has asked Hockey Canada a second time to not collect the $3 participant assessment fee from its members for the 2022-23 season.
OHF executive director Phillip McKee told CP his federation made the same request in July to Hockey Canada's former board chair Michael Brind'Amour.
"It is our understanding now that this request was never directed to the board before his departure," the OHF said in a statement.
Brind'Amour resigned from his position Aug. 6. Andrea Skinner took over as interim board chair.
The Canadian Press reached out to provincial hockey associations in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba for reaction to Hockey Quebec's resolution. Only Hockey Saskatchewan responded with a "no comment" reply.
Hockey Canada continues to vigorously defend its leadership amid criticism over the handling of alleged sexual assaults and the way money was paid out in lawsuits.
Two recent allegations involve players from the 2018 and 2003 Canadian junior men's teams. Those allegations have not been tested in court.
Revelations also included Hockey Canada's admission that it drew on minor hockey registration fees to pay for uninsured liabilities, including sexual abuse claims.
Brind'Amour and Skinner were grilled Tuesday by members of Parliament on why wholesale changes haven't been made to Hockey Canada's leadership. Both continued to back chief executive officer and president Scott Smith.
Hockey Quebec's move was applauded by Sport Minister Pascale St-Onge, who has called for a leadership change at Hockey Canada.
"It also sends the message to the leaders at the organization that are holding on to their jobs that Hockey Canada doesn't belong to them," St-Onge told reporters in Ottawa. "It also belongs to their members, and they want change. They want a change of culture and they want to fight against sexual violence.
"Since the leaders of Hockey Canada are holding on to their jobs, the voting members need to clean the house."
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it "boggles the mind that Hockey Canada is continuing to dig in its heels" as more Canadians lose faith in it.
"It's no surprise that provincial organizations are questioning whether or not they want to continue supporting an organization that doesn't understand how serious a situation it has contributed to causing," Trudeau said Wednesday.
Hockey Canada has been under fire since May when it was revealed it settled a lawsuit with a woman who alleged she was sexually assaulted by eight players from the 2018 junior men's hockey team at a June gala event in London, Ont., that year.
The allegation is the subject of three investigations being conducted by London police, the National Hockey League and Hockey Canada.
Ontario Conservative MP John Nater said Smith and Hockey Canada's upper management need to go in order to see meaningful change in the organization.
"Right now, we need to put pressure on the organization," Nater said Wednesday before entering his party's weekly caucus meeting.
"Put pressure on the 13 voting members to ensure that there's a board in place that's going to make those meaningful changes at the top."
Conservative MP Kevin Waugh added Hockey Canada has the money to weather the current scandal for years to come.
"It will be up to the sponsors, I believe now," Waugh said.
Sports marketing expert Tom Mayenknecht said Hockey Canada's defensive posture makes it harder for the national body to retain public and corporate trust.
"This is such a series of bad decisions and bad handling, in my view, that I'm not sure if Hockey Canada hasn't already crossed that line, again, given some of the public sentiment and even membership sentiment that I'm hearing at the grassroots level," Mayenknecht told The Canadian Press.
"I'm not so sure that they can fully regain the trust without doing a lot more than they already have."
It was revealed in July that Hockey Canada paid out $7.6 million in nine settlements related to sexual assault and sexual abuse claims since 1989.
The figure didn't include this year's payout of an undisclosed sum to the London plaintiff, who had sued for more than $3.5 million.
Since Hockey Canada's settlement became public in the spring, Halifax police were asked to investigate an alleged sexual assault by members of the 2003 junior men's team.
The federal government froze Hockey Canada's federal funding and several companies paused their sponsorship in June.
Brind'Amour stated Tuesday that Smith has "the necessary qualities to do something positive for the organization." Skinner, meanwhile, said culture change can happen while maintaining leadership stability.
Western University school of kinesiology director Laura Misener says Hockey Canada's reluctance to alter its organizational structure shows a lack of understanding for what's needed while attempting to shield the sport.
"I think there's two things going on there: one, there is a level of protectionism. Wanting to protect the sport that they believe in, that they really strongly, truly value, that there is something important about protecting that sport," Misener said. "I think that that's happening on one hand and why they want to stay in their positions.
"Two, I think there's a real misunderstanding of what culture shifting (and) culture change requires."
With files from Frederic Daigle in Montreal and Abdulhamid Ibrahim in Toronto.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 5, 2022.
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
A 23-year-old Ontario woman has been charged under the provincial welfare services act after a graphic video of a horse being dragged surfaced online. One video shows the horse being pulled with ropes as its back hooves drag along a road.
You may have heard the oft-repeated advice to drink eight glasses of water a day, but according to a new study, the amount of water we need daily ranges wildly based on numerous factors.
'It has mentally and emotionally destroyed me': Former Vancouver Canucks coaching staffer files human rights complaint
Two months after being fired, a former member of the Vancouver Canucks coaching staff has filed a complaint with the BC Human Rights Tribunal against the hockey team over alleged discrimination.
The Royal Canadian Air Force says two senior officers have been charged for allegedly failing to stop a group of fighter pilots from assigning an inappropriate nickname to another member in June.
An Abbotsford police officer was caught on camera punching a man twice in the face during the course of an arrest this weekend, prompting a review by the department and a provincial watchdog.
If you are expecting a baby and are still trying to choose a name, these new top 100 lists might help you to find one.
A growing number of Republicans, including former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, criticized Donald Trump on Monday for dining with a Holocaust-denying white nationalist and the rapper formerly known as Kanye West days after launching his third campaign for the White House.
While the Alberta government and federal Conservative party claim the province's recovery-oriented care model is the reason that fatal drug poisonings have decreased by almost 50 per cent over a year, the statistic doesn’t show the full picture, cumulative data analysis shows.
The company that helped the Toronto police crack a decades-old cold case is revealing more details about how they identified a suspect in the grisly murders of two Toronto women in 1983.
Nearly 40 years after Joseph George Sutherland allegedly killed two women in Toronto, the now 61-year-old has been arrested.
'This shouldn’t have happened again': Renewed calls for immediate plan after another N.B. ER waiting room death
New Brunswick’s opposition parties say the provincial government isn’t being open about any immediate plans of reducing ER wait times.
The City of Moncton will be opening an emergency cold shelter for the city's homeless population next month.
A Nova Scotia family’s baby delivery story is sure to be shared for many years to come after their baby was born along the side of the road on the way to the hospital.
A cold front will move into the London, Ont. area Wednesday, with rain and strong winds expected. Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement warning of winds gusting upward of 80 km/h Wednesday in London.
A 'possible shooting' at an east London, Ont. motel on Friday has resulted in charges, with police arresting one man and issuing a warrant of arrest for a second, London police said Monday.
London artist Eric Drummond said he is honoured Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has accepted a portrait of his late father, former prime minister Pierre Trudeau. The painting was presented to the prime minister by London North Centre MP Peter Fragiskatos last week.
A professional health standards review committee is calling for a review of sanctions for a Timmins chiropractor whose patient ended up in a diabetic coma.
“It’s a cool experience’: North Bay students speak about space with astronaut currently orbiting Earth
Grade 8 students at West Ferris Secondary School had an out-of-this-world experience Monday morning speaking with an astronaut who is currently orbiting Earth on board the International Space Station (ISS).
Premier Danielle Smith says she is glad to see many employers and businesses who are changing their protocols on vaccination but critics are suggesting these changes are being made because of "harassment and threats."
Premier Danielle Smith said last week that she is "far from perfect" and can "make mistakes" – but has declined to give further details about what specifically she was referring to.
Neighbours tell CTV News they’re shocked and saddened, and they never imagined a homicide would happen in their quiet farming community.
Waterloo Catholic school board trustees to discuss progress after police called to remove 4-year-old
An incident that sparked a flurry of controversy earlier this year is back in the spotlight.
Waterloo regional police have reopened access to a major Kitchener street Monday after a collision.
Alaster Osborne was honoured at his Squamish, B.C., woodshop Monday with an award for helping to save his business partner's life using CPR.
A landlord's attempt to evict a renter from a home in B.C.'s Lower Mainland over thousands of dollars in unpaid utilities has been rejected due to vague wording in their tenancy agreement.
City council hosted the first public hearing for community feedback on the next four-year budget Monday, with many asking for more transit security and investment in recreation.
Windsor police continue to investigate a shooting that claimed a 26-year-old man's life Monday evening.
School nutrition and youth homelessness are two issues that will be tackled through a $720,000 grant awarded to St. Clair College by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
The president and CEO of Marda Management says her company is assessing the requirements of an aging apartment close to Windsor’s downtown.
Prime minister Justin Trudeau announced more than $40 million in funding for James Smith Cree Nation during a visit to the community on Monday.
'To be able to walk out that door and not worry': Krav Maga Regina instills confidence, student says
For 22 years, Richard Kim has owned and operated Krav Maga Regina. According to students, taking an introductory four-week course to Krav Maga has shown them what they have inside themselves when it comes to defending against an attack.
Two people were charged following a shooting in northeast Regina over the weekend.
The Ottawa Police Services Board abruptly ended its meeting Monday as public delegates held a protest demanding action on restoring hybrid meetings and freezing the police budget.
Ottawa city manager Steve Kanellakos has announced he is leaving his role, effective immediately.
The new Ottawa city council is dealing with an old problem as it meets for the first time since being sworn in.
The Saskatoon Police Service presented its 2023 budget to city council on Monday with a request of an additional $760,000.
'We’ve already had one too many people freeze to death in the city': Unhoused group wants extra funding from council
A recently-formed Saskatoon group is hoping their presentation to city council creates change for those who face a lack of housing in the city.