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Quebec premier demands explanation from junior hockey league about 'disgusting' abuse

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Quebec Premier François Legault is calling on the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League to provide a public explanation regarding disturbing revelations in a recent Ontario court decision of sexual assault and torture suffered by young players.

The premier called the hazing abuse detailed by the judge "disgusting" and told reporters in Quebec City that the league cannot remain silent.

Earlier, the provincial minister responsible for sports said that her announcement of an independent complaints officer in 2020 to give victims a voice was "a step in the right direction."

Isabelle Charest said that all sports federations must have a policy of integrity in place that ensures the environment is "free of abuse, harassment and intimidation."

In a Feb. 3 decision on a class-action lawsuit, Ontario Superior Court Justice Paul Perell described the "horrific and despicable and unquestionably criminal acts" that former players in Canada's three major junior hockey leagues, including the QMJHL, suffered at the hands of teammates and staff.

The judge accepted the former players' evidence but denied their request to certify a class-action lawsuit against the three major junior hockey leagues and its teams.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 14, 2023.

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