hockey CanadaThe National Sports Council announced drastic changes to the leadership of the organization on Tuesday, with CEO Scott Smith leaving immediately and the board of directors also resigning.
Hockey Canada said in a statement that an interim management committee will be formed until the new board appoints a replacement CEO.
Moves are made in recognition of “The urgent need for leadership and new perspectives,” Hockey Canada’s statement read. “Pursuant to Hockey Canada’s Bylaws, the Board of Directors will require its members to select a new slate of directors no later than the next hypothetical election scheduled for December 17, 2022.”
The change comes in the midst of several scandals, including an ongoing investigation into Hockey Canada’s failure to take action after the alleged sexual assault of a woman in London, Ontario, by members of the Hockey League. Canadian World junior team 2018.
Canada’s TSN reported in May that the governing body had settled a lawsuit brought by the woman against Hockey Canada, the players and the Canadian Hockey League. Toronto’s Globe and Mail later reported that the organization used money from the organization’s National Equity Fund, which is held in part through player registration fees, to settle abuse claims.
In June, the Canadian government announced that it would freeze public federal funding for Hockey Canada until the organization submits the full results of the original investigation and plans to implement the change within Hockey Canada. Sports Minister Pascal Saint-Hung said: “This is about changing a deeply entrenched culture, and not about simple first aid solutions.”
The following month, the board admitted that the handling of the situation was not “ideal” and that it had not done enough in the wake of the alleged sexual assault in 2018.
“We know you are angry and disappointed in Hockey Canada – and rightly so,” the organization wrote in an open letter this summer. “We know we haven’t done enough to deal with the actions of some members of the 2018 National Junior Team, or to end the culture of toxic behavior within our game. For that we apologize unreservedly.”
A week later, Hockey Canada said it would conduct a full governance review overseen by an independent third party. The organization also announced that it would not use the National Equity Fund to settle sexual assault claims.
The current Board of Hockey Canada will continue to perform its fiduciary duties until a new board of directors is elected, a statement said Tuesday.
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