The provincial federation’s board of directors said in a statement it had “lost confidence” in the national governing body. The 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship is set to be held in Halifax and Moncton, but questions are still lingering how this controversy will affect the tournament.
Hockey Nova Scotia said it has “expressed concerns to the national governing body” in recent months and held an emergency meeting Thursday.
“Hockey families and non-hockey families alike agree: Change is needed at the highest levels of the game,” read the statement, in part.
“Until our values at Hockey Nova Scotia are reflected by Hockey Canada’s senior leadership, we simply cannot support hockey’s national governing body.”
Hockey Nova Scotia will be formally suspending the transfer of participant assessment fees to Hockey Canada for the 2022-23 season.
This comes after Ontario’s provincial federations for the sport made the same call, and after Hockey Quebec announced it is cutting ties with its federal counterpart.
The list of sponsors dropping Hockey Canada is growing. To date, it includes among others Telus, Tim Hortons, Canadian Tire and Sobeys, which recently said it is “disgusted” by the allegations.
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Thursday afternoon, Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston said in a statement he is “deeply disappointed” with the situation surrounding Hockey Canada.
“I said back in July that Hockey Canada has a lot of work to do. Canadians have the right to expect action, answers and accountability from the organization,” he wrote in part.
“The withdrawal of numerous sponsors is a signal to Hockey Canada that its response so far has been inadequate. We agree.”
Houston further said he wants to see “some meaningful changes” before the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship goes forward. Houston said earlier Thursday that the province is “under a legal agreement to host.”
Hockey Canada’s National Equity Fund — which was fuelled in part by children’s registration fees — had paid out $7.6 million in nine settlements related to sexual assault and sexual abuse claims since 1989, executives told MPs in July.
CFO Brian Cairo told MPs during a July committee meeting that $6.8 million of that total was related to Graham James, a former Canadian junior ice hockey coach who plead guilty to two counts of sexual assault in 1997. Uninsured settled claims made up another $1.3 million of the payouts, $1 million of which resulted from four incidents from a single perpetrator.
— With files from Rachel Gilmore and The Canadian Press.