Advertisement

Hockey Canada signs up with sport integrity commissioner amid abuse scandals

Click to play video: 'Sporting bodies have until May 2023 to sign up with sport integrity commissioner: minister'
Sporting bodies have until May 2023 to sign up with sport integrity commissioner: minister
WATCH: Sporting bodies have until May 2023 to sign up with sport integrity commissioner: minister – Oct 25, 2022

Hockey Canada has become the latest national sporting body to sign with the new sports integrity commissioner, whose responsibility is to probe alleged abuse and mistreatment in sport.

The move comes as the organization faces a series of scandals stemming from allegations of sexual assault and misconduct by members of at least two Canadian World Juniors teams.

In a statement Thursday, Hockey Canada said it was now a “full signatory” to Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC) and all complaints of abuse, discrimination and harassment at the national level will go directly to the office.

All other alleged incidents involving Hockey Canada-sanctioned programs will be handled by an independent third party, the national body said.

Read more: Sporting bodies have until April 2023 to sign up with integrity commissioner: minister

Read next: Boy picks shipping container for hide-and-seek, ends up 2,500 km from home

Story continues below advertisement

“Today’s announcement is an important step in working towards ending a culture of silence that exists in corners of our game,” said Natasha Johnston, vice-president of sport safety with Hockey Canada, in the statement.

“We are pleased to be part of this critical addition to the Canadian sport system and hope a strong message is being sent to Canadians that inappropriate behaviour in and around hockey will not be tolerated at any level.”

Hockey Canada is the sixth signatory of the OSIC, which was launched in June.

Other signatories include weightlifting and volleyball, as well as Canada Games Council, Canadian Sport for Life and Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic.

Click to play video: 'Majority of Canadians blame those in positions of power for Hockey Canada sexual misconduct scandals, Ipsos poll finds'
Majority of Canadians blame those in positions of power for Hockey Canada sexual misconduct scandals, Ipsos poll finds

Canadian sporting bodies have until April 2023 to sign up, Sport Minister Pascale St-Onge said Tuesday.

Story continues below advertisement

She said negotiations between different sports organization and the office were under way and the federal government was working to make sure that they have everything they hope to be “efficient and productive.”

Hockey Canada has been under intense scrutiny since this spring over its handling of alleged sexual assaults by players, including two alleged incidents involving members of the World Juniors teams from 2003 and 2018.

Read more: Hockey Canada sexual misconduct scandals reflect broader problem: Ipsos poll

Read next: Scientist says most Bigfoot sightings boil down to this simple explanation

It was revealed in May Hockey Canada had paid an undisclosed settlement to a woman in London, Ont., after she alleged she was sexually assaulted by eight men, including members of the 2018 men’s World Junior team.

Media and government investigations found that Hockey Canada had established three funds to pay for, among other things, sexual assault settlements.

Sarah-Eve Pelletier was appointed the country’s first sport integrity commissioner in April as the federal government moved to address what St-Onge has called a “crisis.”

Since June 20, athletes have filed 24 complaints with the office.

Pelletier told The Canadian Press this week she is encouraged by the efforts she is seeing from sporting organizations to join the new process, but she cannot investigate most of the complaints filed so far because few national sporting bodies have agreed to work with her office.

Story continues below advertisement

— With files from The Canadian Press

Sponsored content