PM Justin Trudeau floats idea of replacing scandal-plagued Hockey Canada

By Joshua Clipperton
THE CANADIAN PRESS

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government could step in and create a new national body to replace scandal-plagued Hockey Canada.

Speaking in Ottawa today, Trudeau told reporters the government isn’t in the business of creating organizations, but added the federation has “completely lost the confidence of Canadians.”

He said Hockey Canada has to realize “if we have to create an organization, get rid of Hockey Canada, and create an organization called ‘Canada Hockey’ instead, people will look at doing that.”

Trudeau added it’s “inconceivable” that Hockey Canada remains steadfast in its belief in the current leaders, adding there are plenty of qualified people who could run it.

The federal government paused funding to Hockey Canada in the spring after news broke the organization quickly and quietly settled a $3.55-million lawsuit with a woman who alleged she was sexually assaulted by eight players – including members of the country’s world junior team – after a 2018 gala in London, Ont.

Two provincial hockey organizations disavowed Hockey Canada this week over its handling of the allegations. Hockey Quebec said this week it has lost confidence in Hockey Canada and will not transfer funds to the national organization.

The Ontario Hockey Federation, the largest of Canada’s 13 provincial and territorial hockey associations with more than 200,000 members, has also asked Hockey Canada a second time to not collect the $3 participant assessment fee from its members for the 2022-23 season.

Meanwhile, Canadian Tire Corp. announced today it has ended its partnership with Hockey Canada, while Tim Hortons, Telus Corp., and Scotiabank have all pulled men’s program funding for the upcoming season, but will continue to support women’s, para and grassroots programs.