Scotiabank’s longtime partner says it is stopping Hockey Canada’s sponsorship

Scotiabank puts its sponsorship of Hockey Canada on ice.

The financial institution said on Tuesday that the break would continue until it is sure that the right steps have been taken to improve sports culture.

The development comes after the federal government froze the national federation’s public funding last week in response to its treatment of alleged sexual violence and out-of-court settlement.

Hockey Canada quietly settled a lawsuit last month after a woman said she was attacked by members of the country’s 2018 gold medalist, the world youth hockey team, at a gala and golf event four years ago in London, Ont.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

The leaders of hockey in Canada were irritated by lawmakers on Parliament Hill last week during a meeting of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, which is considering the issue.

“Like many of you, I was appalled by recent reports of alleged attacks involving younger ambassadors to the Canadian game,” Scotiabank President and CEO Brian J. wrote in an open letter. Porter. “We believe that we have a responsibility as fans and sponsors of hockey to contribute to a positive change in the sport.

“We are committed to ensuring that hockey is safe, inclusive and accessible.”

Porter added that Scotiabank’s planned marketing and events of the 2022 World Youth Adoption Pandemic in August will be canceled, with investments being redirected to other programs, including one aimed at helping remove financial barriers for young people. people in the game and the Women’s World Cup.

The Hockey Treasury of Canada

Business development and partnerships previously accounted for 43 percent of Hockey Canada’s treasury, according to the organization’s figures, to funding agencies (14 percent), insurance premiums (13 percent), interest income (10 percent) and taxpayer funds (six percent). ).

Scotiabank said it was making a donation to the Canadian Women’s Foundation, which helps victims of gender-based violence. He also expects Hockey Canada to fully cooperate with the federal government’s audit and ensure that the company’s funding is used as intended.

Hockey Canada said in a statement Tuesday that it “values” its relationship with Scotiabank, adding that “we both respect and understand their decision.”

“Hockey Canada is on track to change the culture of our sport and make it safer and more inclusive, both on the rink and in our communities,” the statement said. “We have been on this journey for some time, but we agree that more needs to be done faster.”

Hockey Canada said last week it needed to “do more” to build a safer culture after a tumultuous week that included President Scott Smith and outgoing CEO Tom Renee, summoned by lawmakers.

“We were all expecting answers to all the questions, the many questions we have about how they handled the whole situation when they testified,” Pascal Saint-Onge, the federal government’s sports minister, told reporters in Ottawa last Wednesday.

“Unfortunately, we did not receive many answers.

At the time, St. Ong said Hockey Canada would recover its public money only after officials prepared an incomplete report from a third-party law firm hired to investigate the 2018 incident, which allegedly involved eight players.

She added that Hockey Canada should also join the Office of the Commissioner of Integrity, a new government agency with the power to independently investigate complaints of abuse and impose sanctions.

The woman who charged in the attack, now 24, is seeking $ 3.55 million in damages from Hockey Canada, the Canadian Hockey League and unnamed players.

Details of the settlement have not been made public, but Smith testified that Hockey Canada found the funds, adding that no state money was used. St-Onge ordered an audit to make sure that was the case.

The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage meets on July 26 and 27 to hear more witnesses. He also asked to see an edited copy of the out-of-court non-disclosure agreement and a long list of Hockey Canada communications.

Hockey Canada quietly settled a lawsuit last month after a woman said she was attacked by members of the country’s 2018 gold medalist, the world youth hockey team, at a gala and golf event four years ago in London, Ont.

St-Onge said she learned about the situation only in a phone conversation with Renee days before TSN revealed the story last month. Hockey Canada said it informed Sport Canada of the situation in June 2018.

The Quebec bloc’s proposal has been approved

The House of Commons unanimously approved the Quebec bloc’s proposal last week to conduct an independent investigation into how Hockey Canada handled the allegations.

The organization hired a law firm in Toronto, Henein Hutchison LLP, to conduct the investigation, but Smith and Renee told lawmakers that while players attending the event in London were “strongly encouraged” to participate, it was not authorized.

Renee initially testified between four and six of the 19 players in question who spoke to investigators before Smith later said the number was 12 or 13.

“Their (investigation) mechanism is not working well,” St. Ong said last week.

Hockey Canada has repeatedly said the woman refused to speak to police or her investigators.

Smith and Renee reiterated to the committee that the woman also chose not to identify the players. The executives added that Hockey Canada did not yet know the identities of the eight players in question.

WATCH | Hockey Canada denies public funds used to settle allegations of sexual violence:

Hockey Canada denies public funds used to settle allegations of sexual violence

Hockey Canada executives told the parliamentary committee that it did not use public funding to pay for an agreement following allegations of sexual violence against players.

Smith said London police had informed Hockey Canada that the criminal investigation had been completed by February 2019. The independent investigation ended in September 2020, but Renee testified that the report was incomplete and should not be published despite the fact that the recommendations contained .

The NHL, which also said it had only recently learned of the allegations, is investigating because some of the players in question are already in the league.

Hockey Canada received $ 14 million from Ottawa in 2020 and 2021, including $ 3.4 million in subsidies for COVID-19, according to government records received from CBC and TSN.

Smith testified that Hockey Canada had reported three complaints of sexual violence in recent years, including the London incident, but declined to discuss the other two before the committee.

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