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Canadian government freezing Hockey Canada’s funding amid assault allegations

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In 2020 and 2021, the federal government has reportedly given Hockey Canada $14 million in public funds.  (CP images)
In 2020 and 2021, the federal government has reportedly given Hockey Canada $14 million in public funds. (CP images)

The money train for Hockey Canada will stop, at least for now.

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Amid the ongoing allegations, the government of Canada is freezing millions of dollars in federal funding for the organization until it is better equipped to handle, investigate and sanction allegations of sexual harassment and assault, according to TSN’s Rick Westhead.

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The feds gave Hockey Canada more than $14 million in 2020 and 2021, including $3.4 million in COVID-19 emergency funds, according to government documents cited by Westhead.

Sports Minister Pascal Saint-Onge made the statement in an interview on Wednesday, saying: “This is about changing a deeply rooted culture, not just temporary solutions.”

St. Onge said Hockey Canada should register with the newly created Office of the Sports Integrity Commissioner, which this week began accepting abuse complaints against Canada’s national sports teams.

“I’m going to use every tool at my disposal to make sure people are held accountable for what happens in hockey,” St. Onge said.

Hockey Canada will also be required to record its plans to make changes to the organization.

Finally, St. Onge said that Hockey Canada must publicly disclose recommendations it received from a Toronto-based law firm it hired to investigate recent sexual assault allegations in order to resume funding.

Earlier this week, Hockey Canada president Scott Smith and outgoing chief executive Tom Rennie testified before the Standing Committee about the allegations. The woman, now 24, claims she was attacked by eight Canadian Hockey League players, including at least several members of Canada’s 2018 World Junior Team, in a hotel room after a golf tournament and the Hockey Canada Gala, who took place in June of the same year in London. Ontario.

During his testimony, Smith declined to divulge details related to two other sexual harassment complaints that Hockey Canada is currently investigating, adding that the organization files between two and three sexual harassment complaints a year.

Hockey Canada and the 24-year-old woman mentioned above came to terms over the allegations in May. At the time, she was seeking $3.55 million in damages from Hockey Canada, the CHL and unnamed players.

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