OTTAWA, Ontario — Hockey Canada executives should have made members of the gold-winning nation’s youth team speak with third-party investigators about an alleged sexual assault that happened four years ago, an MP told executives at a hearing in the case. Monday.

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A woman claimed to have been sexually assaulted by eight members of the 2018 World Youth Team at a gala event in June of that year. Her lawsuit was settled last month.

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Hockey Canada CEO Tom Rennie and President Scott Smith were called to testify about their relationship to the prosecution before the Canadian Heritage Standing Committee in Ottawa.

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Smith, who is due to succeed Rennie as CEO on July 1, told the committee that junior team players are “strongly encouraged” to speak with third-party investigators hired by Hockey Canada. But the interview was not mandatory.

“Mr Smith, if you want real accountability from Hockey Canada, you should have required all players to be interviewed. [with the outside law firm]”said Conservative MP Kevin Waugh. “You own this. … This is unacceptable.”

Smith, who is also the chief operating officer of the national sports body, responded by saying that Hockey Canada is “borrowing” players from other leagues for international competition.

“We have made some changes to our code of conduct,” he said. “We are now discussing whether we can strengthen the ability to force the players we loan to participate in investigations into what happens under our tutelage.”

Bloc Québec MP Sébastien Lemire proposed in French that Hockey Canada play without its logo for a year “to get people to think about this issue… the culture in Hockey Canada and the responsibility you have.” I think that [Hockey Canada is] John Doe No. 9 in this case.”

Rennie said that Hockey Canada first became aware of the alleged incident the following morning – June 19, 2018 – when a relative of the woman contacted Human Resources, and that police in London, Ontario were informed the same evening.

Smith said that despite the story taking four years to uncover, and only after TSN first broke the details last month, there was no cover-up.

“The police have been notified, we have engaged an outside investigator, notified Sport Canada and offered support to the young woman,” he said. “This is not a sign that you are sweeping something under the rug.”

Details of the settlement with the woman were not released, but Smith said the players allegedly involved in the case made no financial contribution and no public money was used.

None of the allegations against the players were proven in court.

Smith said London police have told Hockey Canada that their criminal investigation has been dropped as of February 2019. In the meantime, Hockey Canada continued its own investigation until September 2020.

“Many people take the statements in the lawsuit as fact,” Smith said. “The problem we have is that due to extensive efforts over 26 months, we have not been able to confirm what happened that evening.”

The NHL is conducting its own investigation because several players from this junior world team are now in the league, and the Canadian Minister of Sports has ordered a forensic examination of Hockey Canada.

“No one has been held accountable,” Conservative MP John Neiter said of the alleged attack. “No one has lost the privilege of wearing a maple leaf on their jersey… I heard zero tolerance mentioned today. I wish this were true.

“But if there really is a zero tolerance situation… every player who was in London that weekend should have been mandated to participate in this review or they would lose the opportunity and the privilege of being associated with Hockey Canada.”