Sponsors put Hockey Canada on ice in wake of sexual assault lawsuit


Firms with ties to Hockey Canada, the game’s nationwide governing physique, paused their sponsorships of the group following its handling of sexual assault allegations towards members of Canada’s 2018 world junior workforce.

Quick-food chain Tim Hortons introduced Wednesday that it was suspending its help for this summer season’s world junior championships in Edmonton because it awaited particulars on how Hockey Canada intends to take “sturdy and definitive motion” on the matter.

“Hockey Canada has communicated that it’s dedicated to altering the tradition of hockey to make it safer and extra inclusive for all, on and off the ice. We now have expressed strongly that we consider Canadians are urgently looking for concrete particulars from Hockey Canada about the way it intends to take action,” the corporate stated in a press release to The Washington Submit. “We’ll re-evaluate our sponsorship settlement as soon as we have now all the knowledge we have to contemplate our choices.”

The fallout stems from a 2018 incident wherein a lady, now 24, alleged she was sexually assaulted by eight gamers after a Hockey Canada Basis golf occasion in Ontario that June. That led to a prison investigation by police that was closed in 2019, Hockey Canada CEO Scott Smith instructed lawmakers final month. A separate investigation was carried out by a regulation agency employed by Hockey Canada and led to 2020, though former CEO Tom Renney stated that report is incomplete and shouldn’t be launched.

Hockey Canada has stated the lady selected to not converse with police or the group’s investigators and that she didn’t establish the gamers. The allegations haven’t been proved in court docket.

The girl sought $three.55 million in damages in a lawsuit filed in April, alleging she was assaulted by unidentified gamers. The next month, Hockey Canada settled for an undisclosed quantity.

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Earlier this month, Canadian Minister of Sport Pascale St-Onge ordered an audit of the out-of-court settlement to make sure taxpayer cash wasn’t used. (Renney said no authorities funds have been used.) Smith and Renney were questioned by lawmakers on June 20 concerning the group’s response to these allegations. Two days later, St-Onge stated the federal government would freeze Hockey Canada’s federal funding, which accounts for six % of its complete funding, in keeping with the Associated Press.

The NHL is conducting its personal investigation “to find out the underlying details and, to the extent this will likely contain gamers who are actually within the NHL, we are going to decide what motion, if any, can be applicable.”

Scotiabank chief govt Brian J. Porter said in an open letter that the financial institution “made the choice to pause our sponsorship of Hockey Canada till we’re assured the correct steps are being taken to enhance the tradition inside the sport — each on and off the ice.”

Telus, a wi-fi service supplier, stated it should proceed to help ladies’s occasions regardless of its choice to pause its actions with Hockey Canada.

“We’re appalled by the latest studies of assault involving members of the 2018 World Junior Championship workforce,” it stated in a press release. “Whereas we are going to proceed to help upcoming ladies’s occasions and grassroots initiatives devoted to supporting youth in hockey, TELUS is pausing its sponsorship activation with Hockey Canada and the upcoming World Juniors match. We’ll redirect these funds to Canadian organizations that help ladies affected by sexual violence.”

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