CALGARY, Alta. – The following is a statement on behalf of Hockey Canada:
“Hockey Canada recognizes we have significant work to do to rebuild trust with Canadians. We know we need to hold ourselves accountable. That is why we are beginning a full governance review of our organization that will be overseen by an independent third party. This will include the National Equity Fund.
While we respect that process, we also recognize some actions cannot wait. Effective immediately, the National Equity Fund will no longer be used to settle sexual assault claims. Instead, it will be exclusively dedicated towards safety, wellness and equity initiatives, as well as insurance across our organization – activities which comprised 98 per cent of its resources between 2014 and 2021. This includes counselling and treatment for players, concussion research grants to the Canadian Hockey League, criminal record checks of Hockey Canada staff, donations to Kids Help Phone, as well as a range of safety initiatives including insurance for players and additional support for players who sustain physical injuries. Hockey Canada also commits that, going forward, all National Equity Fund proceeds from registration fees will be dedicated to these safety, wellness and equity initiatives, as well as insurance.
Following the governance review, we will take any additional steps that are recommended. Should the review determine that a fund to support victims of sexual assault is required, as is common in other sporting organizations, we will ensure all claims are subject to the approval of an independent third-party.
Canadians have been loud and clear: you expect our national sport and those representing it to work hard to earn your trust each day. We have heard you and are committed to making the changes necessary to allow us to be the organization you expect us to be, and to restore your confidence and trust in us.”