Hockey Canada board steps down

CANADA — A question that has circulated in the hockey sphere surrounds the current issues being faced internally by Hockey Canada, and the Cromwell Report.

CEO Scott Smith, who came under fire for the way Hockey Canada handled allegations of sexual assaults by two Canadian world junior teams, left the organization as announced last Tuesday.

Later, all Hockey Canada board members agreed to step down to open space for new directors.

The announcement came three days after interim Hockey Canada chair of the board Andrea Skinner tendered her resignation and within hours of Bauer announcing it was pausing its role as the official equipment provider to Hockey Canada’s men’s teams and its sponsorship of men’s tournaments.

On October 15, the 13 leaders of the provincial and territorial Hockey Canada Branches gathered for critical meetings. Branch leaders embraced the recommendations of Justice Thomas Cromwell, C.C., in his Interim Governance Review Report and approved a number of Hockey Canada bylaw changes to support upcoming Hockey Canada Board elections on December 17, 2022.

“Branch leaders felt that the frank and sometimes difficult conversations resulted in a productive day that puts us on a path to a better structure, greater transpar-ency and restoring trust.
There was unanimous sentiment that this is a critical first step in support of the transformational change needed to get more and diverse voices to the table and the game in Canada to where it needs to be,” reads the statement provided by the OHF.

The full Cromwell Report, a report that will be received later this month, will serve as the blueprint for the 13 provincial and territorial Branches as well as the interim Hockey Canada Board.

The amendments were recommended by Cromwell, a former Supreme Court justice, who released the 103-paged interim report on Hockey Canada’s fractured board of directors last Thursday, placing blame on the organization’s senior management team.

The changes are aimed at rebuilding the organization from the top down, and take effect immediately.

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