The Crazy Testimony of Hockey Canada Leaders

To put it mildly, outgoing president and CEO Tom Renney, his successor Scott Smith, and Hockey Canada Foundation chairman Dave Andrews seemed neither sincere nor smart. When they testified under oath (a request from a committee member that obviously surprised them), they told a story worthy of Captain Bonhomme.

According to the narrative framework adopted by MM. Renney and Smith, Presidents of Hockey Canada (HC), were warned hours after the alleged gang rape on the morning of June 19, 2018, that serious allegations had been made against several players who had worn national team colors six months earlier.

Police in London, where the incident is said to have taken place on the sidelines of a Hockey Canada Foundation gala, were not notified until around 7pm.

Before notifying the police, the HC leaders returned to Calgary where they held various meetings to create a plan of action. In particular, they met their Vice President of Insurance and Risk Management, Glen McCurdie. They spoke to their attorney and notified their insurance company! And it wasn’t until later that they realized it was time to call 911.

The sequel is completely unreal.

Hockey Canada quickly hired a third party, the law firm of Henein Hutchison, to conduct an internal investigation to determine what might have happened in a London hotel room on the night of June 18-19.

The association then contacted the agents of all players on the team for the encourage to participate in the investigation. Hockey Canada would also have contacted the junior teams of all Junior Team Canada (JCT) players so that these organizations encourage their players to participate in the internal investigation.

In the land of unicorns, agents representing athletes who will eventually earn them millions in commissions may advise their clients to volunteer for investigations that could incriminate them. But that didn’t happen in Canada in 2018.

And to the surprise of Tom Renney and Scott Smith, not all players were interviewed by private investigators. Renney estimates only 4-6 players made it. An hour and a half later, Smith realized they had a serious credibility problem and estimated it was more like 12 or 13 players who had decided to enter.

Martin Leclerc is at D’abord l’Info to analyze the alleged gang rape case.

We agree that the eight suspected attackers were able to easily squeeze through the cracks in the ground.

The fact that Hockey Canada’s top two executives could not determine with certainty how many players participated in the investigation was also extremely telling. Obviously they never really cared. And they didn’t even see fit to review the case before appearing before a parliamentary committee.

Of course, what had to happen happened. According to Tom Renney and Scott Smith, investigators hired by Henein Hutchison concluded in September 2020 that it would be impossible for them to determine who the eight players were who were in the hotel room with a 20-year-old young woman the night of March 18 .to June 19, 2018, yet to determine what happened that night.

Talk about bad luck.

Members of the Heritage Committee asked the HC leaders to forward Henein Hutchison’s report to them. They refused, citing the bond of confidentiality that binds them to the law firm they hired. However, this report is incompleteargued Tom Renney.

Hockey Canada is the most powerful ice hockey federation in the world and probably the most powerful sports federation in the country. Several MPs, including New Democrat Peter Julian and Liberal Anthony Housefather, have come back to the charge a number of times, asking why the organization hasn’t forced all ECJ players, without exception, to meet with investigators.

Our code of conduct is vague when it comes to non-sport events. We check itargued, in all roles, Renney and Smith.

In fact, as we listened to them, we wondered why no one had thought to include in the code of conduct that gang rape was forbidden on gala nights.

The sequel, hold on tight, is even more confusing.

Almost four years after the alleged gang rape in London, Hockey Canada was the subject of a civil lawsuit on April 20. The alleged victim, who was 20 years old as of June 2018, jointly sued Hockey Canada, the Canadian League (which regrouped Canada’s three major junior circuits) and the eight alleged attackers (identified under the alias John Doe and numbered 1 through 8). for the sum of 3.55 million.

How did HC executives react when they received a lawsuit alleging unknown individuals and heinous crimes that their own investigators had failed to solve? They immediately liquidated investments made by the association to compensate the victim.

According to their bizarre story, HC’s leaders had no idea what happened. And they didn’t know the identity of the alleged attackers. Additionally, according to Scott Smith, the indictment documents contained several falsehoods, particularly when the alleged victim accused Hockey Canada of failing to do anything to pin or punish the alleged attackers.

In fact, Hockey Canada rushed to settle the matter on everyone’s behalf. Within a month, the Canadian League and the eight suspected attackers saw a White Knight emerge from the federation’s headquarters brandishing a check in their name.

When the palette is passed on, it’s difficult to do better.

We took responsibility (for the lawsuit) due to the fact that we wanted to respect the young woman’s right to privacy. You can understand that we have known since 2018 […] We contacted the plaintiff’s attorneys and settled the matter promptly.explained Scott Smith.

Bloc Québécois MP Sébastien Lemire criticized the unbelievable scenario presented to him and suggested that Hockey Canada-sponsored teams should lose the right to wear the maple leaf. In my eyes you are John Doe number 9he launched to the three representatives of Hockey Canada.

Also, we still wonder what Dave Andrews did in front of the heritage committee members.

The alleged gang rape took place on the sidelines of a Hockey Canada Foundation event. But the foundation’s president (Andrews) only learned the story on May 24, he said, when a settlement was reached with the alleged victim.

It’s extremely convenient for Andrews to be kept in the dark as he was also the president of the American Hockey League (AHL) at the time. And several players from Junior Team Canada 2018 joined the AHL weeks after the alleged gang rape in London. Had Andrews known, his integrity would have been seriously compromised.

By the end of the hearing, many people in the room were probably wondering how such clueless guys made it to the top of Canada’s ice hockey pyramid.

Scott Smith revealed that Hockey Canada officials are brought to their attention, on average, one or two incidents of sexual assault or misconduct.

And he clarified that in addition to the story of the gang rape in London, two other cases are active. But he could not explain what they were, because he had not considered it appropriate to prepare to answer questions on the subject. The agenda, he reasoned, was all about the alleged gang rape in London.

Imagine appearing before a parliamentary committee to discuss an allegation of mass rape that is causing a nationwide scandal, and you can’t even imagine being asked contextual questions about assault.

NDP MP Peter Julian criticized them for being ill-prepared for this hearing, using words like ” zero tolerance which in reality have no content and which are not backed up by a concrete measure or gesture.

And once again, Julian revisited the fact that ECJ players were never required to cooperate with investigators to serve justice.

I don’t see any transparency. And you have no answer to offer. What exactly has changed at Hockey Canada? he asked.

It will be interesting to see what follow-up action the Heritage Committee will give to this insulting appearance for anyone of the least intelligence.

Sports Minister Pascale St-Onge said we just had a good example of the culture of silence that exists in the ice hockey world. She added that he there must be consequences to what happened in Hockey Canada.

In the meantime, unfortunately, we have all experienced first-hand that the culture of our national sport has rotted to the top of the pyramid.

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