Hockey Canada’s crisis is far from over as some companies have decided to temporarily end their association with the national federation.
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Scotiabank’s decision to hold back on Tuesday was a hit. Indeed, TELUS, Imperial Oil (Esso) and Canadian Tire all followed later in the day. These companies are all anticipating a culture shift within the organization in question, which struggled to answer questions during its argument before the Canadian Heritage Parliamentary Committee a few days ago. Hockey Canada is involved in a June 2018 case of sexual assault on a woman: the federation would have concealed the affair through an out-of-court settlement with the alleged victim.
“We demand that Hockey Canada do better and live up to their commitment to changing the culture of silence in our national sport. It must do everything it can to make it more inclusive and safe for everyone,” Canadian Tire said in a press release, while regretting the lack of transparency regarding the case of aggression that took place on the sidelines of a gala in London.
“TELUS will continue to support women’s hockey events and promote initiatives dedicated to supporting youth hockey,” TELUS said, adding that it will redirect funds originally earmarked for the World Junior Championships to organizations who help women who are victims of violence.
On Wednesday afternoon it was Tim Hortons turn to distance himself. Given this company’s high visibility in arenas, especially along the strips surrounding the ice, this new package could hurt the national federation for now.
“Hockey Canada says it is committed to changing sports culture to make it more inclusive on and off the ice. We have been emphatic that Canadians want concrete information on how to get there. We will reevaluate our sponsorship agreement once we have all the information needed to analyze our options,” spokeswoman Michale Oliveira said in a statement obtained by The Globe and Mail.
On Tuesday, Scotiabank released a message from its President and CEO, Brian Porter, to explain his decision to put his sponsorship with Hockey Canada on the ice. In addition, the financial institution also bought advertisements in certain newspapers to express its moods.