OTTAWA — Hockey Canada, an organization steeped in controversy amid sexual assault allegations dating back to 2018, announced Sunday the federal government has restored its funding.
The feds stopped providing funds to the organization in June 2022 after a woman came forward alleging she was sexually assaulted by eight players following a foundation gala in London, Ont. in June 2018.
But Pascale St-Onge, Canada’s minister of sport, told reporters before the Canada-United States gold-medal game at the world women’s hockey championship that Ottawa made a decision to restore the funding.
“When we suspended the funding for Hockey Canada, it was never a matter of doing it forever,” she said, explaining it was meant to push the organization toward making “proper change.”
“I set three conditions for them, they’ve met those three conditions and now we’re reinstating that funding, but it’s not a blank cheque.”
In order to maintain its federal funding, Hockey Canada must meet three conditions outlined by St-Onge, which included:
- Become a full signatory to Abuse-Free Sport and the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC)
- Review and implement the recommendations from an independent governance review led by retired Justice Thomas Cromwell
- Commit to more frequent reporting to the federal government.
Hugh Fraser, the chairperson of Hockey Canada’s board of directors, said in a statement Sunday the announcement marked an important milestone in the organization’s journey to “earn and maintain the trust of Canadians.”
“While I would like to thank Minister St-Onge and the government for their vote of confidence and for their ongoing efforts to prioritize safe sport in Canada, I also wish to stress that we still have work to do to change the culture of our sport,” he said.
“This is a significant moment for the future of Hockey Canada, and hockey in Canada, as it will enable us to further our commitment to supporting all levels of the sport.”