Trigger Warning: This article is about sexual assault.
On behalf of Canada’s National Women’s Hockey Team, forward Marie-Philip Poulin, defenseman Erin Ambrose and other team members released a statement on Twitter Monday advocating for systemic change within Hockey Canada to the aftermath of multiple sexual abuse scandals.
In recent weeks, numerous reports have shed light on alleged sexual assaults committed by members of Canada’s Junior Men’s National Teams in 2003 and 2018.
Hockey Canada has been criticized for its handling of these events and the subsequent fallout. The Canadian federal government has announced it will freeze funding for Hockey Canada, while many of the governing body’s major sponsors have suspended their partnerships with the organization.
The statement from Canada’s national women’s hockey team, shared by Poulin in both official languages, calls for « a thorough and transparent investigation into the incidents in question as well as the structure, governance and environment that exists within the organization”.
« While Hockey Canada’s name has been tarnished by these alleged incidents, Hockey is the sport we love to practice and Canada is the country we proudly play for and are honored to represent — the value of these two words, and what they mean to us and to all Canadians, is immeasurably important,” the statement read.
“We write to you today to declare, first and foremost, that we intend to be part of the fight for truth. All the facts related to this terrible situation must – and will be – revealed. After all, the only way to heal a wound is to fully recognize it.
The full statement can be found below:
The women’s team also said that « there is still a lot of work and action to be done to fully address the underlying issues to ensure that a New Hockey Canada is coming out of this crisis, » and stressed how « important it is to have women at the table as this process evolves. »
Earlier Monday, Hockey Canada released what it calls an « action plan » to « address the behaviors that undermine the many good things the game brings to our country. » The women’s team said they were « encouraged » by the action plan, but also called it « a step towards tackling toxic behavior ».
Former Hockey Canada executive Glen McCurdie, Sport Canada executive Nicole Mulligan and BFL Canada insurance company president Barry Lorenzetti were subpoenaed to appear before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday. and Wednesday.