Already plunged into embarrassment for several months, Hockey Canada will have to justify the existence of a second reserve fund intended for cases of various kinds, including those of sexual assault possibly committed by its players.
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Through a text published on Monday, the daily « The Globe and Mail » reports that the Participants Legacy Trust Fund was created to cover the costs incurred in legal proceedings; these may relate to sexual assault cases, but not exclusively.
In July, the same newspaper mentioned the establishment of a first fund, the National Equity Fund, which has the same objectives as the second. Moreover, the gang rape scandal concerning the alleged acts of eight hockey players of the Junior Team Canada in 2018 against a woman was initially covered up by the payment of a sum of $ 3.55 million to the victim thanks to the National Equity Fund.
The latter also made it possible to finance the Participants Legacy Trust Fund due to the transfer of a sum of $ 7.1 million, indicated the English-language media.
Until Monday, this second reservation had not been mentioned in any way in the public sphere. This was created in 1999 and stemmed from incidents in 1986 and 1999, when Hockey Canada did not yet carry insurance for sexual assault and other liability claims.
It is also important to remember that the money used to finance these funds comes mainly from hockey registration fees, at all levels in the country.
The Participants Legacy Trust Fund was also due to close on May 15, 2020. The Globe and Mail has learned, however, that Hockey Canada members have gone to court to keep it in place until 2039.
« The trustees believe that further complaints will be filed after the expiry date which is presently determined, and this is the main reason for extending the duration of the fund, » Hockey Canada financial president Brian Cairo said in a statement. an affidavit completed in January 2019, in Alberta.
The crisis of confidence in Hockey Canada is likely to deepen, with the federal government – led by Sport Minister Pascale St-Onge – demanding changes in management. Many sponsors, such as Tim Hortons and Scotiabank, have put their association with the national federation on hold.
On Tuesday, Hockey Canada is scheduled to appear again before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. Former board chairman Michael Brind’Amour, who resigned last August, is expected to testify, as will his interim successor, Andrea Skinner.
In Ottawa, the Bloc Québécois spokesperson for sports, Sébastien Lemire, once again called for an independent investigation into the management of cases of aggression within the organization concerned.
“It is now clear, from the start of this affair until the latest revelations this morning: Hockey Canada is no longer worthy of the trust of players and their parents. His management methods, opaque and dated, prove once again that a major cleaning within the management and the board of directors of Hockey Canada is necessary in order to change the culture that operates there, « he said. stated in a press release.