The extravagant testimony of the leaders of Hockey Canada


To say the least, outgoing president and CEO Tom Renney, his successor Scott Smith, and Hockey Canada Foundation president Dave Andrews didn’t seem sincere or intelligent. As they testified under oath (request from a committee member who obviously took them by surprise), they told a story worthy of Captain Bonhomme.

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

However, the London police, where the incidents allegedly took place on the sidelines of a Hockey Canada Foundation gala, were not informed until 7pm.

Before notifying the police, the HC executives returned to Calgary, where they held various meetings to establish a plan of action. Specifically, they met with their vice president in charge of insurance and risk management, Glen McCurdie. They talked to their lawyer and notified their insurance company! And only later did they find out it was time to call the emergency services.

The sequel is completely unreal.

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

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

In the land of unicorns, agents representing athletes who will ultimately earn them millions on commission could advise their clients to voluntarily participate in investigations that could indict them. But in Canada in 2018 it didn’t happen.

And to Tom Renney and Scott Smith’s surprise, not all players were interviewed by private investigators. Renney estimates that only 4-6 players made it. An hour and a half later, discovering that they had a serious credibility problem, Smith estimated they were more like 12 or 13 players who had chosen to participate.

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

Either way, we agree, the eight alleged attackers were easily able to squeeze through the cracks in the floor.

Furthermore, the fact that Hockey Canada’s two senior executives were unable to establish with certainty how many players had cooperated in the investigation was extremely revealing. Of course, they never really cared. Nor did they see fit to re-examine the case before appearing before a parliamentary committee.

Of course, what was supposed to happen happened. According to Tom Renney and Scott Smith, in September 2020, investigators hired by Henein Hutchison came to the conclusion that it would be impossible for them to determine who were the eight players who were in the hotel room with a young 20-year-old woman at night. of June 18-19, 2018, nor to determine what happened that night.

Talk about bad luck.

Heritage committee members asked HC leaders to provide them with Henein Hutchison’s report. They objected, citing the bond of confidentiality that binds them to the law firm they hired. However, this report is incompleteclaimed Tom Renney.

Hockey Canada is the most powerful hockey federation in the world and arguably the most powerful sports federation in the country. Several MPs, including neo-Democrat Peter Julian and Liberal Anthony Housefather, have returned to the prosecution a few times to ask why the organization had not forced all Court of Justice players, without exception, to meet with investigators.

Our code of conduct is vague when it comes to events that take place outside of sport. We are reviewing itthey supported, in all roles, Renney and Smith.

Listening to them, we actually wondered why no one thought before specifying, in the code of conduct, that gang rape is prohibited on galas.

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

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 in June 2018, was jointly suing Hockey Canada, Canadian League (grouping the three major Canadian youth circuits) and the eight alleged attackers (identified under the pseudonym of John Doe and numbered from 1 to 8) for the sum of 3.55 million.

What was the reaction of the HC executives when they received a lawsuit accusing unknown persons and accusing heinous crimes that their own investigators had not been able to establish? They immediately liquidated the investments that the federation had made to compensate the victim.

According to their bizarre story, the HC leaders had no idea what had happened. And they knew nothing of the identity of the alleged attackers. Additionally, the indictments contained several untruths, according to Scott Smith, most notably when the alleged victim accused Hockey Canada of doing nothing to nail or punish the alleged attackers.

Indeed, Hockey Canada was quick to settle the matter on everyone’s behalf. Within a month, the Canadian League and the eight alleged attackers saw a white knight come out of the federation headquarters, brandishing a check in their name.

As it passes on the palette, it is difficult to do better.

We took responsibility (for the cause) based on the fact that we wanted to respect the young woman’s right to privacy. You can understand that we have known this since 2018 […] We contacted the plaintiff’s lawyers and resolved the matter immediately.Scott Smith explained.

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

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

The alleged gang rape occurred on the sidelines of an event hosted by the Hockey Canada Foundation. But the Foundation’s president (Andrews) didn’t learn the story until May 24, he said, when a deal was reached with the alleged victim.

It is extremely fitting that Andrews was kept in the dark because he was also president of the American Hockey League (AHL) at the time. And several players from Junior Team Canada 2018 joined AHL weeks after the alleged London gang rape. Had Andrews known, his integrity would have been severely tainted.

At the end of the hearing, many people in the room were probably wondering how guys so unable had managed to make it to the top of the Canadian hockey pyramid.

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

And he clarified that in addition to the group rape story in London, two other cases are active. But he could not explain what they consisted of because he had not seen fit to prepare to answer questions on this subject. The agenda, she justified, concerned only the alleged London gang rape.

Imagine standing before a parliamentary committee to talk about an alleged gang rape that is causing scandal across the country, and you can’t even imagine that you might be asked contextual questions on the subject of assaults.

NDP MP Peter Julian criticized them for being poorly prepared for this hearing and for throwing words like zero tolerance which in fact have no substance and which are not supported by any concrete measure or gesture.

And once again, Julian came back to the fact that Court of Justice players were never forced to work with investigators to get justice done.

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

It will be interesting to see what follow-up the Heritage Committee will give to this offensive appearance for anyone with the slightest intelligence.

Sports Minister Pascale St-Onge said we just got a nice example of the culture of silence that exists in the world of hockey. He added that him there must be consequences to what happened within Hockey Canada.

In the meantime, sadly, we’ve all seen firsthand that our national sport’s culture is marching to the top of the pyramid.

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