Hockey Canada officials asked to testify about settled lawsuit
Canadian Heritage’s standing committee agreed on Monday to ask Hockey Canada officials to testify in Ottawa next Monday (June 20) regarding the out-of-court settlement of a lawsuit filed by a woman who alleged she was sexually assaulted by eight CHL players, including some members of Canada’s 2017-18 World Junior team, in June of 2018.
According to TSN Senior Correspondent Rick Westhead, Hockey Canada officials who will be asked to testify include incoming CEO Scott Smith, outgoing CEO Tom Renney, former Senior VP of Insurance and Risk Management Glen McCurdie and Hockey Canada Foundation chair David Andrews.
Member of Parliament Peter Julian added that while the Hockey Canada officials will be invited to testify, they will be issued summons if they do not respond or decline the invitation. The committee has scheduled three hours to hear testimony and may plan for more witnesses and time if members feel it is necessary.
Canada's Minister of Sport Pascale St-Onge will also be asked to testify. The hearing next Monday is scheduled to be held via webcast for the public and will begin in the late afternoon.
The woman, who is not identified in court records, alleged the assaults occurred in June of 2018 in a London, Ont., hotel following a Hockey Canada event. Her allegations were included in a lawsuit filed April 20 that has been settled.
The plaintiff asked a judge to award $3.55 million. The amount of the settlement is unknown. The allegations against the players were never proven in court and none of the defendants filed a response.
St-Onge said earlier this month she was ordering an audit of Hockey Canada’s finances to determine whether taxpayer money was used to settle the case.
The NHL announced May 26 it was opening an investigation into the allegations and officially advised the NHL Players' Association June 3 of its intentions, as required by the NHL/NHLPA collective bargaining agreement.
The federal government has jurisdiction over Hockey Canada because the federation is one of more than 50 national sport organizations that is partially funded with public money.