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TSN Senior Correspondent

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Hockey Canada says it did not use government money to settle a lawsuit in which eight Canadian Hockey League players, including some members of Canada’s 2017-18 World Junior team, were accused of sexually assaulting a woman.

“Hockey Canada welcomes the opportunity to appear before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage,” the organization wrote in a statement released Tuesday, a day after the committee voted during an in-camera session to hold a three-hour hearing in Ottawa on June 20 to discuss the settlement.

“We take the allegations against members of the 2017-18 National Junior Team – as well as the safety and well-being of anyone participating in our programs – extremely seriously… We can say definitively that no government funds were used in the recent settlement of the lawsuit.”

The woman, who was 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.

New Westminster–Burnaby NDP MP Peter Julian told TSN in an interview on Monday that the committee will invite Hockey Canada president Scott Smith, chief executive Tom Renney, former senior vice president of insurance and risk management Glen McCurdie and Hockey Canada Foundation chair David Andrews to testify.

“Canadians deserve to know and want to know what happened here and why this was kept quiet for four years,” Julian said.

The June 20 hearing will be public and webcast, Julian said. He said that if any Hockey Canada officials declined the invitation, they would be issued a summons to appear.

Canada’s Minister for Sport, Pascale St-Onge, has also ordered 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 said the eight players who allegedly were involved were on Canada's World Juniors team. A week later, on June 3, the NHL officially advised the NHL Players' Association of its intentions to investigate, as required by the NHL/NHLPA collective bargaining agreement.

Hockey Canada spokeswoman Esther Madziya wrote in a May 25 statement to TSN that the organization informed London police about the allegations and hired the Toronto law firm Henein Hutchison LLP to investigate.

While a spokeswoman for St-Onge told TSN last week that government officials expect Hockey Canada to share Henein Hutchison’s report with them, the committee has not asked for that report or any other documents in advance of the June 20 hearing, Mount Royal Liberal MP Anthony Housefather told TSN Tuesday.