Timeline: Hockey Canada’s handling of 2018 sexual assault allegations


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A timeline of Hockey Canada's response to an alleged sexual assault involving eight players at an event in London, Ont., in 2018:

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/06/2022 (281 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A timeline of Hockey Canada’s response to an alleged sexual assault involving eight players at an event in London, Ont., in 2018:

Jan. 5, 2018 — Canada’s world junior hockey team defeats Sweden in the gold-medal final in Buffalo, N.Y.

June 18, 2018 — Hockey Canada Foundation Gala & Golf event begins in London, Ont.

June 19, 2018 — A woman’s stepfather informs Hockey Canada she alleges she was sexually assaulted by eight players while intoxicated the previous night following the event. Hockey Canada says it informed London police, which opened an investigation. Hockey Canada subsequently opened its own third-party investigation using a Toronto law firm.

June 2018 — Hockey Canada says it informed Sport Canada of the alleged incident.

February 2019 — Hockey Canada says London police informed the organization its criminal investigation was closed. Hockey Canada says the woman declined to speak with authorities or its own investigators.

September 2020 — Hockey Canada says it closed its investigation.

April 2022 — The woman files a statement of claim seeking $3.55 million in damages from Hockey Canada, the Canadian Hockey League and the eight unnamed players.

May 2022 — Hockey Canada settles the lawsuit with the woman for an undisclosed amount out of court.

May 2022 — Hockey Canada CEO Tom Renney calls Minister of Sport Pascale St-Onge to tell her TSN will be breaking the story in the coming days. St-Onge says the conversation is the first time she’s heard of the alleged incident or settlement.

May 26, 2022 — TSN reports the details of the alleged assault and settlement.

June 2, 2022 — St-Onge orders a forensic audit of Hockey Canada to ensure no public funds were used as part of the settlement.

June 20, 2022 — Renney and Hockey Canada president Scott Smith are grilled by MPs during a Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage meeting about the organization’s response to the alleged assault and subsequent out-of-court-settlement. Smith and Renney testify the 19 players on the team present in London were “strongly encouraged” to speak with third-party investigators, but were not mandated to do so. Hockey Canada adds it does not know the identities of the eight players in question. Smith also testified Hockey Canada has reported three sexual assault complaints in recent years, including the London incident, but wouldn’t discuss the other two in front of the committee.

June 22, 2022 — St-Onge announces a freeze to Hockey Canada’s federal funding until the organization discloses recommendations made by the third-party law firm and becomes a signatory to the Office of the Integrity Commissioner, a new government agency with the power to investigate abuse complaints and levy sanctions.

June 22, 2002 — The House of Commons unanimously approves a Bloc Québécois motion to pursue an independent investigation that will look into how Hockey Canada dealt with the allegations.

June 28, 2022 — Scotiabank announces it is pausing sponsorship of Hockey Canada until the financial institution is confident the right steps are taken to improve the culture within the sport. Scotiabank president and CEO Brian J. Porter writes in an open letter he’s “appalled” by the allegations. Retail giant Canadian Tire and telecommunications company Telus follow suit later in the day, withdrawing support from the pandemic-delayed world junior hockey championship in August.

June 29, 2022 — Tim Hortons and Imperial Oil, under its Esso brand, join a growing list of companies to pull sponsorship dollars.

June 30, 2022 — NHL defenceman Victor Mete, a member of the 2018 world junior team, says he was not involved in the alleged assault, adding in a social media post he was on vacation with his family at the time. Mete says he’s “deeply troubled by reports of this incident” and will fully co-operate with investigators if requested.

July 14, 2022 — Hockey Canada says in an open letter to Canadians it is reopening a third-party investigation into the alleged 2018 assault. The sport’s national federation adds participation by the players in question will be mandatory, and that anyone who declines will be banned from all activities and programs effective immediately. Hockey Canada says it now requires players, coaches, team staff and volunteers associated with its high-performance program to participate in mandatory sexual violence and consent training. It will also conduct a full third-party review of the organization’s governance, and is committing to become a full signatory to the Office of the Integrity Commissioner, a new government agency with the power to independently investigate abuse complaints and levy sanctions. Hockey Canada adds it will also create an “independent and confidential complaint mechanism” to provide victims and survivors tools and support to come forward. “We know you are angry and disappointed in Hockey Canada — rightfully so,” the organization’s open letter read.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 22, 2022.

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