2022 Looking Back: Shame Hockey Canada

The year 2022 has been punctuated by sporting scandals and controversies, but nothing has shaken the country as much as the crisis that has affected Hockey Canada.

2022 Looking Back: Shame Hockey Canada

The year 2022 has been punctuated by sporting scandals and controversies, but nothing has shaken the country as much as the crisis that has affected Hockey Canada.

• Read also: Noah Corson also charged with breach of condition

• Read also: Hockey Canada officially unveils its new CA

In April, a woman files a civil lawsuit against Hockey Canada, the Canadian Hockey League and eight players for $3.5 million. She alleges that she was veiled by eight members of the 2018 Junior Team Canada during a gala organized by the federation in the summer of that year.

A month later, Hockey Canada settles the case out of court and the players avoid a trial without their identity being revealed. However, questions are raised regarding the source of the funds used to compensate the alleged victim, considering that Hockey Canada is partially funded by public funds.

In June, Sport Minister Pascale St-Onge accused the organization of perpetuating a culture of silence and suspended the allocation of federal funds to Hockey Canada. The testimonies of the leaders of the federation, where we learn that no player was obliged to participate in an independent internal investigation, hardly impress him.

In response to popular discontent and the withdrawal of many sponsors, Hockey Canada officials apologize and reopen the investigation. The organization also confirms that it has a “national equity fund” which was used to settle the lawsuit. Hockey Canada also reveals that another gang rape was allegedly committed in 2003 in Halifax. Additionally, it is revealed that 22 sexual assault victims have shared up to $12.45 million in restitution from the organization over the past 33 years.

In early August, the 13 Canadian provincial and territorial hockey federations demanded explanations from Hockey Canada. Later in the fall, many, including Hockey Québec, decided to no longer give the national organization the sum of $3 per registration fee for their members.

Also in August, Hockey Canada Chairman of the Board, Michael Brind’Amour, tendered his resignation. Two months later, CEO Scott Smith and all board members step down, including interim chairwoman Andrea Skinner. These departures come after several calls from Minister St-Onge and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

At this time, the federation recognizes “the urgent need for new leadership and new perspectives” and announces that the next board of directors will be elected on December 17.

The newcomers take office before the end of the year and Hugh L. Fraser is chosen as president. He is a former Olympic sprinter and served for over three decades as a judge of the Ontario Court of Justice. Quebec lawyer Julie Duranceau and former Women's National Team captain Cassie Campbell were also elected.

Despite these appointments, junior hockey in the country seems plagued by sexual violence. The alleged case of three players, including Shayne Corson's son, Noah, which allegedly occurred in Drummondville in 2016 and which came to light in December illustrates this well.

Hockey Canada wasn't the only maple leaf federation to find itself in hot water in 2022. In October, 500 gymnasts signed an open letter to Minister St-Onge calling for an end to culture. toxic in their environment. Earlier in the year, a class action suit was filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia against Gymnastics Canada and six provincial organizations, including the Quebec Federation.

A $5.5 million civil lawsuit has also been filed against Water Polo Canada by four former athletes. The latter allege to have been the victim of physical, psychological and emotional abuse, in addition to sexual harassment.

Boxing Canada has also been singled out. In May, more than a hundred boxers and stakeholders were calling for the resignation of high performance director Daniel Trépanier over allegations of a toxic culture within the federation. The Quebecer then resigned from his post.

Towards the end of the year, Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price was talked about for the wrong reasons. Sidelined with a knee injury, he spoke out on Instagram against an amendment to the federal government's Bill C-21 that would impose more restrictions on gun owners. He also supported the Canadian Coalition for Gun Rights.

This organization caused a scandal after creating a promotional code “POLY” to promote the purchase of goods on its website with a 10% discount.

In crisis management, the CH affirmed that Price was not aware of the tragic events of December 6, 1989 at the Polytechnique, where 14 women lost their lives and 13 others were injured. The following day, Number 31 contradicted his organization on his social media, claiming to be aware of the tragedy. He also took the opportunity to mention that he did not approve of the coalition's initiative regarding his promotional code.

Before and during its unfolding, the 2022 Soccer World Cup caused a scandal. The prestigious event held in Qatar in November and December was criticized long before this year, since its attribution was the subject of an investigation concerning corruption.

The construction of stadiums, hotels and various infrastructures by migrant workers has been decried from all sides. In February 2021, The Guardian daily reported that 6,500 foreigners have died in Qatar since the awarding of the World Cup in 2010. According to Le Monde diplomatique, more than 2,000 serious accidents have been recorded.

During the event, the death of American journalist Grant Wahl caused a lot of ink to flow. It was announced that the 49-year-old died of a heart attack suffered during the penalty shootout between Argentina and the Netherlands.

Wahl had previously been refused entry to a stadium because he wore a rainbow vest in support of the LGBTQ cause and had never been shy about criticizing the Qatari regime.