“Shocked” and “angry”, the federal Minister of Sports, Pascale St-Onge, orders a financial audit to ensure that Hockey Canada has not used public funds to settle a story of gang rape.
• Read also: Junior Team Canada 2018: players disassociate themselves from the camouflaged scandal
• Read also: Junior Team Canada at the heart of allegations of multiple sexual assaults
Ms. St-Onge reacted Thursday afternoon to this file which has shaken the world of hockey for a few days.
Hockey Canada reportedly paid $3.5 million in an out-of-court settlement to a young woman who was suing the organization in civil court.
The young woman, now 24, alleges that she was the victim of a gang rape by several players of the junior team which won the World Cup in 2018.
Many of these players would now play in the NHL.
"Like everyone who has read this story, I am shocked and angry to read the allegations against the players of the Canadian junior hockey team," said the minister in a press briefing.
“The thing that all Canadians want to know and I want to know is if public funds were used to cover up this gang rape story. We are going to do a financial audit to make sure that is not the case.”
The minister also wondered about the fact that Hockey Canada would have ensured that the players were not “accountable” for their actions by settling the file in this way.
Invited to react, the Minister responsible for the Status of Women in Quebec, Isabelle Charest, also said she was concerned about the situation.
"What concerns me in this situation is that we are in 2022 and that the organization's reflex was to settle out of court and therefore somewhere to camouflage this story," he said. she indicated.
“I find that very worrying, because we have reached an era where we have to address these situations, to ensure that we provide tools, resources, measures so that it does not happen again.”