In the latest development in the Hockey Canada saga, Michael Brind’Amour stepped down as chairman of the board of directors on Friday night, effective immediately.
“My final term expires in November 2022 and I know there is no need to wait for a new era. Immediate action is needed to address the important issues facing our organization and our sport,” Brind’Amour told Hockey Canada News. release.
The Board of Directors and members of Hockey Canada will meet in the coming days to determine the next steps and appoint an interim chairman.
The next election to the board of directors is scheduled for the annual meeting in November.
In June, the organization’s access to public funds was frozen by the federal government due to its response to the alleged sexual assault and subsequent out-of-court settlement.
In April, a woman filed a $3.5 million lawsuit alleging that eight hockey players, including members of the Canadian youth team, raped her in 2018. Hockey Canada reached an agreement with the young woman the following month.
The complainant says that she has always cooperated fully with the police in investigating her case, despite Hockey Canada initially stating that she did not.
IN REAL MODE | The sports minister will discuss the recent meeting with provincial sports ministers:
Recently, retail giant Canadian Tire and telecommunications company Telus, among others, suspended their sponsorship of Hockey Canada.
And last month, Hockey Canada executives testified before a House of Commons committee on Wednesday, saying they had paid $8.9 million in sexual assault compensation since 1989 to 21 “National Equity Fund” claimants who they said formed by membership fees and investments.
WATCH | Hockey Canada has paid 21 sexual harassment claims since 1989.
“I have listened carefully and attentively to Canadians’ comments about the culture of our sport and our organization, as well as our actions and leadership,” Brind’Amour said in a statement. “I understand that the actions we have taken in recent weeks are part of the solution.
“I am sure that the Honorable Thomas Cromwell, CC, has agreed to conduct a review of the governance of our organization that will help us make the necessary changes. I am confident that the recommendations will lead the organization to the desired changes in the future.”
On Friday, Canada’s 13 regional hockey federations announced they were threatening to withhold contributions from Hockey Canada, given the organization’s alleged mishandling of sexual harassment allegations in 2018.
On Thursday, Hockey Quebec-led organizations sent a letter asking for a detailed action plan and for an “extraordinary” meeting by the end of November to address their concerns.
The lawsuit, which has not been proven in court, says the hockey players brought golf clubs to a hotel room to further intimidate her, ordered the woman to take a shower after being sexually assaulted, and told her to say she was sober while they filmed video on video. consent video.
WATCH: Hockey Canada will ban players who do not cooperate with the investigation:
As the Globe and Mail first reported earlier this week, the plaintiff’s lawyer, Robert Talah, released a statement saying that in June 2018, his client had made it clear to police that she was seeking criminal prosecution.
Talah provided a number of new details about the case, including that his client spoke to a detective for several days after the alleged sexual assault and underwent a medical examination at a hospital.
According to Talakh, his client also later handed over his clothes to the police for examination and met with the officers twice more that summer. After seven months, she was told the investigation was closed and no charges would be filed.
After an outburst of public outrage, the London police chief recently announced that he would conduct an internal review to “determine if there are further opportunities for investigation, if any.”
Talah said his law firm arranged for the woman to take a polygraph test and she passed. The results have since been shared with police and investigators by Hockey Canada, as well as by the NHL, which launched its own investigation in May.
Talakh confirmed that his client would not be interviewed by Hockey Canada or NHL investigators because she had already provided an eight-page statement, five pages of photographs and 4.5 pages of text messages.