Count Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as a critic of Hockey Canada and its leadership.
The federation oversees the country’s various national teams as well as serves as the overarching governing body for minor and junior hockey programs throughout the country.
But in recent months, Hockey Canada has come under fire after multiple sexual assault allegations have been revealed towards members of the country’s 2003 and 2018 World Juniors teams, both of which contained several future NHL players.
“I think it boggles the mind that Hockey Canada is continuing to dig in its heels,” Trudeau told reporters on Wednesday. “Parents across the country are losing faith, or have lost faith, in Hockey Canada. Certainly, politicians here in Ottawa have lost faith in Hockey Canada.”
Interim Hockey Canada Chair Andrea Skinner was speaking to MPs on Tuesday about the organization’s leadership, which Trudeau clearly wasn’t a fan of.
"I think it boggles the mind that Hockey Canada is continuing to dig in its heels," PM Justin Trudeau told reporters when asked about the organization's handling of sexual assault allegations. His comments come as Hockey Québec said it would cut ties with Hockey Canada.#cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/N4qrBawFJJ
— CPAC (@CPAC_TV) October 5, 2022
Public opinion of the organization was further soured when it was revealed Hockey Canada was allegedly using funds from player registrations across the country to help cover the court and settlement costs for those sexual assault trials.
Many big-name sponsors have cut ties with Hockey Canada, including Tim Hortons, who announced Wednesday they’d no longer be partnering with the men’s senior and junior national teams (but would continue supporting the women’s, youth, and para-hockey programs).
On Wednesday, Hockey Quebec announced they’d be withholding funds to the national organization of Hockey Canada, which led to the scrum with Trudeau.
“It’s no surprise that provincial organizations are questioning whether or not they want to continue supporting an organization that doesn’t understand how serious the situation it has contributed to causing,” Trudeau added. “I really hope they understand because hockey is a really important sport to a lot of Canadians and a lot of kids, and right now this mess is doing no favours to kids across the country.”
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