CALGARY, Alberta – The following message is from Katherine Henderson, president and chief executive officer of Hockey Canada:
In line with the recommendations of the independent governance review led by the Hon. Thomas Cromwell, C.C., Hockey Canada’s audited financial statements as at and for the year ended June 30, 2023, were approved by the Hockey Canada Board of Directors last month and later presented to our Members.
For us, it is critical that we are clear, accountable and transparent about our finances to Canadians, which includes acknowledging the significant impact the last four challenging years have had on our financial situation, beginning with the COVID-19 pandemic and the cancellation of many international and national events. We also increased our investment in sport safety during that period, which we believe is critical to ensure that hockey is safe, welcoming and inclusive.
Within our financial statements, you will see a modernized fund structure that reflects the progress we have made in financial transparency and accountability, and a Note of Going Concern that outlines our current financial reality and deficit.
While Hockey Canada incurred significant deficits during the 2022-23 fiscal year and the year previous, our new leadership team is working expeditiously to rectify this by reducing discretionary spending, prioritizing programs that require ongoing expenditures at this time to allow us to fulfil our obligations as a national sport organization and continuing to work with our corporate and government partners to welcome them back and ensure we are meeting their expectations as we further implement initiatives that prioritize the safety and wellbeing of participants.
The deficits over the last two years forced us to draw significantly from our long-term investments in order to fund our operations and requisite programs, which is noted in the statements. Moving forward, we need to ensure our business model supports work done in collaboration with our Members to grow the game at the grassroots level, the initiatives outlined in our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Path Forward, and inspiring Canadians through excellence.
Hockey in our country needs to embody safety, excellence and sport for all, and while that comes at a cost, it is important in our journey towards a happy, safe and healthy game. In the past year, we invested nearly $2.5 million in sport safety initiatives and we are unwavering in our commitment to continue to prioritize and invest in this area.
With the approval and support of the transition Hockey Canada Board of Directors, our new leadership team restructured the organization’s fund structure to align with the recommendations from Mr. Cromwell’s report.
To increase and ensure financial transparency, Hockey Canada has shifted from nine funds and pillars to five funds: Operating Fund, Insurance Fund, Uninsured Risk Fund, International Event Hosting Support Fund and Strategic Plan Fund.
The board also implemented written policies of how each of the funds are used, which includes approving any payment from the Uninsured Risk Fund, consistent with the recommendations in Mr. Cromwell’s report.
There was a significant amount of work that led to the modernization of our financial structure, and we thank the audit and finance committee and the entire board for their input and counsel, which was done with the goal of increasing our financial and operational transparency and to set the standard for governance of national sport organizations.
In recent months, with the return of our government funding and corporate partners, we have made significant progress on the path to financial stability and we are committed to doing so in a way that is clear, transparent and accountable to all of you who love our national winter sport.