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Message from the Hon. Hugh L. Fraser, Chair of the Hockey Canada Board of Directors

June 7, 2023

Shortly before our new Hockey Canada Board of Directors was elected in December 2022, Hockey Canada underwent an independent governance review that was led by the Hon. Thomas Cromwell, C.C.

Since receiving the final report from Mr. Cromwell, Hockey Canada and its Members have discussed and reviewed the findings with a goal of bringing the organization’s governance structure into alignment with the recommendations of the report.

In addition to a series of proposals which were approved by the Members late last year, I am pleased to share that on Sunday, a significant number of proposed By-Law changes were approved unanimously by our Members, at a Special Members’ Meeting held in Québec City, Que.

It was a monumental moment for our organization, and I want to provide a summary of some of the notable changes to our By-Laws, as well as updates on the Spring Congress, the ongoing search for Hockey Canada’s next president and chief executive officer, the 2023 IIHF Annual Congress and the 2023 World Para Hockey Championship.

Critical Governance Changes

In addition to some of the approved By-Law changes related to the Board of Directors listed below, Members unanimously approved two motions to amend Hockey Canada’s Articles to state that the maximum number of Directors of Hockey Canada shall be 13, and fixing the number of elected Directors at nine (9).

  • Hockey Canada will move to a staggered term Board structure. As a result, for the 2023 election of the Hockey Canada Board of Directors, the Members will elect nine Directors as follows:
    • The Chair and the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall serve a three-year term;
    • The three candidates receiving the next highest number of votes shall serve a two-year term;
    • The three candidates receiving the next highest number of votes shall serve a one-year term.
  • In elections occurring after 2023, elected Directors will serve three-year terms, rather than the previous two-year terms.
  • A Director cannot run for election if doing so would cause them to exceed nine consecutive years of service, if elected.
  • The Chair of the Board will be appointed by the elected Directors rather than being elected by Hockey Canada’s Members.
  • The term limit for the Chair of the Board of Directors is now two (2) three (3)-year terms.

As well, to align with the recommendation of Mr. Cromwell and the requirements of the Canada not-for-profit Corporations Act, financial statements must now be approved by the Hockey Canada Board of Directors, and not the Members.

In total, all of the By-Law changes were unanimously approved concerning the Hockey Canada Board of Directors, Financial Statements and Committees.

This marks significant progress in our efforts to implement Mr. Cromwell’s recommendations, but we recognize that there is still more work to do and we continue to explore potential amendments to Member voting rights and options to create a greater voice for athletes within the Hockey Canada structure, through a Task Team and the Governance Committee, respectively.

Spring Congress

The 2023 Hockey Canada Spring Congress took place this weekend in Québec City, thanks to our gracious hosts at Hockey Quebec. On behalf of Hockey Canada, I’d also like to thank outgoing Member Presidents Arnie Farrell of Hockey Nova Scotia and Jason Perrier of Hockey Northwestern Ontario, who have completed their respective terms, for their tremendous contributions to the sport and our organization.

While the Spring Congress is an important milestone on the calendar for Hockey Canada and our Members each year, the significance of this year’s event was enhanced by two days of meetings that focused on women’s and girls’ hockey.

Each of our Members was represented by delegates who lead women’s and girls’ programming within their respective Member, and participated in workshops and sessions led by Canadian Women & Sport and Hockey Canada staff.

I’d like to thank our Members for continuing to prioritize the growth of women’s and girls’ hockey, and for contributing to the meaningful discussions that took place throughout the two days.

This weekend was the first congress that our Board of Directors has attended since being elected nearly six months ago, and we are already looking forward to the Summer Congress in September.

Leadership Renewal

The search committee that was established to recruit Hockey Canada’s next president and chief executive officer continues to interview prospective candidates for the position.

This role will be critical to the future of Hockey Canada and hockey in Canada, and the committee is optimistic that it will be able to recommend a final candidate to the Board of Directors in the coming weeks.

2023 IIHF Annual Congress

Last month, Pat McLaughlin and I attended the 2023 IIHF Annual Congress in Tampere, Fin., where we met with colleagues from the other IIHF Member National Associations ahead of Canada’s exciting gold medal victory at the 2023 IIHF World Championship.

Congratulations to Canada’s National Men’s Team on representing our country with tremendous pride throughout the tournament, and for becoming world champions after 10 hard-fought games.

One of the most impactful meetings that we had in Finland was with the Ice Hockey Federation of Ukraine, where we reiterated Hockey Canada’s commitment to supporting the organization and its athletes as best that we can. More information will be shared soon about tangible steps that we are taking to collaborate with the Ice Hockey Federation of Ukraine and support the future of hockey in the country.

2023 World Para Hockey Championship

Congratulations to all of you who played a role in Canada hosting the World Para Hockey Championship for the first time, and to Canada’s National Para Hockey Team on winning the silver medal in Moose Jaw, Sask.

We were inspired to watch the competing federations throughout the tournament, and to see so many community members cheer on the athletes during the event.

Hosting an international event of any kind takes a significant amount of preparation on and off the ice, and to do so in a few months is an incredible accomplishment in itself.

End of the 2022-23 Season

As the 2022-23 hockey season comes to an end, we recognize that our organization has much more work ahead of us, however I am pleased at the progress that we have made in collaboration with our Members, and we will continue to work tirelessly to provide all participants with a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment on and off the ice.

Thank you to everyone from coast to coast to coast who plays a role in delivering the sport to Canadians, and on behalf of Hockey Canada, we hope you and your families have a great summer.

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

[email protected] 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

[email protected]

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

[email protected]

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