On December 17, 2022, Hockey Canada’s Members elected a slate of candidates to volunteer on a transition Hockey Canada Board of Directors for a special one-year term, in line with the recommendations put forward in an independent governance review led by the Hon. Thomas Cromwell, C.C.
Since then, our board has worked tirelessly to lead Hockey Canada through transformational change, make necessary and urgent changes on and off the ice and take meaningful actions that benefit participants, fans and Canadians who love hockey just as much as we do.
Tomorrow, the Members will elect a new board of directors in an election that will reflect several significant by-law changes that were recommended by Mr. Cromwell and sets the foundation for the next step of Hockey Canada’s journey.
After careful deliberation, despite thoroughly enjoying every moment of this once-in-a-lifetime experience, I made the decision in the summer not to seek re-election to the board in order to pursue additional projects that are specific to safe sport, which is a field that I have been passionate about my entire professional career.
This decision was not reached easily, as I am extremely proud of the accomplishments that our transition board achieved and I am inspired by the plans for Hockey Canada’s future that will ensure it is a leader in sport safety, governance and equity, diversity and inclusion amongst sport organizations in Canada and around the world.
During our mandate, our board prioritized our efforts on four key areas: leadership renewal, sport safety, good governance and financial stability and transparency.
In the past 11 months, Hockey Canada made a number of significant changes in these areas to ensure organizational stability and sustainability, including hiring Katherine Henderson as our new president and chief executive officer, hosting the inaugural Beyond the Boards Summit, investing significantly in sport safety initiatives, implementing critical by-law changes recommended in Mr. Cromwell’s report and modernizing our financial structures to provide more clarity and transparency.
With our government funding restored and the return of our corporate partners, Hockey Canada is in a much healthier financial position than it was a year ago, and it certainly has a more positive financial outlook.
On the ice, Canada hosted three significant international events, the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship, 2023 IIHF Women’s World Championship and 2023 World Para Hockey Championship, which all focused on inspiring the next generation and celebrating the diverse communities that we have across the country.
When I laced a pair of skates for the first time, I could have never imagined the impact hockey would have on myself and my family, or that one day I would end up in this position. But I can promise you all that I will never forget what volunteering on the board meant to me, and how fondly I will look back on this experience of a lifetime.
I’d like to thank my fellow directors, Andrea Poole, Cassie Campbell-Pascall, David Evans, Grant Borbridge, Jonathan Goldbloom, Julie Duranceau, Marian Jacko and Marni Fullerton for their work throughout the past 11 months, as our efforts were accomplished as a team. Each of you volunteered to be part of the solution, and your tremendous impact on Hockey Canada will be felt for generations to come.
To Minister St-Onge, Minister Qualtrough and your colleagues, thank you for your collaboration and for trusting us and our Members to safely deliver hockey to Canadians across the country.
To the volunteers and staff at Hockey Canada and the 13 Member branches, thank you for your knowledge, support and friendship throughout this memorable chapter in my career and life.
Last but certainly not least, thank you to my family for allowing me to pursue this incredible opportunity and relentlessly supporting me throughout my time as chair of the board.
I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to serve on the board, and while I know there is important work still to be done, I know that hockey in Canada is in great hands and poised for success now and in the future.
To borrow a line from Katherine Henderson, I do believe the future of hockey is limitless.
Thank you all and Go Canada Go.