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Hockey Canada releases Action Plan to shatter the code of silence and eliminate toxic behaviour in and around Canada’s game

July 25, 2022

CALGARY, Alta. – Today, Hockey Canada released a comprehensive Action Plan to address systemic issues in hockey and ensure greater safety and inclusiveness in and around Canada’s game. The Action Plan is an important step in upholding Hockey Canada’s responsibility to address toxic behaviours – both on and off the ice – that conflict with what Canadians expect hockey to be and to confront the culture of silence that exists in corners of the game.

The Action Plan includes commitments in key areas of accountability, governance, independent sport safety checks, and standards, education and training. These actions include:

  • Adopting the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport 6.0.
  • Implementing a comprehensive tracking and reporting system for all complaints of maltreatment, abuse or harassment. The results will be published publicly annually to hold Hockey Canada accountable.
  • Increasing and enhancing training for players, coaches, employees and volunteers to include additional focus on masculinity, consent and toxic behaviours, and to drive a culture in hockey that encourages all participants to speak up.
  • A comprehensive review of all existing training programs by an independent specialist. 
  • Implementing enhanced character screening for all high-performance players.
  • Mandating that breaching the Code of Conduct or failing to participate in any investigation could result in a lifetime ban from Hockey Canada programs.
  • Prioritizing and investing in a robust department focused on safe and inclusive sport initiatives, including combatting harassment, abuse, injury prevention, mental health and gender equity.

These commitments are in addition to those announced on July 14, 2022:

  • Conducting an independent, third-party review of Hockey Canada’s governance structures and systems. This review will include a review of the National Equity Fund.
  • Becoming one of the first national sport organizations to become a full signatory to the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC) which came into effect in June 2022, and ceding oversight for all complaints, allegations or concerns with national programming to the OSIC.
  • Establishing a new, independent and confidential mechanism for the intake of maltreatment complaints for all other levels of hockey (regional, provincial and local) not covered by the OSIC.

“We recognize that there is an urgent need to address the types of behaviours that are rightly causing Canadians to question aspects of our game,” said Scott Smith, president and chief executive officer of Hockey Canada. “Culture change will not occur overnight, but with this Action Plan we are fully committed to making the meaningful changes necessary to ensure the safety, welfare and well-being of everyone who participates in and enjoys the sport of hockey.”

Hockey Canada has pledged transparency and accountability in meeting our commitments. To do so, the Board of Directors will appoint a Special Committee of independent experts to monitor and provide guidance on the implementation of the Action Plan. Executive performance evaluations will be tied to progress on the plan, and an annual report on social responsibility and impact will help keep Canadians informed on Hockey Canada’s progress.

The Action Plan to Shatter the Code of Silence and Eliminate Toxic Behaviour In and Around Canada’s Game is available here.

Hockey Canada continues to encourage anyone – past or present – who feels they are the victim of mistreatment, sexual violence, harassment or abuse by someone affiliated with our organization to report it immediately. You can reach out via the Canadian Sport Helpline, a free, anonymous, confidential and independent service in both official languages: 1-888-837 7678 or [email protected].  We also encourage anyone who may need support to reach out to one of the many victim resource services across Canada. A general listing of resources in this area is available on the website of the Canadian Resource Centre for the Victims of Crime at crcvc.ca.

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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