Interim board chair Andrea Skinner resigns amid Hockey Canada sex assault scandal

Andrea Skinner has resigned as a director and interim board chair of Hockey Canada, days soon after a controversial parliamentary committee meeting exactly where she defended Hockey Canada’s managing of team sexual assault allegations involving earlier junior gamers. 

In a statement posted Saturday night time on Hockey Canada’s web page, Skinner wrote it was time for her to depart her article.

“Upon reflection, it is apparent to me from latest functions that it no longer helps make feeling for me to carry on to volunteer my time as Interim Chair or as a Director of the firm,” Skinner explained.

On Tuesday, Skinner appeared right before the Dwelling of Commons heritage committee and said toxic conduct is a modern society-wide issue and that it’s “counterproductive” to use Hockey Canada as a “scapegoat.”

She described Hockey Canada as the sufferer to MPs and claimed her board won’t think senior management “must be changed on the basis of what we take into consideration to be substantial misinformation and unduly cynical attacks.”

Skinner also testified that she desired to be a “positive voice for hockey and for modify” when she took on the interim part in August, but didn’t be expecting to be a “lighting rod for extremists or receive threatening or hostile email messages.”

MPs of all parties condemned any extremist reviews. But some said other parts of Skinner’s testimony came across as tone-deaf and ongoing to call for Hockey Canada’s executives and board users to resign. 

Important sponsors — including Tim Hortons, Canadian Tire and Nike — responded by chopping ties with Hockey Canada permanently or by withdrawing funding for men’s hockey this time. 

Radio-Canada initial claimed on Skinner’s resignation Saturday night, and Hockey Canada confirmed Skinner’s departure about an hour later in a statement.

“As a Board, we desire Andrea nicely and would like to thank her for her provider to Hockey Canada,” the assertion examine. “We will keep on to satisfy over the weekend to examine other modifications and reforms to the firm.” 

The hockey group has been below powerful community scrutiny considering the fact that May possibly, when it settled a $3.5-million lawsuit by a woman who alleged that 8 hockey players — like customers of the 2018 globe junior group — sexually assaulted her at a lodge in London, Ont., even though she was closely intoxicated. 

Hockey mom and dad had been outraged to later study that a fund designed up in part with players’ registration costs was utilized to shell out for that settlement.

Hockey Canada’s executives later on confirmed the organization has paid out just about $9 million in settlements considering the fact that 1989 to 21 men and women alleging sexual abuse. The bulk of the revenue went to compensation for complainants in the circumstance of Graham James, a previous junior ice hockey coach who was accused of sexually abusing gamers on his groups.

Skinner has served on Hockey Canada’s board of directors considering that November 2020 and assumed the function of interim chair in August after Michael Brind’Amour resigned. Skinner, who is a Toronto attorney, was also a member of Hockey Canada’s hazard administration committee, audit and finance committee, and was chair of the human sources committee. 

Sport Minister Pascale St-Onge informed CBC’s Power and Politics Wednesday she was saddened “it is a woman suitable now carrying the confront of the trouble of Hockey Canada.” St-Onge claimed “she only arrived in 2020 so a ton of what happened she’s not dependable” for and felt Skinner was “a scapegoat.”

Observe | Andrea Skinner questioned by MPs: 

Hockey Canada formal grilled around payouts to alleged abuse victims

Hockey Canada’s interim board chair defended the organization’s management when faced with pointed queries from MPs about multimillion-dollar payouts to settle sexual abuse statements. Her responses have prompted new phone calls for Hockey Canada officials to resign.

Elections for board of administrators postponed a month

Skinner’s resignation also comes right after provincial hockey federations been given the preliminary report from retired Supreme Court docket justice Thomas Cromwell that Hockey Canada commissioned with a mandate to look into its governance composition.

Hockey Saskatchewan verified to CBC News on Friday that the federations would be reviewing that report “soon as a nationwide team.” The recommendations bundled adjustments to the yearly standard meeting and election to vote on who will make up Hockey Canada’s board of administrators, the hockey federation verified.

CBC Information also reported Friday that the future election for the customers of Hockey Canada’s board of administrators is getting delayed a month to Dec. 17 so that Cromwell’s report can be released to start with and most likely suggestions put in position.

A CBC News Fifth Estate investigation past 7 days found that police have investigated at least 15 conditions of alleged team sexual assault involving junior hockey gamers considering that 1989 — and fifty percent of those people scenarios surfaced in the past decade.

Check out | Fifth Estate investigates intercourse assault allegations: 

Hockey Canada is on the defensive above allegations that some associates of its gold-medal profitable Globe Junior workforce in 2018 took element in a team sexual assault, and the business did not do ample to keep players accountable. The Fifth Estate examines the countrywide shame inside of Canada’s activity, and the disturbing history that indicates this was not an isolated incident.

In whole, at least 50 players have been accused in the alleged crimes, with 25 eventually charged, The Fifth Estate found. Only one particular of all those charged has been convicted, following pleading guilty to a lesser offence.

Approximately 10,000 slight junior players and approximately 1,000 major junior players are registered to perform in Hockey Canada-governed leagues and groups.

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