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Wednesday FTB: Sheldon Kennedy calls for Hockey Canada leadership to resign

Investigator for the 2018 Hockey Canada sexual assault case gives an update to Canadian Heritage Standing Committee

Sheldon Kennedy...
UNITED STATES – DECEMBER 13: Sheldon Kennedy, child abuse victim, former NHL player, and co-founder of Respect Group Inc., testifies during the Senate Children and Families Subcommittee hearing on “Breaking the Silence on Child Abuse: Protection, Prevention, Intervention, and Deterrence” on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011.
Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Hockey Canada released a long-winded statement last Friday stating their action plan to end the rampant culture of sexual assault and their ensuing coverups. Sheldon Kennedy, a longtime advocate and victim of sexual assault in hockey himself, released a statement rightfully calling Hockey Canada’s plan to fix itself insanity. Stating the men who are guilty of the problem both cannot be and will never be trusted to fix it.

You might not have heard about this because the regular hockey insiders all decided their wifi signals don’t work at their cottages in between flurries of things to say regarding Matthew Tkachuk’s trade. Their silence has been consistent in every black mark story for years and decades. A lot of them tried to mia culpa after Kyle Beach got too big to ignore, but they’re back to smothering the story even when around a dozen NHL players have been possibly implicated, including the son of the #3 man at the NHL.

Wake up. Talk. Do your job. Stop trying so hard to be part of the problem. Elliotte. Chris. Steven. Pierre. Darren. Kevin.

Here is an update from yesterday’s appearance before the Canadian Heritage Committee of the Government of Canada where the independent investigator hired by Hockey Canada testified about their investigation. Danielle Robitaille was kept from answering many questions due to solicitor/client privilege exerted by Hockey Canada, but also because the investigation is ongoing.

Several players refused to be interviewed in 2018 until the police investigation was resolved. The London Police decided to not lay any charges in February of 2019, and at that time, Robitaille could not get the complainant to speak to her. She testified on Tuesday that some player interviews were then cancelled, and the investigation was put on hold while she attempted to secure the complainant’s testimony. Robitaille emphasized that it is normal for a complainant in a case like this to need time to be ready to talk to an investigator. At this time about half from the 2018 team have yet to sit down with the investigators, but since the complainant has agreed to speak to Robitaille as of early July, the investigation is ongoing again, and player interviews are in the process of being scheduled.

Hockey Canada has given her direction that any player who fails to cooperate will be banned from Hockey Canada events for life, and that information will be public. Robitaille also emphasized that the process of investigating a case like this takes a lot of time, and people should be prepared for there to be no quick resolution.

She explained her mandate to the Committee as two-fold: find the truth about what happened, and identify any systemic issues at Hockey Canada they can improve upon. She indicated the second part resulted in a report of recommendations. However, she was not hired to implement those recommendations, and she was not clear about what the status of their implementation was. This topic led into the second hour of Committee hearings with the Minister for Sport, and her deputy minister. The main discovery there is that organizations overseen by her ministry operate on the honour system regarding the requirements to have third-party complaints processes for athletes. This is likely fairly normal in government funded agencies.

Today’s session is Hockey Canada executives, and the MPs on the Committee have been publicly displeased with their prior answers to questions and their inability to even provide information. It may be a testy session.

[In the interests of transparency, I rewrote the previous 5 paragraphs since I actually watched Robitaille’s testimony. —Katya]

I don’t think you’ll find any winners in the court of public opinion here as this is a full-on legal battle.


The LA Kings are planning to honour Dustin Brown next season.

Jesse Puljujarvi signed a one year deal (right on track with EW’s predictions) with many expecting him to be traded. He doesn’t have to be, by the way. Kerfoot for Poolparty?