On the ice, at the end of a very difficult meeting, the Canadian hockey players celebrated a third gold medal in just over a year (an Olympic title and two world titles). It was then that the CEO of Hockey Canada, Scott Smith, saw fit to enjoy this moment of joy.
In the midst of turmoil, when Parliament and a majority of Canadians are calling for the resignation of Hockey Canada’s leaders – and more particularly his own – Scott Smith showed up under the reflectors to present the gold medals to the winners in company, in particular, of the president of the International Federation, Luc Tardif.
What incredible arrogance! If the CEO had bought airtime to give the finger to Canadians and players in the hockey world, he could not have done better.
This new attempt to restore Scott Smith’s image followed the release a few days earlier of a statement amounting to a declaration of war and a middle finger to all those – including the four political parties represented in the Commons – who find that a major cleaning is needed at Hockey Canada.
In this very brief statement, Hockey Canada Acting Board Chair Andrea Skinner said the Board is fully supportive of Scott Smith and the federation’s leadership team.
This indignity immediately prompted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to react.
It is very clear that, for several months, the government and Canadians no longer have confidence in the management of Hockey Canadahe said.
The longer it takes to understand this fairly obvious and basic fact, the worse it will go for them; the more there will be pointed questions to find out why they don’t understand that it takes real changesadded Justin Trudeau.
It was the second time the Prime Minister publicly called on Hockey Canada executives to fill their boxes and empty their offices. This is unheard of. And it’s been three months that Scott Smith and his acolytes have been hiding the truth and trying to create a diversion to cling to the controls of the most powerful sports federation in the country.
The story, however, is not complicated.
Last May, Hockey Canada paid $3.55 million to a young woman who allegedly was the victim of a disgusting gang rape. The alleged assault was allegedly committed in London in the summer of 2018 by eight players from Junior Team Canada.
In the space of a few days, without even knowing who the attackers were, the leaders of Hockey Canada decided to compensate the victim and have him sign a concrete confidential agreement. By thus muzzling the alleged victim and his family, the leaders have thus placed the eight players in question safe from any concern.
In addition, the alleged attackers did not even have to dip into their bank account to compensate the victim because Hockey Canada, with the dues of its members and the money of its sponsors, did it for them.
From there, the judgment was already without appeal. We understood that the leaders of Hockey Canada were not benevolent enough and did not have the necessary judgment to lead the destinies of an institution like Hockey Canada.
When Hockey Canada executives were summoned by the Standing Committee on Heritage, it was then learned that they learned of the alleged attack in 2018, hours after it happened.
They subsequently delayed several hours before contacting the police, then they commissioned a bogus investigation from a Toronto law firm to officially say that they had tried to shed light on this story.
But because they didn’t force the players of the 2018 Junior Team Canada to participate in the investigation and they didn’t even brandish the shadow of a sanction to those who refused to cooperate, the investigation fell flat.
And to this day, remember, Hockey Canada still refuses to provide parliamentarians with the incomplete investigation report that was delivered to them by the law firm. Even if failure to submit these documents deprives the federation of seven million dollars in federal funding.
The content of this report must be really embarrassing for people to prefer to forego seven million dollars a year. The leaders of Hockey Canada may think that the parents of the players of the federation will assume the difference.
After this new layer of negligence, we no longer speak of the obligation to resign. We are talking about gross negligence and bad faith.
Journalists who research the case, sponsors, parliamentarians who have access to privileged documentation and ordinary citizens are overwhelmingly of the same opinion. They believe that Hockey Canada’s leadership should make the only honorable decision possible and leave the Calgary headquarters to make way for new directors.
But instead, Scott Smith and his gang multiply the diversions and hire crisis management firms in the hope that the storm will pass and that the good people will eventually move on.
Like this ridiculous
action plan that Hockey Canada broadcasts and acclaims on all platforms. Said plan being accompanied by hollow phrases like
our updated policies, which include a new universal code of conduct, will help end toxic behavior on and off the ice.
The people of Hockey Canada know, however, that no organization in the world, especially when it brings together nearly a million players, coaches, referees and volunteers, will ever succeed in stopping the crimes or acts of delinquency committed by an infinitesimal part of its members.
Sport, after all, is only a reflection of the society in which it is immersed.
However, as if talking to morons, Scott Smith and his team really seem to believe that by promising a reduction in the number of assaults or by having their rules of governance revised by a former judge, they will regain the confidence of the public. Canadians.
Of course, all were stunned and deeply shocked to learn that a young woman had allegedly been the victim of such an abject attack.
But what upset them even more, and this is the crux of this scandal, is that Hockey Canada officials may have thought it was a good idea to cover up the matter and to reach an agreement protecting both their image and the identity of the aggressors.
Mr. Smith and Mrs. Skinner, the game has been over for three months. You have disqualified yourselves, and the bond of trust that is supposed to bind Hockey Canada and the rest of the Canadian population is broken.
Pack your boxes and leave before they grab you by the bun of your neck and force you to do so.