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Results: 1 - 60 of 7717
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
Good morning.
I call the meeting to order.
Welcome to meeting number 41 of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.
I would like to acknowledge that this meeting is taking place on the unceded traditional territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe people.
Pursuant to the motion adopted by the committee on Monday, June 13, the committee is meeting on the study of Hockey Canada’s involvement in alleged sexual assaults committed in 2018.
Today’s meeting is taking place in a hybrid format. Pursuant to the House order of Thursday, June 23, 2022, members are attending in a hybrid setting. Those on the floor, you will know there is a place where you can get interpretation. On the floor itself there's a plug-in space for you to get interpretation. For those attending virtually, there is a little globe icon at the bottom of your screen. If you press that, you will get interpretation in English or French, depending on which you prefer.
I want to make a few comments for the benefit of the witnesses and members. Before speaking, please wait until I recognize you by name. For those participating by video conference, click on the microphone if you wish to speak to activate your mike and then mute your mike once you have finished. Also, if you wish to speak or have anything else, let me know. In virtual, you can raise your hand by using the “raise hand“ function. If you are on the floor, the clerk will tell me that you have raised your hand.
I'll remind you that all comments should be addressed through the chair. In accordance with our routine motion, I am informing the committee that all witnesses have completed the required connection tests in advance of the meeting.
Now I would like to welcome our witnesses.
As an individual, we have Mr. Glen McCurdie. From the Canadian Hockey League, we have Dan MacKenzie, president. From Hockey Canada, we have Scott Smith, president and chief operating officer. We have Brian Cairo, chief financial officer, Hockey Canada Foundation and Dave Andrews, chair, Hockey Canada Foundation. We have Tom Renney, former chief executive officer.
From the Ontario Hockey League, we have David Branch. From the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, we have Gilles Courteau, commissioner. From the Western Hockey League, we have Ron Robison.
I will give each of these witnesses—not every person, but each of the associations and organizations—five minutes. I will give you a 30-second warning. Listen to me yelling “30 seconds” into your ear so that you know that you have 30 seconds to wind up. Then we will begin a question and answer session.
I would like you to be as concise as you can, please, because we have to fit in a lot of questions and we need to make sure we're on time.
View John Nater Profile
CPC (ON)
I have a point of order, Madam Chair.
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
View John Nater Profile
CPC (ON)
I would ask that the witnesses be sworn in prior to their testimony.
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
Do I have the agreement of all of the committee?
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
View Sébastien Lemire Profile
BQ (QC)
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
We shall go ahead and have the clerk do that swearing in, please.
Justin Vaive
View Justin Vaive Profile
Justin Vaive
2022-07-27 11:08
I will, Madam Chair.
I just have a point of information for you and the members of the committee.
Seven of the witnesses are in person and I will proceed to swear them in momentarily, one at a time. Three of the witnesses are virtual. I've just sent them a text of either the oath or the solemn affirmation and once I'm done swearing in the witnesses here physically in the room, each one of them can be recognized by you and they will read out either the oath or the solemn affirmation to the committee. That will constitute their swearing in.
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
Glen McCurdie
View Glen McCurdie Profile
Glen McCurdie
2022-07-27 11:09
I, Glen McCurdie, do swear that the evidence I shall give on this examination shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
Clerk, you're going to have to guide me on the people on the floor, please.
Scott Smith
View Scott Smith Profile
Scott Smith
2022-07-27 11:10
I, Scott Smith, do swear that the evidence I shall give on this examination shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
I affirm that the witness has been sworn in.
Brian Cairo
View Brian Cairo Profile
Brian Cairo
2022-07-27 11:10
I, Brian Cairo, do swear that the evidence I shall give at this examination shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
I affirm that the witness has been duly sworn in.
Dan MacKenzie
View Dan MacKenzie Profile
Dan MacKenzie
2022-07-27 11:11
I, Dan MacKenzie, do swear that the evidence I shall give on this examination shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
I affirm that the witness has been duly sworn in.
Gilles Courteau
View Gilles Courteau Profile
Gilles Courteau
2022-07-27 11:11
I, Gilles Courteau, do swear—
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Renney, would you unmute, please.
View John Nater Profile
CPC (ON)
Madam Chair, the clerk is still swearing in people in the room.
Justin Vaive
View Justin Vaive Profile
Justin Vaive
2022-07-27 11:12
Yes, Madam Chair, we'll be with the virtual witnesses momentarily, as soon as we're finished with the ones in the room.
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
Gilles Courteau
View Gilles Courteau Profile
Gilles Courteau
2022-07-27 11:12
I, Gilles Courteau, do swear that the evidence I shall give on this examination shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
I affirm that the witness has been duly sworn in.
David Branch
View David Branch Profile
David Branch
2022-07-27 11:12
I, David Branch, do swear that the evidence I shall give on this examination shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
I affirm that the witness has been duly sworn in.
Justin Vaive
View Justin Vaive Profile
Justin Vaive
2022-07-27 11:13
Madam Chair, we've sworn in the witnesses here in the room. Would you please ask each of the three virtual witnesses to repeat the oath or the solemn affirmation?
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Andrews, would you repeat the solemn oath or affirmation, please.
Dave Andrews
View Dave Andrews Profile
Dave Andrews
2022-07-27 11:13
Yes, Madam Chair. Thank you.
I, David Andrews, do swear that the evidence I shall give on this examination shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
I affirm that the witness has been duly sworn in.
Go ahead, Mr. Renney.
Tom Renney
View Tom Renney Profile
Tom Renney
2022-07-27 11:13
Thank you, Madam Chair.
I do not have the text message with the statement.
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
While you are awaiting it, I shall go to Mr. Robison.
Ron Robison
View Ron Robison Profile
Ron Robison
2022-07-27 11:13
I, Ron Robison, do swear that the evidence I shall give on this examination shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
I affirm that the witness has been duly sworn in.
Now, Mr. Renney, have you received the text?
Tom Renney
View Tom Renney Profile
Tom Renney
2022-07-27 11:14
I have not, Madam Chair.
Justin Vaive
View Justin Vaive Profile
Justin Vaive
2022-07-27 11:14
We have sent it to your email, Mr. Renney, but it may not have arrived. I can administer it directly. Would you like to use the oath or the solemn affirmation?
Tom Renney
View Tom Renney Profile
Tom Renney
2022-07-27 11:14
I can use the oath, thank you, and I do not have an email or a text. Thank you.
Justin Vaive
View Justin Vaive Profile
Justin Vaive
2022-07-27 11:14
That's fine. We can take care of it this way.
Please repeat after me: I, Tom Renney, do swear that the evidence I shall give on this examination shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.
Tom Renney
View Tom Renney Profile
Tom Renney
2022-07-27 11:14
I, Tom Renney, do swear that the evidence I shall give on this examination shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.
Justin Vaive
View Justin Vaive Profile
Justin Vaive
2022-07-27 11:14
Okay, Madam Chair, all the witnesses have been sworn in.
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
Thank you.
I affirm that the witness has been sworn in.
We should begin, and as I suggested, we'll start with Mr. Glen McCurdie, who is appearing as an individual.
Mr. McCurdie, you have five minutes.
Glen McCurdie
View Glen McCurdie Profile
Glen McCurdie
2022-07-27 11:15
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Good morning, honourable members. I thank you for the opportunity to be present here this morning.
Before I commence, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the committee for their kind and compassionate acceptance of my request relative to my initial invitation to the first meeting on June 20, 2022. My father, retired OPP constable Ian McCurdie, passed away in the early hours of June 13, 2022. Your consideration allowed me to put my focus on my family, and I truly appreciate that.
We are here to discuss the events of June 18 and 19, 2018, in London, Ontario, specifically as they pertain to the Hockey Canada Foundation gala, as well as the activities that took place thereafter.
I left Hockey Canada in December of 2021. My departure had nothing to do with the serious allegations stemming from the foundation gala, nor from the management of that matter at Hockey Canada from June of 2018 to my departure in December of 2021. In short, there is no correlation between those events and the end of my employment.
To assist the committee, I can provide a timeline of my activities at the pertinent times.
I was in London for the gala in 2018. My partner at the time, and wife now, attended the gala dinner and awards ceremony on Monday night. The following day, I attended the charity golf tournament. In my group were two of my BFL insurance brokers, a representative of Intact Insurance and a celebrity NHL player.
I have checked my phone records which indicate that I received a call at 12:08 p.m. eastern time from Denise Pattyn, senior director of HR with Hockey Canada—
View Sébastien Lemire Profile
BQ (QC)
Madam Chair, the interpretation has stopped.
Justin Vaive
View Justin Vaive Profile
Justin Vaive
2022-07-27 11:16
Madam Chair, we'll suspend for a minute to get the interpretation working again. Please stand by.
Madam Chair, the problem seems to have been resolved, so you can resume the meeting and have the witness continue.
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
Please continue, Mr. McCurdie.
Glen McCurdie
View Glen McCurdie Profile
Glen McCurdie
2022-07-27 11:17
Thank you, Madam Chair.
—and Scott Salmond, vice-president of men's national teams. They had received a call from the family or the stepfather of a woman who was making allegations against members of the national junior team, and they were looking to discuss next steps with me. They described the allegations to me in a brief manner. I had not dealt with this kind of real-time situation in my 30 years at Hockey Canada, nor have I dealt with one like it since that time.
My first suggestion to them was that we offer whatever assistance we possibly could, including counselling, referral to a sexual assault centre and filing a police report. I then made a phone call to a person I have confidence in when dealing with difficult situations. That person recommended a law firm that I could contact for immediate advice.
I was looking for legal advice because I wanted to make sure that Hockey Canada was responding responsibly and lawfully. One of those firms was Henein Hutchison, in particular, Danielle Robitaille.
I obtained contact numbers for Danielle. Danielle returned my call at 1:30 p.m. eastern time. I did not take notes of that initial call as I was not in my office, but I do recall Danielle highly recommending that we have the complainant attend London Police Service if possible, and if not, then I should report the matter. I had no issue in doing so.
Denise acted as a liaison at all times between Hockey Canada and the family of the complainant. She was the original point of contact, and we felt it best to maintain that comfort level with the complainant and her family.
I was confident in Henein Hutchison. I recognized the name and felt comfortable in using a firm we had not retained before as they had no preconceived knowledge of Hockey Canada or its operations. They were starting from the ground level in that regard. I felt this fresh perspective would be helpful and credible.
Tom and Scott were on a flight. I knew they were not available, but I also knew this matter needed immediate attention, so I proceeded to work with Danielle to address the matter as best I could. I felt terribly for the complainant and her family and tried to ensure that our response was as compassionate and responsible as possible while still protecting the integrity of the complainant and her family.
I remember being picked up by my wife at the charity golf tournament and asking her to drive as I had much work I needed to do on the way home. This occurred around 2:30 to 3:00 p.m. on June 19.
I had a call with Tom, Scott Smith, Scott Salmond and Denise at 2:37 p.m. This was followed by a lengthy conference call at 4 p.m. eastern where we reviewed the advice we had received and decided on next steps. I was to report the matter to London police. I did so at 6:44 p.m. eastern time as per my phone records.
My recollection is that I spoke with two female officers; first one and then transferred to another. Both were quite abrupt with me, and I did try to stress to them the need to report. Eventually they did call the stepfather after I provided his name and number. I left her my name and phone number as well.
At 8:14 p.m., as per my phone records, London Police Service phoned me back. I spoke to a Constable Fortier. Constable Fortier indicated that the victim was unwilling to come forward despite their efforts to convince her. Constable Fortier provided me with the incident number and provided me with the name of the detective assigned to the complaint.
Glen McCurdie
View Glen McCurdie Profile
Glen McCurdie
2022-07-27 11:20
The insurers I would normally report this to were with me at the time I received the calls about this issue. They knew what was going on only for that reason. I formally reported this matter in writing to our insurers the next day, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, after I had reported the matter to London police.
In terms of the settlement of this matter, that took place after I was no longer at Hockey Canada. I was not involved in any of the discussions and was not involved in any manner with this file after my departure in December of 2021.
I thank you for your time and look forward to assisting the committee in whatever manner I can.
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
Thank you very much, Mr. McCurdie.
We will now go to the Canadian Hockey League and Dan MacKenzie.
You have five minutes, please, Mr. MacKenzie.
View Sébastien Lemire Profile
BQ (QC)
Madam Chair, the interpreter flagged that the witness was speaking too quickly for the interpreter to interpret the end of his statement.
I still caught what was said, but I encourage the witnesses to be mindful of the interpreters.
Thank you.
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
Thank you.
I don't think there is any interpretation. I'm getting none at the moment.
Could we please suspend while we check that before we begin Dan MacKenzie's testimony?
View Sébastien Lemire Profile
BQ (QC)
Madam Chair, I can confirm that the interpretation is working in French.
Justin Vaive
View Justin Vaive Profile
Justin Vaive
2022-07-27 11:21
Madam Chair, you can resume. The interpretation is fine.
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
It's fine with you; I'm hoping I will get English interpretation. Thank you very much.
Once again, Mr. MacKenzie, please begin. You have five minutes.
Dan MacKenzie
View Dan MacKenzie Profile
Dan MacKenzie
2022-07-27 11:21
Thank you, Madam Chair and members of the committee.
My name is Dan MacKenzie. I began my role as president of the Canadian Hockey League in September of 2019, a little over a year after the June 2018 Hockey Canada gala.
The CHL is comprised of three leagues: the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The commissioners of these three leagues are with me today to assist the committee in any way we can to answer your questions—any that would relate to the 2018 Hockey Canada gala or any other topic. The three constituent leagues in the CHL have a total of 60 privately or community owned and operated teams, and approximately 1,400 players. Of the 60 teams, eight are located in the United States, while the remaining 52 are in communities from Cape Breton to Victoria.
I wish we were here under different circumstances. As the father of two teenagers, I know that the issues we're going to speak about today are extremely important to parents across this country. We are concerned for the victims of the 2018 and recently reported 2003 world junior teams, as the allegations are horrific. We feel strongly that this is a critical time in our sport. We will fully co-operate with police and other investigations, and expect that any player responsible will be subject to criminal accountability.
Each year, our leagues along with our 60 owners review our policies and educational programs designed for players, coaches, billet families and team staff. For many years, our leagues have conducted training on consent and sexual misconduct, and have worked with organizations, including regional rape crisis centres, the Canadian Mental Health Association, police services, the Canadian Red Cross, and respect in sport, to deliver those programs. Obviously, given the revelations of the past weeks, we ask ourselves: How can we do more to protect victims of sexual misconduct, the communities in which we play, and the reputation of hockey?
Over the past 18 months, we have received two independent reports on how we can improve our respective policies, procedures and training programs relating to off-ice conduct, and are committed to adopting a broad set of recommendations in time for this upcoming season. Having said that, we know that we aren't going to eliminate the type of behaviour alleged in these cases with just policy improvements. The experts have told us that a key element to improvement is a truly independent system of complaints and investigation on these issues to encourage players and other witnesses to come forward knowing that they will be protected from reprisal. On July 15 the CHL's member leagues unanimously endorsed the creation of an independent system of dealing with complaints for implementation this season.
The CHL is part of a larger hockey ecosystem. We stand willing to work with the recommendations of this committee, hockey organizations and outside experts to make real change. Players, no matter their skill, must know that they cannot act with impunity. If they break the law, they will face criminal penalties and severe sanctioning from the CHL or its regional league.
With respect to the world junior tournaments and the 2018 Hockey Canada gala, I would like to note the following for the committee. The gala took place in June, after the end of the CHL season. All of the players on the world junior team were subject to the jurisdiction and supervision of Hockey Canada during the world junior tournaments and the Hockey Canada awards gala. The team was made up of approximately 22 players, all of whom had signed professional contracts. The following season, two of those 22 players returned to the CHL after starting the season with their professional club.
The CHL received the statement of claim in May of 2022. Like all Canadians, we were shocked by the allegations. The CHL was not involved in any settlement discussions with the plaintiff or her counsel. We signed the settlement only after it was negotiated and signed by the plaintiff and Hockey Canada. At the time of the settlement, we were seeking an opinion on whether the claim could be struck against the CHL, as we did not believe we were a proper party to be included in this legal action.
In closing, we look forward to the report of this committee. We are committed to working with you to ensure that hockey remains Canada's game. We want to take care not to damage the reputation of the millions of Canadians who play, coach and volunteer in hockey arenas across this country who are committed, enjoy their experience and have done nothing to warrant the feelings that many Canadians are currently expressing about those involved in these terrible incidents.
We are open to the committee to ask any questions of me or the three commissioners.
Thank you.
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
Thank you very much, Mr. MacKenzie.
Am I to understand that the Ontario Hockey League, the Quebec hockey league and the Western Hockey League are here in an advisory capacity to answer any pertinent questions, but they are not bringing witness presentations? Is that right?
Dan MacKenzie
View Dan MacKenzie Profile
Dan MacKenzie
2022-07-27 11:26
That is correct, Madam Chair.
View Hedy Fry Profile
Lib. (BC)
Thank you very much.
I now move on to Hockey Canada with Mr. Smith, Mr. Cairo, Mr. Andrews and Mr. Renney.
You have five minutes as Hockey Canada to present. You may decide who wants to do your presentation or how you want that presentation to occur.
Thank you.
Scott Smith
View Scott Smith Profile
Scott Smith
2022-07-27 11:27
Thank you, Madam Chair.
I'm Scott Smith, the current president and CEO of Hockey Canada, and I'll speak on behalf of our organization.
We welcome this opportunity to speak to the committee once again.
Let me start today by reiterating that Hockey Canada understands Canadians' trust in us has been eroded, and we are committed to take every action possible to earn it back. That includes apologizing for not doing enough to address the actions of some members of the 2018 world junior team.
I know you have questions about the leadership of Hockey Canada and about my leadership. You want answers, and you want to see real action taken to end the culture of silence that allows toxic behaviour and sexism to fester in corners of our game. I do too.
You have asked for transparency. You've asked for accountability. You've asked for Hockey Canada to change. I am here to lead that change.
I took on this role a little over a month ago, just as you and Canadians challenged us to fix our house. I will not walk away from the demands you have rightly put before us. We can and must do better. We know we must make meaningful change to earn back your trust. Last month we committed that we would act, and we have taken the following steps.
We've reopened the independent investigation into the alleged sexual assault in 2018. Any player who does not participate will be banned from all Hockey Canada activities and programs, effective immediately. The investigation, once complete, will be referred to an independent panel of current and former judges to determine the appropriate consequences.
We acknowledge the courage of the young woman involved and respect her decision to participate with the investigation in the manner she chooses.
We are expanding the mandatory training not only for high-performance players, but also for coaches, team staff and volunteers. We'll dramatically expand the number of players who are exposed to enhance education with respect to off-ice issues and to drive a speak-up culture. These players will carry that training back to their leagues, provincial programs and minor hockey associations.
We will ask an independent third party expert panel to conduct a full governance review of Hockey Canada to ensure we have the right people and the oversight in place to give Canadians confidence in us going forward. We will have more to say on who will lead that in the coming days.
We will become a full signatory to the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner, which came into effect last month. As well, we are creating a new independent and confidential mechanism to investigate complaints, even those historical in nature, to serve our membership. These and a range of other measures are included in a detailed action plan we released earlier this week.
Culture change will not take place overnight and it is not something Hockey Canada can do alone, but we believe the action plan is an important step forward. We know the work ahead of us will define the future of Hockey Canada.
Before we take your questions, I will just reiterate that the process we followed regarding the incident in London in 2018 was not perfect, but it was intended to ensure that Hockey Canada did not and could not interfere in the investigation. Hockey Canada notified police and engaged an expert firm to conduct an independent investigation that spanned more than two years. Reopening the investigation is a step towards addressing the disappointment you and so many feel about the outcome of the process we followed.
We intend to let this investigation, and that of the London Police Service, proceed with whatever support from Hockey Canada that may be requested, but we have been rightly cautioned to be diligent in any public commentary in order to preserve the integrity of these investigations. That means we will be somewhat limited in what we can say before the committee.
We heard you clearly last month that, above all, you want to see consequences for wrongdoing. So, we trust you will also be diligent to preserve the integrity of the investigation.
Scott Smith
View Scott Smith Profile
Scott Smith
2022-07-27 11:31
The same is true of the troubling information Hockey Canada received last Thursday evening relating to the 2003 World Junior Championship. We were not aware of the allegations until we received an email from Rick Westhead of TSN, but we notified Halifax police that same evening and encourage anyone who has information that can help their investigation to do the same immediately.
To close, Canadians have been clear that they expect those representing our national sport to do better. We recognize that many of the actions we are taking now should have been taken sooner and faster. We own it, and will do better to deliver on our responsibilities to Canadians.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
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