Thursday, February 22

Members of Canada’s 2003 world junior team also accused of group sexual assault | CBC Sports


Members of Canada’s 2003 men’s world junior hockey championship team are being investigated for an alleged group sexual assault.

Hockey Canada said in a statement on Friday that it learned of the alleged incident after being contacted by TSN seeking comment. It’s the second allegation of sexual assault involving Canada’s world junior hockey team to become public in a span of two months.

The national sports body said that following the reporter’s email it immediately contacted Sport Canada as well as Halifax Regional Police about the allegations. Halifax was the co-host city of the 2003 world junior hockey championship.

“Hockey Canada is committed to bringing an end to the culture of silence in hockey,” reads the organization’s statement. “That is why we are publicly calling for anyone with knowledge of this incident to come forward to police, and we are being transparent in how we learned of this alleged assault and the steps we are taking to address it.”

Halifax Regional Police confirmed on Friday that they received a report related to a sexual assault alleged to have occurred in Halifax in 2003, and said they will be conducting an investigation.

“It is not our practice to provide information in relation to individuals involved in investigations unless charges have been laid and sworn before the courts. We take all matters of this nature very seriously and will be conducting a thorough investigation.”

Sport Canada did not immediately return a request for comment from The Canadian Press.

“We believe the alleged incident from 2003 should be investigated by the authorities, and we urge the police to open an investigation into this disturbing situation,” said Hockey Canada’s statement. “Hockey Canada will co-operate with and support the authorities in every way we can, and we once again urge anyone who may have relevant information about this alleged incident to contact Halifax police immediately.”

The National Hockey League said in a statement on Friday that it would look into the allegations.

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“We were made aware earlier today of the horrific allegations against members of the 2002-03 Canadian National Junior Team. The National Hockey League will look into the allegations and will respond appropriately.”

Hockey Canada has already had funding from the federal government and corporate sponsors paused following allegations of a sexual assault involving eight members of the 2018 men’s junior hockey team. Those allegations came to light after it was reported by media that Hockey Canada paid out a $3.55 million settlement to the victim after she sued the organization, the Canadian Hockey League, and the eight unnamed players.

The Canadian Press reported on Monday that Hockey Canada has maintained a fund that draws on minor hockey membership fees to pay for uninsured liabilities, including sexual abuse claims. Hockey Canada confirmed on Tuesday that fund exists but it would no longer be used to pay out claims over sexual assault allegations.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday that there needs to be a “real reckoning” at Hockey Canada as the organization continues to deal with the fallout related to its handling of the alleged sexual assault in June 2018 and out-of-court settlement.

WATCH | Hockey Canada ending use of reserve fund to settle sexual assault claims:

Hockey Canada says it will no longer use equity fund to settle sexual assault claims

Hockey Canada said in a statement Wednesday its National Equity Fund will no longer be used to settle sexual assault claims.



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