Hockey Canada execs may soon be called to testify on sexual assault settlement

Steve Russell / Toronto Star / Getty

Hockey Canada higher-ups could soon be asked to answer for the governing body's decision to settle a sexual assault lawsuit in late May.

Conservative MP Kevin Waugh, who's serving on the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage in the House of Commons, told TSN's Rick Westhead the lawmakers could vote as early as Wednesday to determine whether to ask Hockey Canada executives to testify before the subcommittee about the abuse allegations and provide evidence regarding the settlement.

In a lawsuit filed in April, a woman said eight CHL players, including several members of Canada's 2017-18 world junior team, sexually assaulted her in June 2018 in a London, Ontario, hotel after a Hockey Canada event.

"We have to get into this right away and summon witnesses," Waugh said. "This just brings back so many memories of Graham James. I thought we cleaned this up after Sheldon Kennedy and Theoren Fleury, but I guess not."

"We’re now talking about an allegation of gang rape that may involve every third guy on that Team Canada roster," Waugh continued. "How the hell did Hockey Canada keep this quiet for four years? I'm appalled by the organization, and I'm appalled that this story is still now mostly buried by the Canadian media.”

Waugh added that any testimony would be public, and the subcommittee can subpoena anyone who declines invitations to do so.

Canada's sports minister, Pascale St-Onge, said last week that she's ordering an audit of Hockey Canada's financial activity to determine whether it used taxpayer funds to pay out the settlement. St-Onge also said she'd summon the organization's executives to testify.

The woman asked the judge to award $3.55 million, but the settlement amount isn't known, according to Westhead.

The subcommittee tabled a motion Monday to put aside other work to focus on Hockey Canada's case.

The NHL said in late May that it would investigate the allegations and determine punishment for those involved, if necessary.

Taxpayers partially fund Hockey Canada, giving the Canadian government jurisdiction over the federation.

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Hockey Canada execs may soon be called to testify on sexual assault settlement
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