Chair of board of directors for Hockey Canada steps down
Michael Brind'Amour is stepping down effective immediately as the chair of Hockey Canada's board of directors.
Brind'Amour's term was set to expire in November. He issued a statement explaining the reasons for his resignation.
I have listened carefully and intently to the comments of Canadians about the culture of our sport and our organization, and about our actions and leadership. I understand that the actions we have taken in recent weeks are part of the solution. My final term ends in November 2022, and I know that there is no need to wait for a new era. Immediate action is essential to address the important challenges facing our organization and our sport, which our Action Plan works to accomplish. I would not be able to see this renewal through and have therefore announced my resignation to the Board of Directors. I am reassured that The Honourable Thomas Cromwell, C.C., has agreed to lead a governance review of our organization that will help us make the changes that are needed. I am confident the recommendations will guide the organization into a future of desired change. I wish the best of success to those who will succeed me.
Hockey Canada has been under intense scrutiny in recent months over a sexual assault lawsuit that was settled in May. In the lawsuit, a woman said eight unnamed CHL players, including members of Canada's 2017-18 world junior team, sexually assaulted her in June 2018 following an event in London, Ontario.
Hockey Canada also recently reported an alleged group sexual assault from 2003 involving members of the 2002-03 national junior team. The organization urged authorities to investigate.
Federal funds for Hockey Canada have been frozen. Additionally, several prominent sponsors withdrew support for the organization leading up to this summer's rescheduled world juniors in Alberta.
Hockey Canada recently unveiled an action plan to address "systemic issues" and "toxic behaviors" within the sport.
Brind'Amour's decision to leave comes after his motion to remove Scott Smith as CEO of Hockey Canada was defeated, sources told TSN's Rick Westhead. The motion was filed in July prior to hearings held by the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage where multiple MPs said Hockey Canada executives should resign.
Brind'Amour was originally elected to the position in November 2018. He received a second term in 2020. Hockey Canada plans to meet in the upcoming days to appoint an interim chair and will hold full board elections in November, according to Westhead.