Hockey Canada appoints Andrea Skinner interim chair

Steve Russell / Toronto Star / Getty

Hockey Canada named Andrea Skinner interim chair of its board of directors Tuesday.

Skinner takes over for Michael Brind'Amour, who stepped down Saturday. She'll preside until the end of the current board's term in November. Skinner joined the board in November 2020.

“As a board we are listening to Canadians," Skinner said in a statement.

"We are working to make meaningful positive changes to the culture of the sport of hockey," she added. "I am proud of my lifelong commitment to hockey and am honored to serve Hockey Canada as chair of the board; a board that includes men and women with a diversity of age and life experiences, and one that represents different ethnic and cultural communities, including Indigenous Canadians, and the LGBT2Q+ community."

Skinner also said she believes the nation's governing body of hockey is "taking positive steps to effect meaningful change" beginning at the grassroots level.

The Cornell alumna and former athlete is a partner at Toronto law firm Aird & Berlis LLP, where she serves as the chair of its diversity and inclusion committee.

Brind'Amour resigned in the wake of multiple sexual assault scandals engulfing Hockey Canada. The organization settled a lawsuit in May in which a woman said eight CHL players - including members of Canada's 2017-18 world junior team - sexually assaulted her in June 2018 in London, Ontario.

In July, the federation reported and urged authorities to investigate an alleged group sexual assault involving members of the national junior team in 2003.

Last week, Hockey Canada appointed former Supreme Court of Canada justice Thomas Cromwell to lead a review into the organization's governance structure.

In late July, Hockey Canada CEO Scott Smith said he would not resign while testifying at parliamentary hearings in which it was also revealed Hockey Canada paid out $8.9 million in sexual abuse settlements since 1989. Days before those hearings took place, Brind'Amour reportedly tabled a motion to remove Smith as CEO, but it was defeated.

The Canadian government has frozen Hockey Canada's federal funding, and several of the federation's corporate partners withdrew support ahead of the World Junior Championship, which begins Tuesday in Alberta.

Hockey Canada unveiled an action plan in late July that aims to address "systemic issues" and "toxic behaviors" in the sport.

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Hockey Canada appoints Andrea Skinner interim chair
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