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It’s time to think of replacing Hockey Canada with a new organization, says Trudeau

A Hockey Canada jersey.

The embattled Hockey Canada is planning to host the 2023 World Junior Championship in Halifax and Moncton from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2023.

Photo: La Presse canadienne / Jeff McIntosh

RCI

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it's time to think about starting a new organization to replaceHockey Canada, which continues to defend itself despite paying out nearly $9 million to 21 complainants of sexual misconduct since 1989, as major sponsors pull their support of the embattled organization.

It is inconceivable that folks at Hockey Canada continue to dig in. It's not like there's something extraordinarily special about the people at Hockey Canada that means they are the only people in the country that can run an organization like this, he said before heading into a cabinet meeting on Parliament Hill on Thursday.

They need to realize that if we have to create an organization, get rid of Hockey Canada and create an organization called 'Canada Hockey' instead, people will look at doing that.

WATCH | 'Hockey Canada has lost the confidence of Canadians': Trudeau

'Hockey Canada has lost the confidence of Canadians': Trudeau

1 hour agoDuration1:16As Hockey Canada continues to lose sponsors, including Telus and Tim Hortons, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it's time for an overhaul of the organization's leadership.

Trudeau went on to say while the federal government isn't in the business of starting new hockey organizations, he is sure there will be a vacuum filled up.

The prime minister's comments are just the latest salvo aimed at the national ice hockey body amid frustrations about its handling of sexual assault allegations and its executives' adamant defence of the organization.

Trudeau went on to say while the federal government isn't in the business of starting new hockey organizations, he is sure there will be a vacuum filled up.

The prime minister's comments are just the latest salvo aimed at the national ice hockey body amid frustrations about its handling of sexual assault allegations and its executives' adamant defence of the organization.

Canadian Tire announced Thursday that it is ending its partnership with Hockey Canada.

In our view, Hockey Canada continues to resist meaningful change and we can no longer confidently move forward together, said Jessica Sims, a spokesperson for the Canadian Tire Corporation.

CTC is proud of our commitment to sport and will continue to invest in our beloved national game by re-directing support to hockey-related organizations that better align with our values.

Earlier that morning, Telus announced it will no longer be funding Hockey Canada's men's program for the upcoming season.

We are deeply disheartened by the lack of action and commitment from Hockey Canada to drive necessary cultural change, the telecommunications company said in a statement released Thursday morning.

Telus will not be sponsoring Hockey Canada's men's hockey programs for the 2022-23 season, including the upcoming world juniors tournament. We remain passionate fans and supporters of the sport of hockey and stand committed to enabling systemic change to make hockey safe for all.

Hockey Canada is planning to host the 2023 World Junior Championship in Halifax and Moncton from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2023.

Telus is considered a premier sponsor. The company has sponsored Hockey Canada since 2004, and in 2017 renewed that partnership until 2022.

Telus had previously withdrawn support from the 2022 world junior hockey championship held in Edmonton in August.

On Wednesday, Tim Hortons announced it would be pulling its sponsorship of all of Hockey Canada's men's hockey programming for the 2022-23 season, including the men's world junior championships.

Hockey Canada has confirmed it paid out $8.9 million in settlements to 21 complainants with sexual misconduct claims against its players since 1989.

CBC's The Fifth Estateidentified at least 15 cases (new window) of alleged group sexual assault involving junior hockey players that have been investigated by police since 1989 — half of which surfaced in the past decade, through a review of public records.

Hockey Canada says no to management changes

The companies' decisions add corporate pressure to mounting calls on ice hockey's national governing body for a change in its leadership after a widely panned appearance by one of its executives in front of a parliamentary committee this week.

Interim board chair Andrea Skinner defended Hockey Canada, saying it has an excellent reputation and arguing against scapegoating hockey as a centrepiece for toxic culture.

Skinner has been adamant that Hockey Canada won't be making any changes to its management despite a request from federal Sport Minister Pascale St-Onge, who has said she believes mass resignations at the governing body are necessary to restore public trust.

I think it — it boggles the mind that Hockey Canada is continuing to dig in its heels, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday.

Parents across the country are losing faith or have lost faith in Hockey Canada. Certainly, politicians here in Ottawa have lost faith in Hockey Canada.

Imperial Oil hasn't made a decision yet

In a statement Thursday morning, Chevrolet Canada reiterated its position from June, saying it has stepped back from its sponsorship activities with Hockey Canada as we seek more clarity on what specific steps the organization has and will take following the alleged incidents of abuse.

We at GM have no tolerance for abuse of any kind and wish to see Hockey Canada return to setting a positive example for all Canadians in all it does, said spokesperson Jennifer Wright in a statement.

WATCH | Hockey Canada's interim chair a 'scapegoat,' sports minister says

Hockey Canada's interim chair a 'scapegoat,' sports minister says

16 hours agoDuration9:17Pascale St-Onge says she's saddened Andrea Skinner, interim chair of Hockey Canada's board of directors, is the face of its 'boys' club problem.'

Last summer, Scotiabank announced it was putting its sponsorship of Hockey Canada on pause until it was confident the right steps are taken to improve the culture within the sport.

In a statement, Imperial Oil, another major sponsor, said it hasn't made a decision yet on supporting the 2023 men's world junior championship through its Esso brand.

As previously mentioned, we continue to find this matter deeply concerning and have regularly communicated our expectations to Hockey Canada that concrete steps must be taken to address safety issues and ensure swift culture change, said spokesperson Keri Scobie on Thursday.

Imperial remains committed to ongoing support to Canada's hockey community and grassroots youth and women's programs across the country, as we have done for more than 40 years.

The federal government has also announced it would stop all funding until Hockey Canada can show signs of positive change. 

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