Hockey Canada hopes to foster a safer culture in the sport

Hockey Canada says it needs to “do more” when it comes to fostering a safe culture in the sport.

The national organization released a brief statement Thursday after the federal government froze funding in response to its handling of an alleged sexual assault and out-of-court settlement.

Minister of Sport Pascale St-Onge said Wednesday that Hockey Canada would only have its public funding restored once it provided an incomplete report by a third-party law firm hired to investigate the alleged incident four years ago involving eight players at a gala function in London, Ont.

St-Onge added the sport’s national body must also become a signatory to the Office of the Integrity Commissioner, a new government agency with the power to independently investigate abuse complaints and levy sanctions.

Hockey Canada spokeswoman Esther Madziya acknowledged the minister’s conditions, adding the organization recognizes “that as leaders we need to do more.”

Hockey Canada president Scott Smith and outgoing CEO Tom Renney were grilled by legislators on Parliament Hill earlier this week during a Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage meeting into the organization’s handling of the alleged incident in London.

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