Trudeau slams Hockey Canada over sexual assault reserve funds for misconduct

It was recently revealed that Hockey Canada possessed a reserve fund used to handle sexual misconduct claims whose coffers were filled via minor hockey registration fees.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau slammed the governing body of Canada’s national sport during a visit to BC, calling their actions “absolutely unacceptable.”

“I think right now it’s hard for anyone in Canada to have faith or trust in anyone at Hockey Canada,” Trudeau began. “What we’re learning today is absolutely unacceptable.”

“It’s why a number of days–of weeks ago, we froze funding to Hockey Canada pending significant reforms in transparency and accountability.”

“When I think about the culture that is apparently permeating the highest orders of that organization,” he continued, “I can understand why so many parents, why so many Canadians who take such pride in our national winter sport are absolutely disgusted by what’s going on.”

Trudeau added that the Liberals “will continue to be unequivocal in our condemnation of what we’re learning and mostly in our demands that things change significantly.”

According to the Canadian Press, who first broke the story, the fund was revealed in an affidavit sworn by then-vice-president of insurance and risk management Glen McCurdie.

“Hockey Canada maintains a reserve in a segregated account to pay for any such uninsured liabilities as they arise,” the affidavit states, noting that “uninsured liabilities include potential claims for historical sexual abuse.”

The organization confirmed the existence of their “National Equity Fund” in a statement on Tuesday, adding that it “is also used to pay for the organization’s insurance premiums and to cover any claims not otherwise covered by insurance policies.”

Hockey Canada has been in the spotlight for its handling of sexual misconduct allegations against players as of late. In May, they settled a $3.5 million lawsuit with a woman who alleged she was assaulted by members of the 2018 world juniors team.

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