After ten months of withholding funding, the feds are hoping the black sheep of Canadian sports has turned a new leaf.
What happened: The federal government has restored funding to the disgraced national sports body Hockey Canada after it met conditions intended to make hockey safer, including committing to the Abuse-Free Sport program, frequent updates on what’s being done to change hockey culture, and implementing recommendations from an independent review.
Catch-up: The feds pulled funding last June after the fallout surrounding the organization’s handling of a sexual assault lawsuit involving Canadian Hockey League players in 2018.
- The scandal led to revelations about Hockey Canada harbouring secret funds—built up mostly through player registration fees—used to settle 21 cases of alleged sexual assault since 1989. Brands then started to flee, and the entire board resigned.
Bottom line: Hockey Canada needs to restore sponsor trust. Unlike federal funding, this doesn’t come with a handy checklist of conditions. All top-tier corporate sponsors, including Nike, Tim Hortons, and Scotiabank, suspended funding—with Canadian Tire permanently severing ties—and there's no indication that they plan to backtrack anytime soon.—QH