Hockey Canada names Andrea Skinner as interim board chair

By Patricia D'Cunha and The Canadian Press

Hockey Canada’s board of directors appointed Andrea Skinner to serve as interim chair following the resignation of Michael Brind’Amour.

The national governing body’s 13 provincial, regional and territorial associations recommended Skinner to step in as interim chair, Hockey Canada said on Tuesday.

In a statement, Skinner said she is looking forward to making “meaningful positive changes to the culture of the sport of hockey.”

“I sincerely believe the organization is taking positive steps to effect meaningful change. We’ll have more to announce in the coming weeks, including more independent experts who will monitor and provide guidance on the implementation of the Action Plan.”

She will serve as interim chair until the end of the current board’s term, which is set to expire in November when the next board election takes place at the annual general meeting.

Skinner, who first elected to Hockey Canada’s Board of Directors in November of 2020, practices law as a partner at Aird & Berlis LLP, where she also serves as chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Over the weekend, Brind’Amour stepped down as board chair effective immediately as board chair.

Hockey Canada has been under intense scrutiny for its handling of sexual assault allegations against members of previous men’s junior teams.

The federal government froze Hockey Canada’s funding after it was revealed the organization had quietly settled a lawsuit with a woman who alleged she was sexually assaulted by members of the 2018 men’s junior team at Hockey Canada gala in London, Ont., that year.

Since then, Hockey Canada has said members of the 2003 junior team are under investigation for alleged sexual assault in Nova Scotia.

Canada’s sports minister Pascale St-Onge is withholding funds until she’s satisfied Hockey Canada meets her conditions, which were a financial audit of the organization, producing the recommendations of a third-party law firm review and an action plan for change, as well as signing onto the office of the new sports integrity commissioner.

Hockey Canada has maintained a fund drawing on minor hockey membership fees to pay for uninsured liabilities, including sexual abuse claims. The organization has stated it will no longer use its “national equity fund” to settle sexual assault claims.

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