Hockey Canada makes bylaw changes aimed at repairing tarnished reputation

Hockey Canada has changed the nomination process for its Board of Directors, saying it represents “tangible action” in response to calls for change at the governing body.

Hockey Canada and its members adopted new bylaws ahead of the selection of a new Board of Directors, which is set to take place on December 17. Among the changes:

  • All applications for Hockey Canada Board of Directors positions, including the Chair, will be reviewed and vetted by the independent Nominating Committee. No names will be added to the voting ballot without the Nominating Committee’s approval.
  • The new Board of Directors elected later this year will serve a one-year term as a transition Board, rather than the standard two years. The transition Board will be focused on accomplishing key urgent tasks that need to be accomplished in the short term.

The deadline for applications is November 10 in order to give the nominating committee enough time to engage a third-party recruiting firm to help with the vetting process and due diligence. The final list of candidates will be provided to members Nov. 28.

The changes are in line with interim recommendations made by former Supreme Court Justice Thomas Cromwell.

Cromwell is in the midst of a full governance review of Hockey Canada, with which he was tasked earlier this year after it was revealed that the organization reached an undisclosed settlement with a woman who alleged she was sexually assaulted by eight players, including members of the country’s 2018 world junior team.

The national sport governing body’s entire board of directors, along with CEO Scott Smith, resigned Monday after months of scandal, in which sponsors and members alike pulled support over the organization’s mishandling of alleged sexual assaults.

Major corporate sponsors – such as Bauer Hockey, Nike, Telus, Scotiabank, Tim Hortons, and Esso – have either suspended or paused their activities for the upcoming year while Canadian Tire ended its partnership with Hockey Canada, saying it could no longer move forward confidently as the organization “continues to resist meaningful change.”

Files from The Canadian Press were used in this report

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