Hockey Canada Board of Directors resigns on recommendation of Judge Cromwell

A former Supreme Court Justice of Canada recommended a full overhaul to Hockey Canada’s management 24 hours before its president and chief executive officer and board resigned en masse on Tuesday.

Hockey Canada on Thursday unveiled a memorandum from Judge Thomas Cromwell, in addition to his interim report on the national association’s governance.

Monday’s memorandum indicates there is “no doubt” that Hockey Canada’s leadership has lost the confidence of key partners and that pleas to wipe the slate clean must be heard.

Cromwell recommended that Hockey Canada establish a board of directors and a board chairman who would agree to serve as the transition committee for a four-year term only. This body would be responsible for responding to “many public concerns about the organisation’s management”.

Hockey Canada announced Tuesday that its President and CEO, Scott Smith, is leaving the organization along with the entire Board of Directors. The latter will remain in office until a new board is elected during the association’s annual general assembly on December 17th.

“I am not recommending that all directors resign immediately for these reasons. The federation could not function without a board,” Cromwell wrote.

In his memorandum, Cromwell identified four main tasks for the Transitional Body:

— Responding with Hockey Canada members to the governance changes it will propose in its final report;

— reassure the public of their many concerns about their management team;

— Start repairing damaged relationships with partners;

— Ensuring stability so operations can resume.

“I do not make these recommendations lightly,” Cromwell wrote. Still, I’m doing this in the best interests of Hockey Canada and the game of hockey.”

Last August, Cromwell was given a mandate to carry out a full governance review of the federation after it was revealed the panel had agreed to an out-of-court settlement with a woman who claimed she was raped by eight players, according to members of the 2018 youth national team a Hockey Canada banquet in London, Ontario in 2018.

Juliet Ingram

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