Chair of Hockey Canada board steps down

Aug 6 (Reuters) – Michael Brind’Amour will immediately step down as chair of the Hockey Canada board of directors, the sport’s national governing body said Saturday.

Hockey Canada has been under fire since news broke in May of an alleged group sexual assault in London, Ontario, involving eight members of the country’s 2018 world junior team and subsequent out-of-court settlement.

Brind’Amour’s term had been set to end in November. Hockey Canada said it would meet in the coming days to appoint an interim chair.

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“There is no need to wait for a new era. Immediate action is essential to address the important challenges facing our organization and our sport,” he said in a statement.

Brind’Amour was first elected as chair in 2018.

This week Hockey Canada said former Supreme Court Justice Thomas Cromwell would lead a governance review.

Among the issues Cromwell is expected to address is whether the organization improperly used a fund to settle sexual assault claims that was financed by players’ registration fees.

“I am reassured that The Honorable Thomas Cromwell, CC, has agreed to lead a governance review of our organization that will help us make the changes that are needed. I am confident the recommendations will guide the organization into a future of desired change,” said Brind’Amour.

“I wish the best of success to those who will succeed me.”

Hockey Canada CEO Scott Smith previously said he would not resign and wanted to lead a cultural change across the hockey-loving country.

Last month Hockey Canada offered a plan to “shatter the code of silence and eliminate toxic behavior” in ice hockey, including a tracking and reporting system for complaints. read more

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Reporting by Amy Tennery in NEW YORK

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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