Hockey Canada’s Secret Funds
Grant Robertson, Robyn Doolittle, Colin Freeze, Joe Friesen, Susan Krashinsky Robertson
It is our game, binding the country with pride in its unchallenged images of toughness, finesse, and international glory. Its players achieve mythic status in our pantheon of local heroes. So when TSN revealed that Hockey Canada had quietly settled a lawsuit filed by a woman claiming she had been sexually assaulted by members of Canada’s 2018 gold-medal winning World Juniors team, there was a collective national intake of breath. And the Globe and Mail launched its own investigation, following the money. This series’ first bombshell revealed that Hockey Canada had been secretly using registration fees — collected from Canadian parents over decades — to settle millions of dollars of sexual assault claims, never disclosing to parents or players how their money was being used. The practice had systematically kept rape allegations out of the public eye for decades. As Hockey Canada stonewalled and misled to protect its system of management and finances, the Globe kept reporting, and its impact was profound: a refocused inquiry, the exit of Hockey Canada’s CEO and resignation of its entire board, the kickstarting of a stalled police investigation; and ultimately, the reshaping of Hockey Canada for years to come. Because it was never really about hockey. It was about how the game was played.