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Hockey Canada keeps a special multimillion-dollar fund, which is fed by the registration fees of players across the country, that it uses to pay out settlements in cases of alleged sexual assault without its insurance company, and with minimal outside scrutiny.

This reserve fund has exceeded $15-million in recent years, a Globe and Mail investigation has found. Details of how it operates are not disclosed in Hockey Canada’s annual report. Nor is it listed in the organization’s handbook for parents and players, which describes how registration fees are spent on Hockey Canada insurance coverage, even though some of that money is channelled into the fund.

The money is used at Hockey Canada’s discretion and can be deployed to write cheques to cover out-of-court settlements for a variety of claims, including allegations of sexual assault, that are deemed uninsurable or are settled without the participation of its insurer.

The existence of the fund raises new questions about how Hockey Canada handles allegations of sexual assault at a time when it has been accused by federal MPs of trying to sweep an alleged sexual assault by eight Canadian Hockey League players, including members of the 2018 Canadian World Junior team, under the rug without conducting a full investigation.

Canadian world junior player asked woman whether she had gone to police after alleged sexual assault

A day after an encounter in a hotel room that led to a sexual-assault lawsuit, a player with Canada’s world junior hockey team exchanged text messages with the woman involved.

The player began by asking the woman whether she had gone to the police.

The woman said she had spoken to her mother and her mother had called police against her wishes.

“You said you were having fun,” the player wrote.

“I was really drunk, didn’t feel good about it at all after. But I’m not trying to get anyone in trouble,” she replied.

“I was ok with going home with you, it was everyone else afterwards that I wasn’t expecting. I just felt like I was being made fun of and taken advantage of.”

The text messages, sent a little more than a day after the sexual encounter, were shown to The Globe and Mail by lawyers for seven unnamed members of Canada’s 2018 world junior hockey team.

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A members of Team Canada's World Junior team skates through the Hockey Canada logo at center ice at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg.Jeff Vinnick/Handout

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Russia’s Gazprom warns Europe it cannot guarantee future gas supplies

Russia’s state-controlled natural gas producer is warning European customers it cannot guarantee future gas deliveries even after Canada circumvented its own sanctions on Moscow to send a repaired turbine for a key pipeline that ships to Germany.

Russia’s Gazprom has told customers in Europe it cannot guarantee gas supplies because of “extraordinary” circumstances, according to a letter seen by Reuters, upping the ante in an economic tit-for-tat with the West over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Critics of Canada’s decision to release the Russian-owned turbine, contrary to its sanctions on Moscow, say this demonstrates how futile it was to bend sanction rules.

Suncor to explore Petro-Canada sale as part of corporate shakeup triggered by activist investor

Suncor Energy Inc. will explore a multibillion-dollar sale of its Petro-Canada gas station network after appointing three new directors in a corporate shakeup triggered by U.S. activist hedge fund Elliott Investment Management Inc.

Under an agreement with Elliott, announced yesterday, Suncor will proceed with a “strategic review” of its retail network “with the goal of unlocking shareholder value.” One of the options is the sale of the business, known for its maple leaf banner. One investment dealer, National Bank Financial, has estimated the unit’s value at $5-billion to $8-billion, depending on market conditions.

Other oil companies, including Imperial Oil Ltd., Chevron Corp. and Cenovus Energy Inc., have all divested their gas stations, selling them to retailers.

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Also on our radar

Advocates call for immigration program for Afghans to be expanded: The federal government is nearing its cap for relocating Afghans and their families to Canada through a special immigration program for those who worked with Canada’s military or government in Afghanistan. But advocates say there are Afghans who aided Canada’s missions still desperate to leave the country since the Taliban takeover last August.

Ex-Mountie’s account of call involving Nova Scotia gunman challenged: A former Mountie’s account that a 2013 call involving the Nova Scotia mass killer was about a routine “disturbance” – rather than a vicious domestic assault – is encountering contradictory evidence at a public inquiry.

Why Canada’s steep inflation isn’t entirely our fault: Many experts point to interest rates that were too low for too long and surging commodity prices when analyzing the causes of high inflation in Canada. But researchers at the U.S. Federal Reserve say in a paper that U.S. fiscal stimulus during the pandemic also had a large impact on inflation in Canada given the countries’ strong trade links.

Energy sector fears higher costs under new carbon pricing system: The federal government says it plans to implement its oil and gas emissions cap through a new carbon pricing system, leaving the sector worried it will be charged more for greenhouse gas emissions than other heavy industries.

Canadian Actors’ Equity will respect U.S. union’s prohibitions on working with Drabinsky: Canadian producer Garth Drabinsky has been added to the Actors’ Equity Association’s “Do Not Work” list, a designation that inhibits his ability to work in theatre in the United States but will also affect his employment of actors and other theatre professionals in Canada.

Unprecedented heat wave scorches Britain: Britain is in the midst of an unprecedented heat wave that’s expected to send temperatures soaring above 40 degrees this week and cause havoc for rail lines, schools and other public services. And scientists are warning that this kind of extreme heat could become the norm for Britain because of climate change.

Morning markets

European stocks slide: European shares slipped on Tuesday, while the U.S. dollar hovered below last week’s peak, with investors eyeing central bank meetings this week for clues on market direction. Just after 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.08 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 were off 0.16 per cent and 0.21 per cent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei closed up 0.65 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.89 per cent. New York futures were modestly higher. The Canadian dollar traded at 77.31 U.S. cents.

What everyone’s talking about

Editorial: “Revolutionizing Canadian health care by allowing people to spend more of their own money on doctors’ visits or surgeries will not, by itself, magically create more doctors, nurses, hospitals and surgeries. Nor will it cause waiting lists to disappear. Giving you the right to get into a bidding war with your neighbours for scarce medical services is unlikely to yield happy results.”

Rob Carrick: “There’s a view in housing that building more houses and condos is the answer to today’s affordability problem. Let’s hope that residential real estate construction ramps up to a point where we get to test that theory. Meantime, falling prices are the best hope for young adults priced out of housing.”

Today’s editorial cartoon

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Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail

Living better

Still hungry after a meal? Why it happens and five nutrient-packed foods to fill you up

Eating a meal should satisfy your hunger and tastebuds, as well as provide your body with fuel for the next few hours. Eating a satiating meal can also deter you from unwanted snacking. If your meals aren’t satisfying, they might not include the right foods. Some foods do a better job of maintaining the feeling of fullness for longer than others. Including these healthy foods in meals can help you feel satisfied longer after eating. Here’s why they’re filling and what nutritional perks they come with, plus tips on how to add them to your meals and snacks.

Moment in time: July 19, 2013

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Only the trunk remains of the maple tree that inspired Alexander Muir to write Canada's National song, 'The Maple Leaf Forever' after a storm toppled the aged silver maple in Toronto's Leslieville, July 21 , 2013.J.P. MOCZULSKI/The Globe and Mail

Storm topples Toronto’s Maple Leaf Forever tree

It’s said that Alexander Muir wrote The Maple Leaf Forever, once Canada’s unofficial national anthem, after seeing a leaf fall from a silver maple in Toronto’s Leslieville neighbourhood. In 1867, the tree stood outside an unassuming cottage, later named Maple Cottage, at Memory Lane and Laing Street and became a symbol for the Canadian patriotism Muir’s song promoted. The cottage is still around, but the tree purported to have inspired Muir was toppled by a storm on this day in 2013. The tree’s falling brought the community of Leslieville together in mourning and prompted the city of Toronto to collect and accept proposals for repurposing the wood. While the link between Muir and the tree that fell almost a decade ago is tenuous at best, with a Globe and Mail story from 1991 estimating that the contemporary Maple Cottage tree was only about 80 years old, what’s undeniable is the meaning it held in Canadian history. Today, the tree lives on in public displays of carvings from its wood, and its offspring grow in the park behind Maple Cottage and line Bronson Avenue on the drive from the airport in Old Ottawa South. Hope Mahood

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