Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the “absolutely unacceptable” conduct at Hockey Canada has shaken the public’s faith in the national governing body for hockey.
“I think right now it’s hard for anyone in Canada to have faith or trust in anyone at Hockey Canada. What we’re learning today is absolutely unacceptable,” Mr. Trudeau told a news conference on Tuesday at Bowen Island in British Columbia.
“There must be a reckoning and there need to be consequences for people who are responsible for that deep lack of respect for the institution.”
The Globe’s Grant Robertson reports that 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.
The existence of the fund has raised 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.
Mr. Trudeau noted that his government has frozen funds to Hockey Canada pending significant reforms, transparency and accountability.
“A few years ago, I had my son in hockey and when I think about the culture that is apparently permeating the highest orders of that organization, I can understand why so many parents, why so many Canadians who take such pride in our national winter sport are absolutely disgusted by what’s going on,” he said.
Also: 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. Story here.
Mr. Trudeau’s comments came during a visit to B.C. that included a stop, on Monday, in the B.C. Interior town of Summerland. Story here.
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ENERGY SECTOR FEARS CARBON PRICING COSTS – 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. Story here.
HILLIER SPEAKS OUT ON TURBINES ISSUE – Retired general Rick Hillier says he fears Canada’s decision to return Nord Stream 1 pipeline turbines to Germany will weaken global sanctions against Russia imposed after its invasion of Ukraine. Story here.
N.S. LEGISLATURE TO HEAD OFF MEMBERS PAY RAISE – Nova Scotia’s legislature will reconvene next week to stop the implementation of a pay bump for its members that would raise annual salaries above $100,000, Premier Tim Houston said Tuesday. Story here.
CAP NEAR FOR RELOCATING AFGHANS UNDER SPECIAL PROGRAM – 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. Story here.
BROWN MAY FACE LIBERAL MP CHALLENGE IN HOLDING BRAMPTON MAYORALTY – Patrick Brown is seeking a second term as mayor of Brampton, but may face a challenge from a Liberal MP considering a bid for the job. Story here.
SASKATCHEWAN FINANCE MINISTER DEFENDS $8,000 FLIGHT – Saskatchewan’s Finance Minister says it was worth spending nearly $8,000 on a private plane to attend a chamber of commerce lunch. Story here.
SMALLER DEFICIT FOR ONTARIO: FISCAL WATCHDOG – Ontario’s fiscal watchdog is projecting a deficit $5.4-billion smaller than the most recent figure projected by the government. Story here from CBC.
CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP RACE
CAMPAIGN TRAIL – Scott Aitchison is in Toronto as is Jean Charest. Roman Baber is holding a meet-and-greet event in Barrie, Ont. Leslyn Lewis has stops in London and Sarnia. Pierre Poilievre is in Ottawa.
PLETT BACKS POILIEVRE – Manitoba Senator Don Plett, the Conservative leader in the Senate, says he is backing Pierre Poilievre for the leadership of the federal Conservative Party because Mr. Poilievre can rein in the “woke” elements of the party. Mr. Plett had planned to stay out of the race, but changed his mind, says The Winnipeg Free Press in a story here. “We have a woke society out there that we need to move back to where we were in the days of, absolutely, Stephen Harper – but also Brian Mulroney and our very founding forefathers … and most Liberal prime ministers,” he told The Free Press.
THIS AND THAT
The House of Commons is not sitting again until Sept. 19. The Senate is to resume sitting on Sept. 20.
NEW PRESIDENT OF NATIVE WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION – Carol McBridge has been elected the new president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada to serve a three-year term as head of Canada’s largest Indigenous women’s organization. She was elected by association members at the organization’s annual general assembly held on July 16.
HEARING SET ON POLITICAL INTERFERENCE IN N.S. SHOOTING – The Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security has set a July 25 meeting on allegations of political interference in the 2020 Nova Scotia mass murder investigation, with scheduled witnesses including Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair and RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki. Details here.
LETTER FROM THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL – To mark her first anniversary since becoming Governor-General, Mary Simon has written a letter to Canadians available here. “My position has limits. I cannot make policy or create programs. However, I can use my convening role to help build alliances that can promote change.”
HAJDU IN THUNDER BAY – Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu, in Thunder Bay, Ont., announced support from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario for medical technology and innovation in the Thunder Bay region. Ms. Hajdu is the minister responsible for the agency.
PETITPAS TAYLOR IN TRURO – Official Languages Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, in Truro, N.S., announced support for three projects in Colchester County to help the region boost tourism and create growth opportunities for local businesses. Ms. Petitpas Taylor is also the minister for the the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.
More than two years after Canada’s worst mass shooting, someone there at the start has spoken up. Lisa Banfield, the shooter’s common-law spouse, spoke last Friday at the inquiry into how the RCMP handled the incident. She provided insight into what happened in April, 2020, and described a chilling portrait of intimate partner violence. The Globe’s Greg Mercer tells us about what Banfield witnessed, the shooter’s violent history, and why some of the victims’ families walked out during her testimony. The Decibel is here.
PRIME MINISTER'S DAY
In the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, the Prime Minister made an announcement on oceans protection and held a media availability. Transport Minister Omar Alghabra and Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray also attended. The Prime Minister was also scheduled to visit a local children’s day camp.
Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet continues a summer tour of Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, in Yellowknife, met with Tłı̨chǫ Region Chiefs and was scheduled to visit the Yellowknife Farmers Market and hold a meet-and-greet event in a park.
No schedule released for other party leaders.
The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on why medicare needs major surgery, but Dr. Brian Day should not be the surgeon: “Medicare needs new money, new resources and major reforms. But Dr. Day’s prescription is not the way forward. 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.”
André Picard (The Globe and Mail) on how squabbling over the federal-provincial split in funding won’t fix the health system: “Canadians don’t especially care if the funding for health care is federal or provincial, split 22/78 or 35/65 or 50/50. They want the care to be there when they need it – and it isn’t. Structural reform is increasingly urgent. Part of that equation will have to be a new funding formula, one that requires a lot more accountability than we currently have. The first step has to be setting clear priorities for reform, and costing them out – which is how the premiers should have spent their time, instead of just whinging. Fix the system. We can worry about how we split the cheque later.”
Robyn Urback (The Globe and Mail) on how the spouse of the Nova Scotia shooter was another one of his victims: “She was physically and financially trapped for years by an abusive partner who threatened to kill her family if she ever left. Had Ms. Banfield been slightly less fortunate, or perhaps less determined to survive, she could have easily been among the Nova Scotia massacre casualties – in which case there would likely be no question whether she was complicit in the attack. One man was ultimately responsible for what happened on those days; Ms. Banfield was one of his victims.”
Murray Mandryk (Regina Leader-Post) on how news of a costly flight by Finance Minister Donna Harpauer comes at a bad time for the Sask. Party: “Harpauer’s seemingly innocuous flight sure has triggered a lot of resentment over the Sask. Party government’s perceived growing smugness. It likely started with the international trips and Moe’s suggestion that he “makes no apologies” for government travel. An apology? Despite repeated requests from the media, we can’t even get the weekly cabinet itinerary government used to provide. Evidently, where ministers go or who they choose to hold to publicly meet with to discuss “economic sovereignty” isn’t taxpayers’ business. But the outrage over Harpauer’s chartered flight to North Battleford is more about its timing – not only that it happened two days after her budget taxed concerts, football tickets and gym memberships as luxuries but also that we are only finding about it now just as we are getting hammered by 22-per-cent and eight-per-cent respective SaskEnergy and SaskPower hikes.”