Hockey Canada again disgraced by new sexual assault allegations


Hockey Canada still had to react to the news of an alleged sexual assault in 2003

Police in Nova Scotia and Ontario are investigating allegations of gang sexual assaults by members of the 2003 and 2018 Canadian junior hockey teams.

On Friday, regional police in Halifax, Nova Scotia, confirmed they were looking into an alleged assault at the 2003 world junior championships, then their counterparts in London, Ont., said they were reopening an investigation into an incident already made public in 2018.

News of the investigations is just the latest chapter in a crisis that has rocked Hockey Canada and led to its funding being suspended by the Canadian federal government while being criticized by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Commenting on the development, Canadian Sports Minister Pascal St-Onge, who stripped Hockey Canada of its funding, said: “Today we learn of another horror story that allegedly happened in 2003. Again, like all Canadians, I am appalled and angry.”

“It is clear that the culture of silence and the trivialization of sexual violence are well anchored in the culture of this sport”, St-Onge continued.

“Hockey Canada has a lot of work to do on this issue before it can win back the trust of Canadians. Anyone with information about the events of 2003, or any similar event, should report it to the police,” he ordered.

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In a statement Friday, Hockey Canada said it was “committed to ending the culture of silence in hockey”.

“That’s why we are publicly calling on anyone with knowledge of this incident to come forward to the police, and we are being transparent about how we learned of this alleged assault and the steps we are taking to address it,” pointed out the organization.

Hockey Canada said it only became aware of the alleged 2003 incident after being contacted by Canadian news outlet TSN on Thursday for comment. After that, Hockey Canada says it immediately contacted Halifax police and Sport Canada.

That aside, Hockey Canada said staff members had heard rumors about “Something bad” it happened at the 2003 World Junior Championships a fortnight ago but couldn’t get any concrete details until TSN reached out.

Separately, MP John Nater said he was contacted earlier this week by someone claiming to have information about the alleged 2003 sexual assault which he then passed on to Halifax police while encouraging the informant to also contact them directly.

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TSN also reports that a source reached out to Nater and described a video clip of the alleged sexual assault to him.

TSN also spoke to the source, as well as two other people who claim to have watched the video. The three people confirmed that the footage shows about six Canadian junior team players having sex with an unresponsive woman lying face up on a pool table.

A TSN source on the three explained how one of the 2003 players borrowed a video camera during the tournament, which took place in Halifax, with the recording remaining on the camera when it was returned to the owner .

This person was later pressured by the players to delete the footage and never report it to the police.

Among the 2003 players, defender Carlo Colaiacovo has already released a statement and said he was “Important that everyone is aware” that he had “no involvement or knowledge of any incident whatsoever”.

“I will cooperate fully with any investigation,”Colaiacovo also swore.

PA Parenteau, who was a forward on the silver medal-winning team and who, like Colaiacovo, advanced in the NHL, told The Canadian Press he had no knowledge of the alleged sexual assault until neither on Friday.

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Characterizing the allegations as “shock”he also said he was “definitely not involved” in the incident.

Hockey Canada had its funding cut by the federal government following allegations of sexual assault by eight members of the men’s junior hockey team in 2018.

These allegations only came to light when Canadian media reported that Hockey Canada had paid an undisclosed settlement fee to the plaintiff seeking $3.55 million in damages.

This week, Prime Minister Trudeau said he understood why Canadians“disgusted”with Hockey Canada after learning that it has a special legal fund for paying uninsured liabilities, which includes sexual abuse claims.


RT

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