Two of Canada’s men’s world junior hockey teams are being investigated by police following alleged group sexual assaults in 2003 and 2018.
Minister of Sport Pascal St-Onge said on Friday that the new allegations surrounding the 2003 world junior team is another blow to Hockey Canada’s reputation.
“Today we learn of yet another horror story that allegedly occurred in 2003. Once again, like all Canadians, I am appalled and angry,” said St-Onge. “It is clear that the culture of silence and the trivialization of sexual violence is well entrenched in the culture of this sport.”
“Hockey Canada has a lot of work to do on this issue before they regain the trust of Canadians. Anyone with information about the events of 2003, or any other such event, should report it to the police.”
Hockey Canada said it became aware of the 2003 incident after it was contacted by TSN on Thursday seeking comment on the alleged assault.
Hockey Canada said that two weeks earlier members of its staff heard a rumor about “something bad at the 2003 world juniors” but were not able to get any details until it was contacted by TSN on Thursday.
Conservative MP John Nater said he was contacted by a person earlier this week with information regarding an alleged sexual assault involving members of the 2003 national junior team. He said he forwarded the information to Halifax police and encouraged the person to contact police directly.
TSN reports that a source contacted Nater and described a video of the alleged sexual assault to the MP. TSN spoke to the source and two others who have watched the video and all three corroborate that it shows approximately six players from Canada’s junior team having sex with a woman who was non-responsive and laying face up on the pool table.
One of the three sources told TSN that one of the players from the 2003 team had borrowed their video camera during the tournament in Halifax and the graphic recording was still on the camera when it was returned to them. That person said they were pressured by the players to delete the video and that they never reported it to police.
TJHN has for years reported on and stated that the subculture of sexual deviant behavior has to be addressed in junior hockey. As more of these stories come to light, the shock of the depths to which this subculture exists does not reach most who are involved in the game.
These behaviors are fairly well known, though little can be done to change them without a concerted effort. Players put themselves in these positions usually through access to alcohol. Young women unfortunately do not know that this subculture exists until they fall victim to it.
It is time now for Hockey Canada to come clean with everything. All documents relating to these types of complaints, and all settlement information needs to be handed over and made public.
The public has an absolute right to know what has been done with their money, and if Hockey Canada can ever again be trusted. When settlements are made, and kept from the public, the people making those settlements become enablers to those who committed the acts, and leave the door open for the behavior to continue.