New Brunswick’s government has included a “good conduct” clause in its funding contract with Hockey Canada ahead of the 2023 world junior hockey championship.
Moncton, N.B., and Halifax are co-hosting the international tournament which runs Dec. 26 to Jan. 5.
The document signed by New Brunswick’s Regional Development Corporation earlier this month says that all of Hockey Canada’s representatives “must be of good character and must not indulge in unethical conduct” during the event.
That includes illegal conduct or acts as well as permitting unethical conduct, illegal conduct, or acts by anyone under Hockey Canada’s jurisdiction or auspices.
New Brunswick has committed $1.25 million to the event but the Regional Development Corporation’s contract says the government can “demand that all of the unused portion of the funding be reimbursed” if unethical or illegal conduct occurs.
There was no “good character” clause in the agreement Hockey Canada signed with Edmonton to host last year’s tournament, which was postponed because of COVID-19.
Hockey Canada has been mired in controversy for months after it was revealed in May that it settled a lawsuit with a woman who alleged she had been sexually assaulted by several members of the 2018 world junior team.
Executives with the national sport organization later revealed that they had paid out $8.9 million in sexual abuse settlements since 1989, not including the 2018 settlement.
There are two ongoing police investigations involving members of two separate Canadian men’s junior teams.
Police in London, Ont., have re-opened their investigation involving the 2018 team. Halifax Regional Police are investigating allegations that members of the 2003 team sexually assaulted a woman and filmed the attack during that year’s tournament.
None of the allegations have been proven in court and no charges have been laid.
Hockey Canada elected a new board of directors on Saturday and is still searching for a new chief executive officer. The previous board resigned and president and CEO Scott Smith was ousted as a result of the controversies.
Another condition in New Brunswick’s contract with Hockey Canada says the sports organization must take steps to establish standards, policies, and procedures to prevent harassment, discrimination, racism, and sexual violence during the event.
All Hockey Canada athletes, coaches, team staff, and volunteers must undergo mandatory sexual violence and consent training.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 22, 2022.
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