Hockey Canada: Dropping the Puck on Rape Culture

This evening, Halifax Regional Council will decide whether or not to welcome the IIHF Junior Hockey Championships here in December. I wrote this before they decide what to do. Voice of Women, plus Persons against Non-State Torture invited me on behalf of Equity Watch to present this at a media Conference Dropping the Puck on Rape Culture: A Feminist Lens on Oct. 11. I’m aware that the entire Hockey Canada board has just resigned. Their resignation doesn’t alter these comments.

Hockey Canada has swindled hundreds of thousands of Canadian families.  It’s taken millions of dollars and put them into two secret funds to pay off women and girls for their being gang-raped by teams of hockey players. 

Hockey Canada which purports to be family-friendly and about wholesome fun—will once again take $47.80 this season as a participant assessment fee for funds for “matters including but not limited to sexual abuse.”  This money comes from parents who are janitors, teachers, bus drivers, waitresses and bank tellers who sacrificed to enrol their sons – and ironically daughters — season after season in the national sport. 

And this has been going on for 33 years– that we know of.

Today HRM is going to debate how to deal with the IIHF World Junior Championships that are to take place in Halifax (and Moncton) in December.

Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche hoists the Stanley Cup at Halifax parade, Aug. 20, 2022. (photo credit: Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press

My bet is that HRM councillors  will echo premier Houston who is merely “deeply disappointed”.  And HRM will use the prime minister’s line – that the IIHR World Juniors has to show “meaningful change”.

What does “Meaningful Change” mean?

But what does that mean?  Saying they are sorry?—Hockey Canada so far has shown no contrition and no backing down. 

Saying they are going to have harassment training? We are talking about gang rape here – an indictable offense, punishable by jail time.

Culling Hockey Canada’s bad apples to save the rest? How absurd. 

What about as Trudeau suggested, a name change from Hockey Canada to Canada Hockey – does that constitutes a “meaningful change.”

Does meaningful change include sponsoring a Halifax-wide parade to welcome Nathan MacKinnon and the Stanley Cup barely two months ago in the midst of the biggest sports sex scandal yet?  Mayor Savage said at the time: “We are proud of our local boy who has a Stanley Cup… it’s going to be a great celebration.” The Mayor and thousands thronged the streets to feel good —but it was a slap in the face to women.

Insurance: indemnifying bad behaviour

Think about this: if Hockey Canada buys insurance to indemnify their organization as stated “for matters including but not limited to sexual abuse” they are encouraging sexual abuse, and rape.  After all there is no penalty and no price to pay since insurance quietly covers it all.

Think about all the girls and women who did speak up and were not believed. 

33 years of it. 

Those 21 girls and women who did get money, could never speak about it as a gag order also known as an NDA was part of the deal.

What should Halifax do?

First– not allow the Championships to take place here. 

Second– call for an inquiry into what happened at Hockey Canada.  

I wonder if our city “fathers” (and 5 mothers) are going to have the guts to stand up to the business interests of hotels, restaurants, bars and retail stores, which post-Xmas, look forward to the money they’ll make from the players, the parents and the tourists who attend the Championships.

This will be another test for the Mayor & HRM Council – money or morals.

Featured image: Poster of NHL Hockey Masks.


  1. Yes, Judy – beautifully stated. Swindling and robbing and raping – when did the game take on that cloak of secrecy and corruption. Here is a part of my letter to council:

    “Remembering the excitement when our last municipal elections brought gender parity and what it means to them just one year ago, women interviewed cited the learning involved, the challenge of the pandemic (Pam Lovelace), the workload and massive growth ( Kathryn Morse) and the slow pace of change that ‘things don’t happen overnight, (Iona Stoddard). Now here we are closing in on “Persons Day” commemorating the day in 1929 when the Privy Council of Great Britain, then Canada’s highest court of appeal, ruled that women were included in the legal definition of “persons.”

    Will HRM Councillors to put forth a motion to withdraw support and welcome for hosting the World Junior Men’s Hockey Championship in Halifax honouring the ‘personhood’ of all victims of hockey rape culture?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s