Hockey Canada CEO won't step down amid scrutiny

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / Getty

Hockey Canada CEO Scott Smith said Wednesday during testimony in front of Parliament that he won't resign from his position, according to CBC's Richard Raycraft.

Many voices, including advocate and survivor Sheldon Kennedy, have called for Smith, as well as Hockey Canada's board, to step down in the wake of two ongoing sexual assault scandals. Numerous MPs on Wednesday also pressed Smith to quit.

"For the good of hockey, for the good of the countless volunteers across this country, the good work countless blameless people are doing in the sport of hockey, I strongly believe there needs to be new leadership within Hockey Canada," Conservative MP John Nater said.

"Will you do that? Will you step down for new leadership to take over?"

Smith responded by saying he believes he can help inspire appropriate change from his position.

"I'm prepared to take on this responsibility, for change within our game," Smith said. "I believe I've got the experience to do it."

Smith took over as CEO on July 1.

Hockey Canada has been subject to intense scrutiny over a sexual assault lawsuit that was settled in May. In the lawsuit, a woman said eight unnamed CHL players, including members of Canada's 2017-18 world junior team, sexually assaulted her in June 2018 following a sanctioned gala event in London, Ontario.

The lawsuit wasn't heard in court, but London Police Services recently announced it will reopen its criminal investigation into the matter.

Last week, Hockey Canada reported an alleged group sexual assault from 2003 involving members of the 2002-03 national junior team.

Federal funds for Hockey Canada have been frozen in the aftermath of the scandals. Additionally, several prominent sponsors withdrew support for the organization leading up to this summer's rescheduled world juniors in Alberta.

Hockey Canada recently unveiled an action plan to address "systemic issues" and "toxic behavior" within the sport.

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Hockey Canada CEO won't step down amid scrutiny
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