Hockey Canada releases plan to combat ‘toxic’ culture ahead of parliamentary hearings

Hockey Canada released a plan to tackle “toxic” culture in its sport a day before the start of a second round of parliamentary hearings into the organization’s handling of sexual assault complaints.

The plan includes the implementation by the end of September of a centralized abuse complaint tracking and reporting system.

Hockey Canada also says it will implement enhanced screening of high-level players and require that breaching the organization’s code of conduct or refusing to participate in an investigation could result in a lifetime ban.

These measures are in addition to those announced in a July 14 open letter, including the resumption of a dormant third-party investigation into an alleged sexual assault involving members of the country’s 2018 world junior team.

WATCH | Hockey Canada ends use of reserve fund to settle sexual assault claims:

Hockey Canada says it will no longer use equity fund to settle sexual assault claims

Hockey Canada said in a statement Wednesday that its National Equity Fund will no longer be used to settle sexual assault claims.

Hockey Canada has had its federal funding frozen and several corporate partners have halted their sponsorships since the 2018 allegation became known and the subsequent settlement of a lawsuit filed by the plaintiff.

A second sexual assault allegation involving the 2003 Canadian junior team surfaced Friday.

The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage is scheduled to hear testimony Tuesday and Wednesday.