Jul 26, 2022
By Angus Gillespie
A senior director with Sport Canada has testified that the federal organization was made aware of an alleged sexual assault involving members of Team Canada’s world junior hockey team in late June 2018.
However, Michel Ruest (pictured) told a House of Commons Committee in Ottawa on Tuesday that there was no follow-up with Hockey Canada at the time. Ruest told MPs that Sport Canada, as a branch of Canadian Heritage, also did not make then-sport minister Kent Hehr’s office aware of the damning allegations.
Current Sport Minister Pascale St-Onge has stated she was not aware of the allegations until this year.
Sport Canada officials have been called to testify as the Commons heritage committee investigates what happened between June 2018, when Hockey Canada, the national governing body, learned of the allegations, and May of this year, when news broke that it settled a lawsuit with the complainant.
Nine players who initially declined to be interviewed will now be made available. Anybody unwilling to testify faces a possible lifetime ban from any type of involvement controlled by Hockey Canada.
The woman at the centre of the complaint alleges she was sexually assaulted in an incident involving eight hockey players, including some members of the 2018 world junior team, after a Hockey Canada gala in London, Ont.