Hockey Canada sexual misconduct scandals reflect broader problem: Ipsos poll – National


With Hockey Canada in the midst of a series of scandals around sexual abuse allegations, new polling suggests 60 per cent of Canadians say the recent revelations reflect a broader problem of sexual harassment, assault, and violence within hockey culture in Canada.

A new Ipsos poll done exclusively for Global News and released on Tuesday also indicated that women are more likely to view the allegations as more of a pervasive issue and not a series of isolated events, said Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos public affairs.

And the problem is not limited to hockey, he added.

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“People see it as a problem with organized sports in general, not just with Hockey Canada, particularly if you ask women,” Bricker told Global News.

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Hockey Canada has been under intense scrutiny since this spring over its handling of alleged sexual assaults by players, including two alleged incidents involving members of the World Juniors teams from 2003 and 2018.

There’s “certainly a lot of caution” among people about how the amateur hockey world is functioning these days in light of the allegations, said Bricker.

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What does the shake-up mean for Hockey Canada?

In terms of accountability, most Canadians think the blame falls largely on those in positions of power — managers, directors and coaches — more so than the players and their parents, the poll showed.

Specifically, 73 per cent pointed fingers at the managers and directors, 64 per cent on coaches, while 60 per cent said team owners and players were responsible for letting the culture persist.

Facing widespread criticism, Hockey Canada has seen sponsors jump ship and provincial member bodies distanced themselves from the national organization.

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Telus, Tim Hortons, Canadian Tire, Sobeys, Scotiabank and Esso have all cut ties with Hockey Canada for the upcoming 2022-23 season.

The majority of Canadians, 85 per cent, say this was the right thing to do, the Ipsos poll showed.

“Whether it’s corporate sponsors or government sponsorship, people don’t feel that Hockey Canada and the amateur hockey industry in this country can continue in the direction that it’s headed without change,” said Bricker.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sport Minister Pascale St-Onge are among those who have repeatedly called for a change in leadership. Trudeau has even floated the idea of creating a new governing body for the sport.

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Amid the outcry, Hockey Canada announced on Oct. 11 that its CEO, Scott Smith, and the entire board of directors will be stepping down.

The board will remain in place until a new board is elected at Hockey Canada’s annual general meeting on Dec. 17.

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Hockey Canada’s entire senior leadership exits over sexual abuse controversy

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Going forward, most Canadians, 78 per cent, are hopeful that a new board will make a difference.

Eight in 10 also agree that players should take training on sexual harassment and violence, the poll showed.

“People don’t think that the status quo can persist,” said Bricker. “They believe that change is necessary and they believe also that improvement will come from change.”

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Hockey Canada has announced its intention to follow the recommendations set out in an interim report by former Supreme Court justice Thomas Cromwell.

Cromwell was tasked in August with undertaking a full governance review of Hockey Canada after it was revealed that the organization reached an undisclosed settlement with a woman who alleged she was sexually assaulted by eight players, including members of the country’s 2018 world junior team. None of the allegations have been proven in court.

— With files from the Canadian Press

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between October 18-20th, 2022, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,001 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

&copy 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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