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Hockey Canada chair Hugh L. Fraser not seeking re-election to board

The retired judge previously said he felt it was his duty to step up to help turn around Hockey Canada
Hockey Canada board chair Hugh Fraser, seen above in January, announced Friday he would not be seeking re-election after one year on the job. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press)

The chair of Hockey Canada’s board says he will not be seeking re-election.

Hugh L. Fraser made the decision not to seek re-election in the summer, driven by a desire to pursue other projects related to safe sport.

“This decision was not reached easily, as I am extremely proud of the accomplishments that our transition board achieved and I am inspired by the plans for Hockey Canada’s future that will ensure it is a leader in sport safety, governance and equity, diversity and inclusion amongst sport organizations in Canada and around the world,” he said in a release.

The retired judge previously said he felt it was his duty to step up to help turn around Hockey Canada after widespread outrage over the national sport organization’s handling of sexual assault allegations and payouts to victims.

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Fraser was named as part of a transition board in December 2022 and has since overseen a series of changes to the sporting body including hiring a new president and chief executive officer, investing in sport safety initiatives, implementing bylaw changes and making sure the organization’s finances are more clear and transparent.

The bylaw changes were recommended in a 221-page report led by former Supreme Court judge Thomas Cromwell, which called for more oversight and accountability.

Cromwell’s report called for the transition board to have four goals: respond, in conjunction with Hockey Canada members, to the governance changes recommended in his final report; address the many public concerns about its senior management team; begin to repair fractured relationships with stakeholders; and ensure operational stability.

Fraser said he believes those goals have been met.

A new board of directors for Hockey Canada is set to be elected on Saturday.

“The members will elect a new board of directors in an election that will reflect several significant bylaw changes that were recommended by Mr. Cromwell and sets the foundation for the next step of Hockey Canada’s journey,” Fraser said.

Fraser said he feels Hockey Canada has returned to a healthier financial position than he started, with government funding restored and the return of corporate partners.

He leaves the organization as the findings of an investigative report into allegations of sexual assault involving members of the 2018 Canadian men’s junior hockey team is under appeal.

Hockey Canada said the in-camera appeal will begin “in the near future.”

The Canadian Press

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