A Hockey Canada logo is shown on the jersey of a player with Canada’s National Junior Team during a training camp practice in Calgary, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Sponsorship boycott of Hockey Canada’s men’s programs grows amid calls for change

A growing list of top-tier corporate sponsors are pulling their support for Hockey Canada’s men’s programs for the 2022-23 season amid criticism of the handling of alleged sexual assaults.

Telus Corp., Scotiabank and Tim Hortons have denounced the national governing body’s ongoing resistance to change and extended decisions to suspend their support of men’s hockey to the upcoming season, including the upcoming World Juniors tournament.

The move comes as Hockey Canada continues to defend its leadership and the way money was paid out in lawsuits involving allegations of group sexual assaults.

Telus said it’s “deeply disheartened” by the lack of action and commitment from the sporting body to drive necessary cultural change.

The company said it remains “committed to enabling systemic change to make hockey safe for all.”

The decision by Telus follows similar announcements by Tim Hortons and Scotiabank.

The coffee shop chain said Wednesday it also won’t sponsor any Hockey Canada men’s programming this season, including the world junior men’s championship in Halifax and Moncton.

Scotiabank said its sponsorship pause of its support for men’s hockey at Hockey Canada, first announced in June, will remain in effect throughout the entire 2022-2023 season.

“In our open letter in June, we publicly called on Hockey Canada to hold the game to a higher standard and we are disappointed with the lack of progress to date,” the bank said in a statement.

“From Hockey Canada, we expect a tangible commitment to transparency with Canadians, strong leadership, accountability with their stakeholders and the hockey community, and improved safety both on and off the ice. Ultimately our position hasn’t wavered: the time for change is long overdue.”

Meanwhile, two provincial hockey organizations have also disavowed Hockey Canada’s handling of sexual assault allegations.

Hockey Quebec said this week it has lost confidence in Hockey Canada and will not transfer funds to the national organization.

The Ontario Hockey Federation, the largest of Canada’s 13 provincial and territorial hockey associations, has also asked Hockey Canada a second time to not collect the $3 participant assessment fee from its members for the 2022-23 season.

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