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Hockey Canada did not use public funds for legal settlements: government audit

A financial audit ordered last summer by Minister of Sport Pascale St-Onge and published Wednesday found that Hockey Canada did not use public funds to pay for legal settlements.

The audit was prepared by Samson & Associés of Gatineau, Que., looking at 2018-2019 to 2021-2022.

The goals of the audit were to determine if Hockey Canada misused funds and to ensure the organization was complying with the terms and conditions of the government’s contribution agreements.

The first conclusion listed on the published audit is that “Funds disbursed to the Recipient have been used for the intended purposes. It should be noted that no instances were identified where public funding issued by Canadian Heritage was used to pay for legal settlements or related legal fees.”

The audit also found that Hockey Canada had adequate mechanisms in place to ensure the money provided by the government funding was monitored. The organization received about six per cent of its funding from the Canadian government.

The audit made 11 recommendations to Hockey Canada, a number of which were generally about refining and tightening internal reporting procedures.

Hockey Canada’s response, according to the audit, was “Hockey Canada is in general agreement with the recommendations and will work to implement such recommendations.”

The audit report also mentioned that the program arm of Sport Canada that is responsible for overseeing its portion of funding to Hockey Canada will continue to monitor how the organization implements the recommendations.

Hockey Canada, which governs hockey in Canada in conjunction with 13 member branches, has been in the spotlight since it was revealed in May 2022 that it settled a lawsuit by a woman alleging a group sexual assault by some members of the 2018 Canadian men’s world junior team.


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