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Hockey Canada Women Respond to Sexual Assault Inquiries

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Hockey Canada, 2021 Women's Worlds
Hockey Canada Women's World Champions from 2021.

Members of the Canadian National Women’s Hockey Team have published an open letter and statement directed to Hockey Canada executives and board of directors, as posted via player Renata Fast’s twitter account and elsewhere, related to the ongoing sexual assault investigations.

Details have come to light related to an incident allegedly involving eight members of Canada’s Gold Medal World Junior team in 2018 and another incident involving members of the 2003 World Junior Team Canada. Both incidents involve apparent sexual assault.

As members of the most recent Women’s Canadian National Olympic and World Championship teams, we felt it necessary to address this to you as our sport’s national governing body. Hockey Canada has been making global headlines these past weeks, for all of the wrong reasons. The allegations we are reading and hearing about are extremely disturbing and wholly unacceptable.

While the name of Hockey Canada has been tarnished by these alleged incidents, Hockey is the sport that we love to play and Canada is the country that we proudly play for and are honoured to represent – the value of these two words, and what they represent to us and all Canadians, is of immeasurable importance.

We are writing to you today to declare, first and above all else, that we intend to be part of the fight for the truth. All of the facts related to this terrible situation must – and will – come to light. After all, the only way to treat an injury is to acknowledge it fully.

On social media in recent days, players from both World Junior teams have begun declaring their ignorance of, or innocence from, the incidents, just as the level of investigation has ramped up. The 2018 incident came to light just days prior to details from 2003 emerged.

All players from both teams have apparently pledged full cooperation into the inquiries.

TSN also reported today that “Hockey Canada has released a plan to combat the “toxic” culture in its sport on the eve of a second round of parliamentary hearings into the organization’s handling of sexual assault complaints.”

Writer Rick Westhead has been spearheading the investigative reporting into the matters.

VHN Managing Editor Rob Simpson has been covering the NHL for three decades on live TV, radio, and as a journalist. He worked his first ever game getting postgame sound as a teenager; it was Vancouver vs. Detroit.

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