Michael Brind’Amour will be stepping down from his role as chair of Hockey Canada’s Board of Directors.
Brind’Amour informed the board of his decision Friday evening and they will meet in the coming days to appoint an interim chair.
“I have listened carefully and intently to the comments of Canadians about the culture of our sport and our organization, and about our actions and leadership. I understand that the actions we have taken in recent weeks are part of the solution,” Brind’Amour wrote in a statement.
“My final term ends in November 2022, and I know that there is no need to wait for a new era. Immediate action is essential to address the important challenges facing our organization and our sport, which our Action Plan works to accomplish. I would not be able to see this renewal through and have therefore announced my resignation to the Board of Directors.
“I am reassured that The Honourable Thomas Cromwell, C.C., has agreed to lead a governance review of our organization that will help us make the changes that are needed. I am confident the recommendations will guide the organization into a future of desired change. I wish the best of success to those who will succeed me.”
The move comes after Canada’s regional hockey federations issued a letter threatening to withhold dues payments unless Hockey Canada takes concrete steps toward transparency and accountability.
The letter, which appears only on the Hockey Quebec site and only in French, states Canada’s 13 federations are “appalled” and “concerned” with the “alleged behaviours as well as the management and decisions made by Hockey Canada” in the aftermath of allegations of a sexual assault in London, Ont., in 2018 involving members of the Canadian world junior team.
The letter states that the federations are seeking answers and detailed updates on the progress of Hockey Canada’s recently released Action Plan before their annual payments deadline to Hockey Canada on Dec. 1.
Hockey Canada has been under fire for its handling of sexual violence allegations after news broke in May that it settled a lawsuit with a woman who said she was sexually assaulted in June 2018 in London, Ont., by eight CHL players, including some members of the 2017-18 Canadian world junior team.
Hockey Canada is reopening its investigation into 2018 sexual assault allegations involving members of the 2017-18 Canadian world junior team and will require all players on that roster to participate in the investigation. Players who do not co-operate will be banned from all Hockey Canada activities and programs.
Halifax police are also opening an investigation into an alleged group sexual assault said to have taken place in 2003 involving players from that year’s Canadian world junior hockey team.