Hockey Canada sexual misconduct scandals reflect broader problem, Ipsos poll finds – National

As Hockey Canada is in the midst of a series of scandals surrounding allegations of sexual abuse, a new poll suggests that 60% of Canadians say the recent revelations reflect a broader problem of sexual harassment, assault and violence in hockey culture in Canada.

A new Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News and released on Tuesday also indicated that women are more likely to view the allegations as a pervasive issue and not a series of isolated events, said Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs .

And the problem is not limited to hockey, he added.

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“People see this as a problem with organized sports in general, not just with Hockey Canada, especially if you ask women,” Bricker told Global News.

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Hockey Canada has come under intense scrutiny since this spring over its handling of alleged sexual assaults by players, including two alleged incidents involving members of the 2003 and 2018 World Juniors teams.

There’s “certainly a lot of caution” among people about how the amateur hockey world operates these days in light of the allegations, Bricker said.

Click to play video: 'What does upheaval mean for Hockey Canada?'

What does the upheaval mean for Hockey Canada?

In terms of responsibility, most Canadians think the blame lies largely with those in positions of power – managers, directors and coaches – more than with players and their parents, according to the poll.

Specifically, 73% pointed to managers and directors, 64% to coaches, while 60% said team owners and players were responsible for letting the culture persist.

In the face of much criticism, Hockey Canada has seen sponsors jump ship and provincial member organizations distance themselves from the national organization.

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Telus, Tim Hortons, Canadian Tire, Sobeys, Scotiabank and Esso have all cut ties with Hockey Canada for the upcoming 2022-23 season.

The majority of Canadians, 85%, say it was the right thing to do, according to the Ipsos poll.

“Whether it’s corporate sponsors or government sponsorships, people don’t think that Hockey Canada and the amateur hockey industry in this country can continue in the direction they are going without change,” Bricker said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sports Minister Pascale St-Onge are among those who have repeatedly called for a change in leadership. Trudeau even floated the idea of ​​creating a new governing body for the sport.

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Amid the outcry, Hockey Canada announced Oct. 11 that its CEO, Scott Smith, and the entire board would step down.

The board will remain in place until a new board is elected at Hockey Canada’s annual general meeting on Dec. 17.

Click to play the video: “Hockey Canada's entire senior leadership steps down from sexual abuse controversy”

Hockey Canada’s entire senior leadership steps down over sexual abuse controversy

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Going forward, most Canadians, 78%, hope a new council will make a difference.

Eight in 10 also agree that players should take training on sexual harassment and violence, according to the poll.

“People don’t think the status quo can persist,” Bricker said. “They believe change is necessary and they also believe that improvement will come from change.”

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Hockey Canada has announced its intention to follow recommendations set out in an interim report by former Supreme Court Justice Thomas Cromwell.

Cromwell was tasked in August with undertaking a comprehensive governance review of Hockey Canada after it emerged the organization had reached an undisclosed settlement with a woman who alleged she had been sexually assaulted by eight players, including members of the country’s 2018 World Junior Team. None of the allegations have been proven in court.

— With Canadian Press files

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between October 18 and 20, 2022 on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,001 Canadians aged 18 and over was interviewed. Quotas and weighting were used to ensure that the composition of the sample reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. The accuracy of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, if all Canadians aged 18 and over had been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including but not limited to coverage error and measurement error.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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