Andrea Skinner has stepped down as interim chair of the board of Hockey Canada, after only being in the role for a little over two months.
Hockey Canada has been embroiled in scandal over the organization’s handling of alleged sexual assaults, including a 2018 allegation involving members of the 2018 Canadian world junior team.
Skinner became interim chair after Michael Brind’Amour resigned back in August.
In her statement Saturday night, she said: “Upon reflection, it is clear to me from recent events that it no longer makes sense for me to continue to volunteer my time as interim chair or as a director of the organization.”
“Despite recent challenges, I am gratified to have had the opportunity to cross paths with countless volunteers, dedicated people within the organization, sponsors and other stakeholders,” she wrote.
TSN reported back in May that the organization had paid an undisclosed settlement to a woman who brought forth a $3.55 million lawsuit after she was allegedly sexually assaulted in London, Ont., by eight players, including members of Canada’s 2018 world junior team. In July, the organization said it had paid out $7.6 million in nine settlements related to sexual assault and sexual abuse claims since 1989.
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Skinner, a lawyer, recently appeared before members of Parliament in a committee on Tuesday, where she said the organization acted in the best interest of the woman in the 2018 case. She also told the committee at the time that she didn’t know what her future plans were.
“I joined the board to be part of meaningful and positive change in hockey. I didn’t expect to be involved in politics. … I didn’t expect to be a lightning rod for extremists or receive threatening and hostile emails,” she said then.
She also warned against terminating the current leadership.
“I think there is a significant risk to all of the organization if all of the board resigns and all of senior leadership is no longer there. I think that will be very impactful in a negative way to all of our boys and girls who play hockey,” she said at the time.
Over the past few days, sponsors such as Nike, Tim Hortons and Canadian Tire have been distancing themselves from Hockey Canada by suspending or severing their deals with the organization.
With files by Jeremy Nuttall, Allan Woods and The Canadian Press.
Edward Djan is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @EdwardDjan1
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