BDO Canada, other firms pause sponsorship of Hockey Canada

05 July 2022 2 min. read
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BDO Canada and other large companies have paused their sponsorship of Hockey Canada following public outcry over the hockey federation’s handling of an alleged sexual assault.

Scotiabank began the corporate pullback last Tuesday when it paused its sponsorship of Hockey Canada via a full-page announcement in The Globe & Mail. The major bank will cancel its marketing and events at the upcoming World Junior Championship in Edmonton this August and will not resume its sponsorship until it is “confident the right steps are being taken to improve the culture of the sport.”

Canadian Tire and Telus pulled their sponsorship of the hockey tournament later in the day, with Tim Hortons following suit on Wednesday.

BDO Canada, other firms pause sponsorship of Hockey Canada

Accountancy BDO Canada also on Wednesday paused its partnership. “I am deeply disturbed by the news of the alleged assault involving members of the Canadian Hockey League, and the lack of transparency and accountability is counter to the values of our organization,” Pat Kramer, CEO, said in a press release. “BDO wants to understand what specific changes are being made within the Hockey Canada organization to drive a positive environment.”

The corporate censure arrives after the federal government on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 froze public funding to Hockey Canada in response to the federation’s handling of the alleged assault.

In April, an unnamed woman filed a lawsuit alleging she was repeatedly sexually assaulted by members of Canada’s 2018 World Junior team in a London, ON hotel room following a Hockey Canada gala and golf function four years ago. The lawsuit was quietly settled out of court for an undisclosed sum and a non-disclosure agreement was signed.

Critics have condemned the manner in which Hockey Canada attempted to sweep the scandal under the rug, and are demanding greater transparency, accountability, and cultural change efforts from the sports organization. 

“Hockey Canada is on a journey to change the culture of our sport and to make it safer and more inclusive, both at the rink and in our communities. We have been on this journey for some time, but we agree that more needs to be done, and more quickly,” Hockey Canada said in a statement last Tuesday.

The House of Commons last week passed a Bloc Quebecois motion to launch an independent investigation that will examine how Hockey Canada dealt with the allegations.