Hockey Canada and its Members want to end the culture of silence that exists in parts of hockey. To help ensure that we are a safe space for raising concerns, Hockey Canada has updated the Maltreatment and Discrimination regulations as well as developed an Independent Third Party (ITP) reporting mechanism to process certain complaints.
In the information below, you will find clarification pertaining to the situations that fall under the Maltreatment and Discrimination regulations, and situations that should be reported through the ITP process.
In furthering its commitment to being leaders in safety and inclusivity, Hockey Canada has introduced an update to its rulebook to focus on recognizing and reporting incidents of maltreatment. Hockey Canada has made a firm commitment to making the game safe and inclusive for all who wish to participate. Please find below the Understanding Rule 11 video created by Hockey Canada.
Maltreatment and Discrimination, as it pertains to hockey is outlined in Regulation 11 of the Hockey Canada Rule Book:
Rule 11.1 – Unsportsmanlike Conduct
Rule 11.2 - Disrespectful and Abusive Behaviour
Rule 11.3 – Spitting
Rule 11.4 – Discrimination
Rule 11.5 – Physical Harassment of Officials
In reference to Rule 11.4, Discrimination is defined as:
A player, goaltender or team official who engages in verbal taunts, insults, or intimidation based on discriminatory grounds shall be assessed a gross misconduct and removed from the game. Discriminatory grounds include, without limitation:
- Race, national or ethnic origin, skin colour, or language spoken.
- Religion, faith, or beliefs.
- Sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity/expression.
- Marital or familial status.
- Genetic characteristics.
To help ensure that we are a safe space for raising concerns, Hockey Canada has established a new, fully independent, and confidential reporting mechanism for all individuals regarding any incidents involving Hockey Canada sanctioned programming as outlined in the Action Plan.
The role of the Independent Third Party is to:
- Receive all hockey related maltreatment, sexual violence, harassment, abuse, or discrimination complaints by someone affiliated with Hockey Canada.
- Analyze complaints in light of Hockey Canada and Member policies and determine how they are to be managed and the proper jurisdiction.
- Where applicable, ensure matters are properly reported to law enforcement or child protection services.
- Retain investigators and dispute resolution panels who are also independent of Hockey Canada.
- Work with Canada’s Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner and the Member associations to ensure no gaps in complaint coverage and that all complaints are handled in accordance with applicable policies and that decisions are documented in writing.
The role of the Independent Third Party is NOT to:
- Process appeals for matters that take place in other jurisdictions.
- Receive complaints related to personality and differing opinions that do not construe maltreatment.
- Receive complaints relating to matters such as transfer requests or appeals.
- Receive complaints about operational matters such as fee disputes and refunds.
A key feature of the Independent Third Party structure is its independence from Hockey Canada. The Independent Third Party has sole jurisdiction to handle complaints and keeps the identity of complainants confidential from Hockey Canada and Member associations. Although the Independent Third Party mechanism is staffed by some lawyers, those lawyers do not provide any legal advice to Hockey Canada.
Reporting Abuse or Harassment is often a difficult process. The Independent Third Party is committed to operating in a trauma informed manner. For example:
- All reports will be kept entirely confidential, in line with the wishes of the person making the complaint. This includes confidentiality from Hockey Canada and Member association staff.
- All Complaints will be followed up in a timely manner.
- The Independent Third Party has developed resources to share with survivors of abuse and can direct survivors to additional supports.
- The Independent Third Party answers questions about the complaint process.
- Complaints are taken seriously and rigorously examined.
All incidents of Maltreatment and Discrimination should be reported immediately. There are some instances when these situations are reported to Hockey Manitoba, some in which they are reported to the ITP and in some cases, they are reported to both.
All situations in which an 11.4 call is made by an official in a game are reported to Hockey Manitoba by the game official. This is when the incident in question is heard or witnessed by an official and a penalty is assessed. This would result in an automatic gross misconduct, a game ejection followed by a minimum five-game suspension. The official would report this to Hockey Manitoba immediately following the game. Hockey Manitoba will also ensure this is reported to the ITP.
All situations in which there is a Maltreatment and Discrimination complaint, it is up to the claimant to report this directly to the Independent Third Party. This is a situation in which there is no call made by an official. This could mean it happened during a game, but the official did not hear/witness the incident (the official should still be made aware and will include it in his game report). This could also mean that this occurred in practice, in the dressing room, the stands, the lobby, etc. There is no place in which these incidents are acceptable and if at any time someone feels as though they have been discriminated against, they can report directly to the Independent Third Party. Incidents of this nature do not need to be reported to Hockey Manitoba first.
Officials that need to report an 11.4 call made during a game must report the call to the league on the game report directly following the game. It would be the responsibility of the league to forward that to Hockey Manitoba via email to email@example.com.
Any individual wishing to submit a Maltreatment or Discrimination Complaint can do so by completing the Maltreatment and Discrimination Intake Form and submitting it directly to the Independent Third Party via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information you can contact one of the following Hockey Manitoba representatives for Maltreatment and Discrimination:
Peter Woods, Executive Director
Ken Gladden, Chair of Appeals Committee
Ashley Fergusson, Coordinator, Membership Services