British Columbia

B.C. Hockey 'closely monitoring' after Quebec and Ontario associations cut funds to Hockey Canada

Hockey Québec and the Ontario Hockey Federation have announced they will no longer send player fees to Hockey Canada. B.C.'s minister of sport said she would support B.C. Hockey in matching those actions.

Canada's sport minister asks provincial bodies to pressure Hockey Canada to make changes

A close up of hockey sticks and skates on the ice.
B.C. Hockey is the fourth-largest provincial hockey association in Canada with 60,000 participants in British Columbia and Yukon. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Leaders at B.C. Hockey aren't saying if they will follow in the footsteps of other provincial associations in cutting funds to Hockey Canada.

Both Hockey Québec and the Ontario Hockey Federation announced Tuesday they will no longer collect player fees on behalf of the national federation in the wake of revelations about a second multi-million dollar slush fund to deal with sexual abuse allegations and a widely-panned appearance by Hockey Canada interim board chair Andrea Skinner in front of a parliamentary committee.

On Tuesday, federal Minister of Sport Pascale St-Onge called on regional federations under Hockey Canada — which include B.C. Hockey — to put pressure on the national federation to change.

In a statement, B.C. Hockey said it is "...closely monitoring the decision and input of other Hockey Canada members, including those of Hockey Québec today. B.C. Hockey is committed to playing a role in accountability for positive change in hockey for our participant members."

B.C.'s minister of sport said she would support B.C. Hockey in matching the actions of its counterparts in Ontario and Quebec.

"I need to begin by saying how extremely disappointed I am in Hockey Canada, as are all British Columbians and all Canadians. It's extremely important that everyone feel safe when they play a sport, especially our kids," said Lisa Beare.

"Withholding funding for Hockey Canada is a B.C. Hockey decision. But if they want to make that decision, I fully support them." 

B.C. Hockey is a non-profit organization under Hockey Canada, overseeing roughly 130 minor hockey associations and 60,000 players in British Columbia and Yukon. It is the fourth-largest provincial hockey body in the country in terms of participants, behind Ontario, Alberta and Quebec. 

On Wednesday, St-Onge told reporters in Ottawa that Hockey Québec's decision shows the move to reform Hockey Canada is underway. 

"It also sends the message to the leaders at the organization that are holding onto their jobs that Hockey Canada doesn't belong to them, it also belongs to their members, and they want change. They want a change of culture and they want a fight against sexual violence," she said. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he understands Hockey Québec's decision "fully," and that it's no surprise that provincial organizations are questioning whether they want to continue supporting an organization "that doesn't understand how serious a situation it has contributed to causing." 

"I can't understand how Hockey Canada refuses to accept the reality that they no longer have the trust of parents and Canadians," he told reporters on Wednesday. 


Karin Larsen


Karin Larsen is a former Olympian and award winning sports broadcaster who covers news and sports for CBC Vancouver.

With files from Sabrina Jonas