Hockey Canada reveals large chunk of player insurance fees goes to National Equity Fund
Fund has been scrutinized over its use in settling sexual assault claims
Hockey Canada has revealed that over 65 per cent of player insurance fees go toward the organization's National Equity Fund.
In a letter to MP Peter Julian obtained by The Canadian Press, Hockey Canada president and chief executive officer Scott Smith provided a breakdown of how registration and insurance fees are allocated.
General liability insurance ($8.90), director's and officers insurance ($2) and safety/admin ($2.75) are allocated to the
National Equity Fund and make up $13.65 of the $20.80 in insurance fees that are paid.
The breakdown said the general liability insurance would have been used to settle claims of sexual misconduct, though Hockey Canada has since said the reserve fund will no longer be used for that purpose.
Accidental death and dismemberment insurance ($5.15) and medical and dental insurance ($2) make up the remainder, and are paid into the health and benefit trust.
Insurance in total makes up the bulk of the total registration fee of $23.80, with the other three dollars coming from assessment and registration fees.
Smith was responding to an Aug. 22 letter from Julian, in which the member of the House of Commons heritage committee accused Hockey Canada of a lack of transparency regarding its use of registration fees.
"Hockey parents across the country deserve to know exactly how their registration fees are used," Julian said.
The National Equity Fund has put Hockey Canada under increased scrutiny since the organization confirmed its existence in a statement on July 19 and said it had been used to settle sexual misconduct claims.
Hockey Canada said the following day that the fund would no longer be used to settle sexual assault claims.
At a parliamentary hearing on July 27, Hockey Canada chief financial officer Brian Cairo said the governing body has used the fund to pay out $7.6 million in nine settlements related to sexual assault and sexual abuse claims since 1989.
That figure does not include the undisclosed amount of a 2018 settlement from an alleged sexual assault involving players from the that year's world junior team.
- Investigator hired to look into group sexual assault allegations involving 2003 World Junior players
Julian also posed questions regarding perks and luxury accommodations provided to board members. Smith said allowable expenses under the board of directors' travel and expense policy — which include airfare, accommodation, meals and ground travel — are regularly reviewed to ensure they are appropriate.
The MP said he had received information on the expenses from a former board member who chose to remain anonymous. He said he was told of dinners costing north of $5,000 for the board of directors, as well as accommodations costing more than $3,000 per night "such as the presidential suite at the (Westin) Harbour Castle in Downtown Toronto."
"We cannot speak to the information you have received regarding specific dinners or accommodations as this information did not come from Hockey Canada, but we do not believe it to be accurate," Smith said in response.