CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada is releasing the final report from the independent third-party governance review, led by former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, Honourable Thomas Cromwell, C.C. The review, and its accompanying recommendations, are intended to provide Hockey Canada with the capacity to play its important role in making the changes in its governance model that are necessary to create the foundation upon which to rebuild the confidence of stakeholders and the public.
The report provides a comprehensive review of Hockey Canada’s governance structure, systems, personnel and processes, and offers important recommendations to help improve the organization and meet industry best practices.
Hockey Canada has already taken action to implement recommendations that were outlined in the interim report released last month. This includes moving forward with important By-Law reforms and taking steps to ensure new leadership is in place to guide the organization following the upcoming Board elections. The final report expands on this work by providing key recommendations on important areas including:
The recommendations outlined in the report provide important guidance on the next steps Hockey Canada should take to improve the organization. The report, and its recommendations are currently being reviewed by Hockey Canada Members and will be brought to the new Board of Directors, following their election on Dec. 17, 2022.
Hockey Canada will continue to provide public updates on the organization’s work to address systemic issues in and around Canada’s game.
Through the independent governance review, the Hockey Canada Board of Directors retained the Honourable Thomas Cromwell to answer the following questions:
1. Was Hockey Canada’s use of the National Equity Fund to fund uninsured liabilities which were met by the Fund appropriate? a. Is there appropriate oversight concerning payments out of the National Equity Fund? b. Is the use of the National Equity Fund sufficiently transparent within the organization and in reports to stakeholders?
2. Are the organization’s By-Laws concerning the constitution and operation of the Board of Directors in line with current best practices, appropriate or require amendments? In addition: a. Recognizing the Board’s current composition, are there recommended changes to the organization’s governance structure that would support and further enhance the diversity of the Board? b. Are current terms and term limits aligned with best practices? c. Does the nominating process need to be amended? d. Is the structure of the various standing committees and task teams, including their Terms of Reference/mandates and reporting mechanism to the Board, appropriate?
3. Does the Board exercise an appropriate degree of oversight of senior management as compared to similar organizations, including:; a. Is the Board’s current structure, as a volunteer Board with accountability for oversight of the organization, appropriate and in the best interests of hockey in Canada? b. Is there a clearly defined process describing what items staff must report to the Board (policy vs. operations)? c. Is the reporting structure to the Board (staff and committees) comprehensive enough to ensure the work of Hockey Canada is efficient, effective, and of the highest quality? d. What role should the Board play in operations versus policy and strategy?
4. Is the Senior Management Team properly structured and constituted to oversee the operations of Hockey Canada, from the grassroots level to the high-performance level?
5. In the area of governance, are there any other recommendations for actions that the Board of Directors and senior management could take to improve the confidence Canadians have in Hockey Canada?
Thomas sat on the Supreme Court of Canada from December 2008 to September 2016 and on the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal from 1997 to 2008. From 2008 until 2018, he chaired the Chief Justice of Canada’s Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters. His contribution to the legal community and society as whole has been widely recognized and he has received numerous awards, including his appointment as a Companion of the Order of Canada, the highest honour of the Order of Canada in December 2017, recognizing him as one of Canada’s most important voices on enhancing access to justice.
Victoria is a Partner and National Leader for the Charities and Not-For-Profit Law Group at BLG. She counsels charities and non-profits on a wide range of issues, including corporate governance advice and training. She is a frequent speaker to the sector. Victoria has been a member of the OBA and CBA Charities and Not-For Profit law sections for many years.
Nadia is a Partner and Chair of the Public Law and Appellate Advocacy Group at BLG. She specializes in administrative, regulatory, constitutional, and human rights law, and has appeared before all levels of federal and provincial courts, including numerous times before the Supreme Court of Canada. She more recently served as Lead Counsel to the Honourable Louise Arbour, who was appointed to carry out an independent external review into the Canadian Armed Forces and Department ofNational Defence in response to reports of harassment and sexual misconduct within Canada’s military.
Nadia is a member of the CBA Federal Courts Bench and Bar Liaison Committee, and a past president and current board member of the Association des juristes d’expression française de l’Ontario (AJEFO).
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