The chair of Hockey Canada’s board of directors has resigned.
Michael Brind’Amour told the board Friday evening he was stepping down immediately, Hockey Canada said Saturday in a statement.
The organization is under intense scrutiny for its handling of sexual assault allegations against members of previous men’s junior teams.
“I have listened carefully and intently to the comments of Canadians about the culture of our sport and our organization, and about our actions and leadership,” Brind’Amour said in the statement. “I understand that the actions we have taken in recent weeks are part of the solution.
“My final term ends in November 2022, and I know that there is no need to wait for a new era. Immediate action is essential to address the important challenges facing our organization and our sport, which our Action Plan works to accomplish.
“I would not be able to see this renewal through.”
Brind’Amour was elected board chair in 2018.
The announcement follows Hockey Canada’s appointment of former Canadian Supreme Court judge, Thomas Cromwell, to review the governance of the country’s governing body of hockey.
The review is expected to provide interim recommendations before Hockey Canada’s annual general meeting in November.
Brind’Amour said he leaves confident that Cromwell taking on that work “will help us make the changes that are needed. I am confident the recommendations will guide the organization into a future of desired change.”
Also, Canada’s 13 provincial hockey federations have requested an “extraordinary meeting” with the embattled national body.
Led by Hockey Quebec, the 10 provincial and three territorial associations want more information on the handling of sexual assault allegations stemming from a 2018 Hockey Canada gala event in London, Ont., involving members of that men’s junior team.
The provincial and territorial associations have threatened to withhold payment without answers.
Hockey Canada’s board of directors will meet in the coming days to determine next steps following Brind’Amour’s resignation, and appoint an interim chair, the organization said in its statement.
The next board election is scheduled for November’s annual general meeting.
– The Canadian Press