Investigative reporting on organized hockey in Canada has revealed a toxic culture of sexual, possibly illegal, misconduct. As a result, Canada’s governing body for its national sport – Hockey Canada – is facing an ongoing crisis and official scrutiny regarding its response to allegations going back to 1989, largely exposed by rigorous investigative journalism.
The Canadian Journalism Foundation’s (CJF) J-Talk series on October 4 explored the media’s role in bringing these scandals to light. The event took place in person at the Toronto Reference Library’s Bram & Bluma Appel Salon at 789 Yonge Street.
Over the past two years, CTV News and TSN’s award-winning journalist Rick Westhead broke several stories that undermined Canadians’ trust in hockey leaders and national organizations. In May, Westhead revealed that Hockey Canada settled a multi-million dollar sexual assault suit by a woman against eight organized Canadian Hockey League players, including members of Canada’s gold medal-winning 2017-18 World Junior team. Since then, he uncovered more gang sexual assault allegations, this time against the 2002-03 World Junior team, which are now being investigated by the Halifax police.
These investigations came nearly one year after Westhead first introduced Kyle Beach as the John Doe former Chicago Blackhawks minor league player who accused the NHL team’s video coach of sexual assault during the team’s 2010 championship run.
Our CJF J-Talk featured Westhead, TSN Vice-President and Executive Producer Ken Volden and The Athletic’s Katie Strang, who led her website’s reporting on these issues. They discussed their investigations in conversation with CTV National News journalist Judy Trinh.
October 4 | Doors open at 6 p.m. | Discussion 6:30 p.m.
The Bram & Bluma Appel Salon, Toronto Reference Library
789 Yonge Street, Toronto