Andrea Skinner appointed interim chair of Hockey Canada's board of directors

A Hockey Canada logo is shown on the jersey of a player with Canada’s National Junior Team during a training camp practice in Calgary, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)

Andrea Skinner has been appointed interim chair of Hockey Canada's Board of Directors, the organization announced Tuesday morning.

Skinner will serve in the interim role until November 2022, when the current term ends. Her appointment, which follows the resignation of Michael Brind'Amour, comes on the recommendation of representatives from Hockey Canada's provincial, regional, and territorial associations.

“As a Board we are listening to Canadians. We are working to make meaningful positive changes to the culture of the sport of hockey," Skinner, who was first elected to the board of directors in November 2020, said in the press release. "I am proud of my lifelong commitment to hockey and am honoured to serve Hockey Canada as Chair of the Board; a Board that includes men and women with a diversity of age and life experiences, and one that represents different ethnic and cultural communities, including Indigenous Canadians, and the LGBT2Q+ community.

"I sincerely believe the organization is taking positive steps to effect meaningful change from the grassroots to high-performance national team level.”

Hockey Canada has been under intense scrutiny for its handling of sexual violence allegations since news broke in May that the organization settled a lawsuit with a woman who said she was sexually assaulted in June 2018 by eight CHL players, including some members of the 2017-18 Canadian world junior team.

In the months since, calls for changes in leadership and at the board level have grown increasingly loud. Hockey Canada announced last month a new action plan to change its culture and increase transparency and measures of accountability.

Brind'Amour's decision to step down accelerated that change at the board level.

“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. I understand that the actions we have taken in recent weeks are part of the solution," Brind'Amour wrote in a statement on Friday.

"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 and have therefore announced my resignation to the Board of Directors."

Support for survivors
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence and is in need of support, those in Canada can find province-specific centres, crisis lines and services here. For readers in America, a list of resources and references can be found here.

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