Poll: Majority of Canadians believe sexual misconduct a major issue in youth hockey

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)

Editor’s Note: The following story deals with sexual assault, and may be distressing for some readers.

If you or someone you know 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 for survivors and their loved ones can be found here.

A majority of Canadians believe sexual harassment and sexual assault are a major problem in youth hockey, according to a new study.

A poll conducted by the Angus Reid Institute found that 58 per cent of Canadians believe incidences of sexual misconduct are a major issue, while another 17 per cent believe they are a minor problem.

The study found that 56 per cent of respondents who had close ties with youth hockey felt sexual misconduct was a major problem. Angus Reid said women of all ages are more likely to perceive a major problem compared to men in their same generational bracket.

Men younger than 35 are least likely to feel there is an issue, according to the study.

Angus Reid released the findings of the study Wednesday as the quarterfinals were being played at the world junior hockey championship in Edmonton.

The tournament is being held under scrutiny as Hockey Canada deals with the fallout of a scandal over its handling of sexual assault allegations made against members of its 2003 and 2016 world junior teams.

In other findings, 63 per cent of respondents felt change in Hockey Canada’s leadership is necessary, and 27 per cent are confident the governing body’s recently announced plan to combat what it calls toxic behaviour in hockey will improve how women and girls are treated.

Angus Reid said the results are from an online survey conducted Aug. 8-10 among a randomized sample of 2,279 Canadian adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The survey was commissioned and paid for by Angus Reid.

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