An open letter to Hockey Canada, hockey fans, players, teams and all Canadians from coast to coast to coast

 

Hockey has always been Canada’s game. Hockey players are not only ambassadors for our sport, they are ambassadors for our country and for the values that we, as Canadians, uphold and cherish.

For many Canadian families, the local hockey rink is the heart of their community and a fixture on their weekly calendars, particularly during our long and seemingly unending winters. Hockey is a sport that, by design, brings people together – regardless of who you are or what town you call home.

That is why, like so many of you, I was appalled by the recent reports of alleged assault involving younger ambassadors of Canada’s game. The alleged behaviour in this current case is contrary to the beliefs and values that hockey is meant to embody, and those that we champion at Scotiabank, as Canada’s Hockey Bank.   

Scotiabank believes in hockey for all and in the power of sport to transform lives for the better. We believe we have a responsibility as hockey lovers and sponsors to contribute to positive change in the sport. And, we are committed to ensuring that hockey is safe, inclusive and accessible.  

This means holding people and organizations accountable, including Hockey Canada, in much the same way that Scotiabank is accountable to our customers, employees, shareholders, and the members of the communities in which we live and work.

Today, we have made the decision to pause our sponsorship of Hockey Canada until we are confident the right steps are being taken to improve the culture within the sport – both on and off the ice.

This includes:

  • Cancelling planned Scotiabank marketing and events at the upcoming World Junior Championships in August.

  • Redirecting our sponsorship investment planned for the World Juniors to other programs, including the Hockey Canada Assist Fund, which is successfully helping to eliminate financial barriers to hockey for young people, and the Women’s World Championship. We will also be making a donation to the Canadian Women’s Foundation, a charity that supports women who are the victims of gender-based violence.

  • Expecting Hockey Canada to fully cooperate with the Federal Government’s audit and ensuring our sponsorship funding was used as intended.

The time for change is long overdue. We call on Hockey Canada to move with a sense of urgency in order to ensure that the game we love is held to the highest standards, and can truly be hockey for all.

 

Brian J. Porter
President and CEO, Scotiabank

 

 

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Scotiabank's Hockey Investment
  • For nearly 15 years, we have proudly been Canada’s hockey bank.
  • As Canada’s hockey bank, we have made 15 years of strategic investments in the sport, because we believe in the power hockey has to transform lives for the better.
  • Since 2006, we have hosted more than 16,000 girls at Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest events across Canada. Girls HockeyFest hosts free hockey clinics for young women, regardless of their financial standing.
  • Since 2008, Scotiabank's Community Hockey Sponsorship Program has supported over 1.5 million kids and counting through its involvement with minor hockey teams in communities across Canada.
  • This year alone, our Community Hockey Sponsorship Program will distribute $1,000,000 in funding, impacting over 160,000 youth players coast-to-coast.
  • For 12 years, we have been the title sponsor of Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada, an annual celebration of the connection between hockey and community.

hockey for all | making the game more diverse and inclusive

  • Last fall, we launched hockey for all. The platform encourages Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in hockey through two distinct areas of focus: cultural and financial.
    • Culturally: our goal is to make hockey more diverse and inclusive by educating youth and partnering with organizations that are committed to changing hockey’s culture.
    • Financially: our goal is to make hockey more accessible by providing financial assistance to underrepresented community teams, leagues or organizations.

Hockey inclusivity | strategic partnerships to open the game up

  • To make hockey more diverse, inclusive, and accessible through education and financial assistance, we are partnering with organizations that are committed to changing hockey’s culture.
  • Examples include:
    • Hockey Diversity Alliance which aims to inspire a diverse generation of hockey players and fans through grassroots initiatives and their Hockey Diversity Alliance Education Program.
    • Future of Hockey Lab which creates and tests new ideas to help make hockey more welcoming and equitable.
    • You Can Play which works to ensure the safety and inclusion for all who participate in sports, including LGBTQ+ athletes, coaches, and fans.
    • Hockey 4 Youth which provides new Canadians and high-priority youth the opportunity to play hockey in cities across the country.
    • Project North which provides young people from diverse backgrounds with the opportunity to play hockey by delivering new hockey equipment to communities across Canada’s North.     
  • Some of our partnerships and sponsorships include:
  • We also have exclusive naming rights to several facilities where hockey is played in Canada. They include: Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, ScotiaBarn in Burnaby, B.C., Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, and ScotiaPond in Toronto.
  • We are re-directing our investment planned for the World Juniors to other programs including the Hockey Canada Assist Fund, which is successfully helping to eliminate financial barriers to the sport for youth and the Women's World Championship. We will also be making a donation to the Canadian Women's Foundation, a charity that supports women who are the victims of gender-based violence.