To all BDMHA members;
The BDMHA Executive Committee is very disturbed about the recent and past allegations of sexual assault against members of Canada's National Junior hockey team, and how Hockey Canada has handled this situation, and many others. We also understand that this news has sparked a national conversation about a culture of silence in the sport, and questions as to whether ice hockey's place as the centerpiece of Canadian culture has shielded it from criticism and accountability.
What we are hearing about this troubling situation is contrary to the values of BDMHA and the codes of conduct we enforce on all of our players, parents, staff, and volunteers. We want to assure our membership that we are following the situation very closely. We fully support Canada's 13 provincial hockey federations who have communicated, in writing, to Hockey Canada that they will only pay dues in December if they are provided with, and satisfied by, a written report on the Hockey Canada Action Plan (read it here), and its implementation. In response Hockey Canada has appointed a Special Committee of independent experts to monitor and provide guidance on the implementation of the Action Plan. Executive performance evaluations will be tied to progress on the plan, and an annual report on social responsibility and impact will help keep Canadians informed on Hockey Canada’s progress.
For Hockey Nova Scotia's part, they are partnering with the Province and Sport Nova Scotia to establish a third-party mechanism that will be responsible for receiving and investigating all complaints of maltreatment. Their Director of Change Management is also leading a full review of their governance structure, and their diversity and inclusion committee continues to work through several of the 2019 Hockey Nova Scotia Diversity and Inclusion Task Force’s final recommendations that were published in 2021 (read it here).
BDMHA has also received inquiries from members, and the public if we will hold back payments to Hockey Canada. We want to be clear that BDMHA does not make any direct payments to Hockey Canada. BDMHA is required to be part of Hockey Nova Scotia in order to remain a minor hockey association within Nova Scotia and thus Canada. We will hold Hockey NS accountable to the commitments they have made to making improvements in the sport. Further BDMHA will honor the commitment we've made to be open and transparent with our membership about the use of funds, including those paid to Hockey Nova Scotia.
We would like to also reinforce that the BDMHA Executive Committee will not tolerate any form of maltreatment shown by or towards a member of BDMHA. We have worked hard to recruit an Executive Committee that is made up of nearly fifty percent women to provide a more balanced perspective within the association's governance. There is an increased expectation that all members of BDMHA will be treated equally and given equal respect within our organization.
Further to our increased diversity at the Executive level, we are putting together a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee at the release of this statement, and more information will be coming in the next few weeks. You can read about our first steps in the July 28, 2022 minutes of the BDMHA Executive Committee (Meeting Minutes Here). Finally BDMHA will release a revised Code of Conduct by September 15th, 2022 which all members must sign and agree to prior to October 1st, 2022.
We encourage any member with concerns to reach out to our President (firstname.lastname@example.org), or any of the Executive Officers at any time.