Hockey Canada reveals a large portion of players’ insurance fees go to the National Equity Fund

Hockey Canada revealed that more than 65 percent of players’ insurance fees go to the organization’s National Equity Fund.

In a letter to Representative Peter Julian obtained by The Canadian Press, Scott Smith, President and CEO of Hockey Canada, detailed how registration and insurance fees are allocated.

General Liability Insurance ($8.90), Directors and Officers Insurance ($2) and Safety/Supervisor ($2.75) are allocated to
The National Equity Fund makes up $13.65 of the $20.80 in insurance fees that are paid.

The detail said the general liability insurance would have been used to settle sexual misconduct claims, although Hockey Canada has since said the reserve fund will no longer be used for that purpose.

NDP MP Peter Julian, seen here speaking during a press conference in Ottawa in March, received a letter from Scott Smith, President and CEO of Hockey Canada, detailing the allocation of registration fees and insurance. (Shawn Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Accidental death and amputation ($5.15) and medical and dental insurance ($2) make up the remainder, and are paid into the Health Insurance and Benefits Fund.

Insurance in total makes up the bulk of the total registration fee of $23.80, with the other three dollars coming from assessment and registration fees.

Smith was responding to a letter dated August 22 from Julian, in which a member of the House of Commons Heritage Committee accused Hockey Canada of a lack of transparency regarding its use of registration fees.

“Hockey parents across the country deserve to know exactly how their registration fee is being used,” Julian said.

The National Equity Fund has put Canada’s hockey game under increased scrutiny since the organization confirmed its existence in a July 19 statement and said it was used to settle sexual misconduct claims.

Hockey Canada said the next day that the fund would no longer be used to settle sexual assault claims.

At a parliamentary hearing on July 27, Hockey Canada’s chief financial officer Brian Cairo said the board of directors had used the fund to pay $7.6 million in nine settlements related to sexual assault and sexual assault allegations since 1989.

This figure does not include the undisclosed amount of the 2018 settlement of alleged sexual assault of players from that year’s World Junior Team.

Julian also asked questions regarding the perks and luxury accommodations offered to board members. Smith said the expenses allowed under the board’s travel and expense policy — which include airfare, accommodation, meals and ground travel — are reviewed regularly to ensure they are appropriate.

The MP said he received information about the expenses from a former board member who chose to remain anonymous. He said he was told about dinners costing Northern $5,000 for the board of directors, as well as accommodation costs that cost more than $3,000 a night “like the Presidential Suite at (The Westin) Harbor Castle in downtown Toronto.”

In response, Smith said: “We cannot speak to the information I have received regarding certain dinners or accommodations because this information did not come from Hockey Canada, but we do not believe it is accurate.”