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Former CEO ‘sorry’ for how Hockey Canada handled sexual assault claims under his watch

Bob Nicholson regrets no written guidelines in place on how to should handle sexual assault claims
CEO and Vice-Chair, Oilers Entertainment Group, Bob Nicholson makes an announcement in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday January 23, 2019. Nicholson is scheduled to speak before members of Parliament today as the federal government continues its examination of Hockey Canada.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Former Hockey Canada president and CEO Bob Nicholson says he’s “sorry” for not putting written guidelines in place on how the national sport organization should handle sexual assault claims during his time in charge.

Testifying before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage on Parliament Hill on Tuesday, Nicholson said he’s satisfied with how the federation handled claims throughout his tenure, which ran from 1998 to 2014.

But he adds those meetings shouldn’t have been held in camera without minutes being taken.

Hockey Canada has been mired in controversy for months after the organization mishandled sexual assault allegations involving members of the 2018 world junior team. None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Hockey Canada senior vice-president of strategy Pat McLaughlin testified that the organization has paid $1.6 million to crisis management firm Navigator since July as it dealt with mounting scandals that saw government and sponsorship dollars paused or cut off entirely. McLaughlin said no public funds have been used to pay Navigator.

McLaughlin added the lost corporate partnerships have cost the organization as much as $24 million in funding.

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