Former Canadian Olympic sprinter and retired Ontario judge Hugh L. Fraser nominated as board chair
Cassie Campbell-Pascall is among nine nominees for the new Hockey Canada board of directors.
The embattled national sports organization on Monday morning announced the nine names, chosen by an independent nominating committee from among 550 candidates.
Hockey Canada’s membership organizations are expected to elect all the nominees this Saturday, during the organization’s virtual annual meeting.
Campbell-Pascall, 49, is a former star Canadian women’s national team member, and is currently a hockey commentator and broadcaster for Sportsnet and ESPN. Her husband, Brad Pascall, is assistant GM of the NHL’s Calgary Flames.
The Hon. Hugh L. Fraser has been nominated as board chair.
A retired Ontario Court of Justice judge, Fraser was born in Kingston, Jamaica, raised in Kingston, Ont., and competed for Canada at the 1976 Summer Olympic Games in Montreal.
He served on the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, is a commissioner with Athletics Canada, is one of 15 adjudicators on the NCAA’s independent resolution panel for complex cases, is an independent arbitrator with the United States Olympics and Paralympic Committee and U.S. anti-doping agency, has served on the board of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport and is the father of former NHLer Mark Fraser, who played with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers and New Jersey Devils.
The other seven board nominees, all of whose elections are expected to be rubber-stamped Saturday, are:
• Grant Borbridge, a legal executive, from Calgary.
• Julie Duranceau, a legal specialist in workplace and sport harassment investigations, from Montreal.
• Dave Evans, an Ontario native with two decades of executive experience in consulting, advisory and real-estate industries.
• Marni Fullerton, a Manitoba native with three decades of leadership and risk-advisory experience in a wide range of private and public industries and charitable foundations.
• Jonathan F. Goldbloom, a communications and crisis-management specialist from Montreal, and a current VIA Rail board member.
• Marian Jacko, the assistant deputy attorney general for the Indigenous Justice Division of the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, and an Anishinaabe from Wiikwemkoong First Nation.
• Andrea Poole, a long-time expert in finance, accounting, auditing and compliance expert in the private and public sectors, from Hamilton.
All nine are nominated to serve just a one-year term, as specifically recommended by retired Supreme Court justice Thomas Cromwell, whom Hockey Canada commissioned in August to lead an independent, impartial review of the organization’s governance structure and internal operational practices.
Cromwell in late October submitted his final 213-page report, which recommended a slew of sweeping leadership and operational changes.
“The nine nominees from diverse backgrounds bring extensive experience in governance, law, sports and business,” a Hockey Canada news release said. “They were selected by the independent nominating committee with the assistance of Korn Ferry, a leading executive search firm.
“Once elected, the board is expected to lead Hockey Canada through the urgent changes necessary to ensuring greater safety and inclusiveness in and around hockey, and restore trust in the organization.”
In a statement Michael Bruni, chair of the nominating committee, said: “The nominees we’ve put forward represent the very best of Canadian society: bringing together the knowledge and experience necessary to create a new era in hockey that focuses on governance and cultural evolution.”
Hockey Canada has been awash in a series of controversies — and been the target of intense coast-to-coast criticism — since news broke in May that it settled out of court with a young woman in London, Ont., who had claimed four years ago she was sexually assaulted and threatened into silence by eight unnamed star junior hockey players, many from Canada’s 2018 World Juniors champions.
Earlier this fall Hockey Canada confirmed the woman was paid the full $3.55 million she had been seeking in a civil suit.
In October, embattled CEO and president Scott Smith left the national sports organization, and all eight members of Hockey Canada’s board of directors either resigned or agreed to step down once replacements were elected this week.
A House of Commons standing committee continues to probe Hockey Canada over egregious actions pertaining to its handling of the 2018 payoff, and other since-disclosed outrages, including how the NSO grows, manages and uses its various, multi-million-dollar liability reserve funds, which in part have been supplied by player registration fees.