Most Canadians say they feel anger over revelations Hockey Canada maintained a fund, financed by player fees, for uninsured payments including but not limited to sexual assault complaints, according to a new survey by Nanos Research.
The survey, commissioned by CTV News and The Globe and Mail, shows 73 per cent of Canadians feel anger about the situation, with 14 per cent saying they feel disinterest, about two per cent feeling satisfaction and 11 per cent who said they are unsure.
Women were more likely to say they feel anger at 81 per cent, compared to men at 65 per cent.
The sentiments come after it was revealed in May Hockey Canada reached a settlement with a woman who claimed several members of the Canadian world junior hockey team sexually assaulted her in London, Ont., in 2018.
Since then, another allegation of group sexual assault has surfaced involving members of the Canadian world junior hockey team in 2003.
On Thursday, Hockey Canada announced a former Supreme Court justice would lead an independent review of the organization’s governance.
Hockey Canada, meanwhile, has said it would no longer use its National Equity Fund, the reserve financed by registration fees, to settle sexual assault claims.
The Nanos survey shows most Canadians oppose (71 per cent) or somewhat oppose (13 per cent) Hockey Canada using part of hockey registration fees to pay out sexual assault allegation settlements. Four per cent support it, while five per cent somewhat support it.
In light of the Hockey Canada allegations, most Canadians now hold a negative view of the sport in general, according to Nanos.
Forty-one per cent of those surveyed by Nanos say the sexual assault allegations involving members of the world junior team have had a negative impact on their impression of hockey, while 24 per cent say the allegations have had a somewhat negative impact.
Fifty-eight per cent say they have no confidence in Hockey Canada’s leadership currently, and 59 per cent said they view sexual misconduct as a possible cultural problem in player development leagues that feed the National Hockey League.
Forty-seven per cent say sexual misconduct is a possible cultural problem in the NHL, according to Nanos.
At the recreational level, 32 per cent of Canadians surveyed said they see sexual misconduct as a potential cultural issue, while 28 per cent said they did not.
Women were more likely to see sexual misconduct as an issue compared to men, according to the survey.
Sixty-three per cent of Canadians also view sexual assault in hockey as part of a bigger cultural problem, compared to 26 per cent who say it is isolated to a handful of players. Twelve per cent were unsure.
On whether parents would allow their children to play hockey, Nanos reports 55 per cent said the Hockey Canada allegations have had no impact.
Forty-nine per cent of women with children say they are less likely to have their kids play hockey compared to about 31 per cent of men, according to the survey.
Nanos conducted an RDD dual frame (land- and cell-lines) hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,038 Canadians, 18 years of age or older, between July 29 and Aug. 2, 2022, as part of an omnibus survey. Participants were randomly recruited by telephone using live agents and administered a survey online. The sample included both land- and cell-lines across Canada. The results were statistically checked and weighted by age and gender using the latest census information and the sample is geographically stratified to be representative of Canada. Individuals randomly called using random digit dialing with a maximum of five callbacks.
The margin of error for this survey is 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. This study was commissioned by CTV News and the Globe and Mail, and the research was conducted by Nanos Research.
With files from CTV News and The Canadian Press