Day of Reckoning for hockey heros - five players to be finger printed, mug shots taken when they are arrested

By Pepper Parr

January 25th, 2024



Five hockey players who were part of Team Canada’s 2018 squad that won gold at the world junior hockey championship have been invited to the London, Ontario police station where they will be arrested and charged with criminal offences.

It will be more than the five men before the Courts when the trials take place. A public that has tolerated the behaviour that took place in 2018 will also be on trial. There will be  all kinds of media coverage.

It appears that it is going to take a painful trial that could destroy the lives of five fine athletes to bring an end to sexual violence,

A large part of society has been prepared to put up with sexual assault and intimate partner violence. However we have, hopefully, arrived at the point where a tough criminal trial will give this practice the attention it needs and hopefully get to the point where behaviours change

A Halton Regional Police Deputy Chief told Burlington City Council during a virtual Council meeting that whenever he writes in his blog  about sexual assault and intimate partner abuse his readership drops,

People know these things happen – but far too many people take the “boys will be boys” attitude or “she must have done something”.

The London Police have said they will hold a news conference in early February about their investigation.

“We understand that there is significant public interest in relation to a sexual assault investigation dating back to 2018,”  They got that right.

The five hockey players have known for some time that there was likely to be a day of reckoning.  Their actual arrest, finger printing and mug shots being taken will be the first painful steps,

When the matter first came to public attention Hockey Canada blew the credibility they had right out of the water when they used funds that came from fees families paid for their children to play hockey in leagues across the country as a piggy bank to pay a 3.2 million dollar settlement to the victim who felt she could engage in consensual sex with one hockey player but not the other hockey players were brought into the hotel room during what was clearly a raucous event that became a “Debbie does Dallas” evening.

After a lot of bobbing and weaving by the Hockey Canada Board to avoid going public, solid newspaper investigative journalism brought the facts to the surface.

The federal government put a freeze on their funding; major sponsors withdrew their financial support.

It was messy, eventually the Hockey Canada Board was replaced and the London police, who had stopped investigating, took another look

Hopefully the trial will be another step in getting to the point where sexual assault and intimate partner violence are not acceptable and will not be tolerated.  Those who perpetrate this kind of behaviour will get the professional help they need to change their behaviour,

And if that doesn’t work then put them in jail again and again and again if that is what it takes.

Intimate partner violence is hidden because many people are just not prepared to talk about it – to approach someone and ask if they need help and if necessary talk to the police isn’t the way thew public behaves.  You are expected to mind your own business.

The Halton Region Police Service has a top notch team that know how to handle these situations.  They are there to help.

Pascale St-Onge, the minister of Canadian Heritage, the level of government that oversees sports, said she was happy to see the case progress.

“It’s very satisfying to see that the case continues to evolve,” said St-Onge. “We’ve been all waiting for a long time to hear about the consequences and what the next steps are. So we’re going to follow what’s happening in court and with the police and the ongoing investigations.

“But I think it’s a strong message also to send to the victims of sexual violence that it’s worth pushing forward and coming forward. And I again, want to salute the courage of the person who came forward.”

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.


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