Hockey Canada Safety Programs

Hockey Canada runs and promotes numerous programs designed to ensure the game of hockey is safe, fun and inclusive. Programs include safety practices for on-ice play, dressing room, parents, coaches and support staff.

Independent Safe Sport Complaint Process

Hockey Canada wants to end the culture of silence that exists in parts of hockey. To help ensure that we are a safe space for raising concerns, Hockey Canada has established a new, fully independent, and confidential reporting mechanism for all individuals regarding any incidents involving Hockey Canada sanctioned programming as outlined in the Action Plan. This reporting mechanism is known as the Independent Third Party and is led by Brian Ward and Jahmiah Ferdinand. 

The role of the independent third party is to:

  • receive all hockey related maltreatment, sexual violence, harassment, abuse or discrimination complaints by someone affiliated with Hockey Canada;
  • analyze complaints in light of Hockey Canada and Member policies and determine how they are to be managed and the proper jurisdiction;
  • where applicable, ensure matters are properly reported to law enforcement or child protection services;
  • retain investigators and dispute resolution panels who are also independent of Hockey Canada;
  • work with Canada's Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner and the Member associations to ensure no gaps in complaint coverage and that all complaints are handled in accordance with applicable policies and that decisions are documented in writing.

The role of the independent third party is not to:

  • process appeals for matters that take place in other jurisdictions;
  • receive complaints related to personality conflicts and differing opinions that do not constitute maltreatment;
  • receive complaints relating to matters such as transfer requests or appeals;
  • receive complaints about operational matters such as fee disputes and refunds;

The new Hockey Canada Discipline and Complaints policy that outlines the role of the Independent Third Party and the applicable processes is available for download here.

A key feature of the Independent Third Party structure is its independence from Hockey Canada. The Independent Third Party has sole jurisdiction to handle complaints and keeps the identity of complainants confidential from Hockey Canada and Member associations. The Independent Third Party will not be unduly influenced by anyone at Hockey Canada regarding the complaint administration process. Although the Independent Third Party mechanism is staffed by some lawyers, those lawyers do not provide any legal advice to Hockey Canada. 

Hockey Canada will receive anonymized reports from the Independent Third Party from time to time documenting the number of complaints received, categorizing complaints and reporting on other metrics such as response times and the time required to close complaints. This reporting protects the identity of all those involved with a complaint process while also ensuring proper oversight of the performance of the Independent Third Party. 

Reporting Abuse or Harassment is often a difficult process. The Independent Third Party is committed to operating in a trauma informed manner. For example:

  • All reports will be kept entirely confidential, in line with the wishes of the person making the complaint. This includes confidentiality from Hockey Canada and Member association staff.
  • All Complaints will be followed up in a timely manner.
  • The Independent Third Party has developed resources to share with survivors of abuse and can direct survivors to additional supports. 
  • The Independent Third Party answers questions about the complaint process.
  • Complaints are taken seriously and rigorously examined. 

The Independent Third Party is staffed by a number of diverse professionals reflecting both gender and racial diversity. Service is available in both French and English. 

Additional resources will be developed as the Independent Third Party continues its work and analyzes the ongoing needs to ensure a safe and trauma informed complaint mechanism. 

Complaints can be submitted by email to

An independent third party will oversee all complaints and subsequent discipline that fall outside the jurisdiction of the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner.
This code of conduct ensures behaviour consistent with Hockey Canada’s core values that produces a safe and positive environment within programs, activities and events.
Hockey Canada has adopted the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport, which is key to advancing a respectful culture in sport across the country.
Hockey Canada works to integrate safety messaging into its programming and every-day business. The framework for a safe environment is made up of essential steps that can be taken on and off the ice.
The Respect in Sport Activity Leader program is Hockey Canada’s official online course for the prevention of abuse, bullying and harassment, creating a safer, more ethical hockey environment.
Hockey Canada is determined to reduce concussions in hockey. Respect, rules, rule enforcement, education, awareness and skill development are all key steps to reducing concussions.
A player is injured – what is your role? It is always concerning to see a player go down on the ice, however if we all know our responsibility when this happens it allows for a quick and organized response.
Independent Safe Sport Complaint Process