A majority of Canadians want a change in senior leadership in hockey to address the culture of sexual harassment and sexual assault in the sport, suggests a new poll whose results were released Wednesday.
The Angus Reid Institute survey found 63 per cent of respondents say a change in senior leadership is needed, while just eight per cent disagree. Twenty-seven per cent say they aren’t sure what should be done.
The pollsters launched the survey as Hockey Canada falls under the microscope over allegations of sexual assault by former players and the use of organizational money to settle lawsuits.
Four-in-five (80 per cent) survey participants say they support the federal government’s decision to freeze Hockey Canada’s funding until changes are made. However, more than half (58 per cent) say they are not confident that Hockey Canada’s new plan to address the problem will improve the situation for women.
That number is much higher among women, with 62 per cent reporting they do not have confidence in a plan to fix the problem.
Other findings include only five per cent saying sexual assault and harassment is a hockey-specific problem, while 84 per cent say this is a broad issue to be dealt with in all sports cultures.
When it comes to youth hockey, more than half of those polled (58 per cent) say sexual harassment and sexual assault are a major problem, while another 17 per cent say it is a minor problem.
The Angus Reid Institute conducted the survey of 2,279 Canadian adults from Aug. 8 to 10. It carries a probable margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points, 19 times out of 20.