Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press The commissioner of the QMJHL, Gilles Courteau, testifying before the parliamentary committee on Wednesday
The locker rooms of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (LHJMQ) were not the scene of the violent initiations in hockey recently revealed to the public, assures commissioner Gilles Courteau. These hospitality activities are “forbidden” anyway, he told the parliamentary committee.
Mr. Courteau answered questions on Wednesday from deputies of the National Assembly as part of a parliamentary committee on violence during initiations into the world of junior hockey. The QMJHL has been involved in a media whirlwind since the publication at the beginning of the month of a judgment by the Superior Court of Ontario reporting degrading gestures in the locker rooms of the three Canadian junior hockey leagues, followed by an article by Radio -Canada recounting the stories of four players contained in the legal document.
“We did checks. None of the situations listed in the article […] involved a QMJHL team. This is an important fact to note,” said commissioner Courteau.
According to the QMJHL kingpin, there is indeed a “culture that can be harmful” in the locker room of the QMJHL. “There is a moment when the locker room door closes. […] It is this culture that must be changed, ”he told the elected officials of the Committee on Culture and Education.
Mr. Courteau recalled that initiations are prohibited in the 18 teams of the circuit. “When we are made aware of something, we intervene,” he said.
In the spirit of “reflection”, the QMJHL will still be holding consultations over the coming months. in order to file a “Locker Room Code” in time for the 2023-2024 season. An action plan and a prevention program will also be set up. “From now on, the QMJHL wants to install a window” towards the locker rooms, said Mr. Courteau.
Hockey Quebec, the Student Sports Network and McGill University will testify this afternoon in committee. Deputy Vincent Marissal also asked for an extension of the commission “in order to ensure that, collectively, we do not only touch the tip of the glacier in the file of violence during initiations in the middle of junior hockey and the possible situation in other sports”.
Further details will follow.