OTTAWA — Canada needs a royal commission to examine violence in hockey and other sports, the New Democratic Party said Tuesday.
The call from NDP sports critic Glenn Thibeault and deputy party leader Thomas Mulcair comes in the wake of Patrice Cormier’s violent shot to the head of player Mikael Tam during a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League game last month.
Thibeault called it “just another example of what is tarnishing sports in general and hockey in particular.”
“It’s high time this issue is taken seriously. League authorities need to explain why a savage attack that would result in charges of aggravated assault anywhere else, warrants nothing but a few game suspensions,” Thibeault said.
Mulcair said the party came to its proposal "hesitatingly."
“We think that the only proper solution is the formal atmosphere of a royal commission of inquiry where you can compel the production of documents and witness but you can also bring in all sectors and have as an objective to set out rules for the future for this great game of ours.”
The party said the commission should look at not just behaviour but equipment, social trends that influence the players, coaching and officiating.
“Lacing up a pair of skates doesn’t give anyone a licence to kill or to go headhunting,” Thibeault said.