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GTHL announces appointment of Special Integrity Commissioner

The Greater Toronto Hockey League today announced the appointment of David Watt in the volunteer capacity as the Special Integrity Commissioner of the GTHL.

Universally regarded as a pre-eminent criminal law authority in Canada, David Watt’s contribution is vast. Over 50 years, David has left his mark on the administration of justice through his role as Crown counsel, a trial judge, an appellate judge, a prolific writer, and an educator. David was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Ontario (High Court of Justice) in 1985, where he presided over a constant stream of homicide and other complex criminal trials, while also fulfilling extensive case management duties, including leading the Toronto homicide and long trials team for many years. David was appointed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario in 2007 and served as a member of that Court until his retirement in November 2021. As a judge of the Court of Appeal, David composed hundreds of decisions encompassing all corners of criminal law and evidence.

Additionally, David has a long history of serving minor hockey in Canada in a variety of volunteer roles, including as Chair of the Ontario Hockey Federation in the 1990s, a director of what is now Hockey Canada, and a director of the GTHL from 2002 to 2004.

The office of Special Integrity Commissioner (SIC) was established in April 2023 and oversees the investigation of complaints of ethical and financial wrongdoing by the GTHL Board of Directors, Staff, Members, Club Officials, Team Officials, and Parents. The SIC will help protect from reprisal whistleblowers and those who participate in, and cooperate with, investigations.

The office of Special Integrity Commissioner has been established to ensure anyone can disclose ethical and financial wrongdoing in the GTHL confidentially and safely.

The Special Integrity Commissioner will contribute to strengthening accountability and increases oversight of the GTHL, GTHL Members, Club Officials, Team Officials, and parents by:

  • Providing an independent and confidential process for the disclosure and investigation of wrongdoing in, or relating to, GTHL activities
  • Reporting wrongdoing to the GTHL Board of Directors
  • Recommending to the GTHL Board actions to be undertaken to address any specific wrongdoing or systemic issues
  • Recommending to the GTHL Board whether any parts of an investigation or disciplinary proceedings should be made public
  • Facilitating and overseeing the handling of complaints of reprisals from complainants

David will work closely with independent investigator, Michael Davis, who was asked by the GTHL Board in February of 2023 to conduct an independent investigation into recent allegations of financial improprieties by a few GTHL Clubs.

In April of 2023, the GTHL Board passed a resolution requiring the full participation in the investigative process by any individual identified by the investigator or risk sanctioning by the GTHL.

If any individual has information to indicate inappropriate financial transactions involving Clubs or Teams, they are encouraged to contact Mr. Davis directly at michaeladavis@sympatico.ca. Anonymity will be respected.

ABOUT THE GREATER TORONTO HOCKEY LEAGUE

Founded in 1911, the GTHL is a non-profit organization and the largest minor hockey league in the world. The GTHL registers more than 40,000 annual participants in Markham, Mississauga, Toronto and Vaughan. The purpose of the GTHL is to govern organized hockey for youth within its jurisdiction, and to foster participation that reflects the cultural demographic of the League’s territory while promoting an environment that is welcoming and inclusive for all participants.

For more information, please contact:  

Stephanie Coratti
Senior Manager, Communications and Marketing
Greater Toronto Hockey League
SCoratti@GTHLCanada.com

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