Soccer Canada Secretary General Earl Cochrane is scheduled to appear before the Heritage Committee

By | March 18, 2023

On Monday, it was the turn of Soccer Canada General Secretary Earl Cochrane to appear before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage in Ottawa.

Cochrane will be joined by Canada Soccer Board Members Paul-Claude Berube and Stephanie J. Geosits.

Monday’s hearing comes after captain Christine Sinclair and teammates Janine Beckie, Sophie Schmidt and Quinn, known by one name, gave evidence on March 9 about the football labor dispute.

The players, who have played a combined 732 games for Canada at the senior level, told the parliamentary committee that the Canadian women’s team is essentially considered an afterthought compared to the men’s team.

Cochrane was named secretary-general in July after serving as acting secretary-general from January 2022 following Peter Montopoli’s resignation to become chief operating officer of the 2026 FIFA World Cup in Canada.

Cochrane has held various roles with the board over two terms dating back to 2001.

As general secretary, Cochrane is the “active leader of Canada Soccer” working with the president – ​​an elected position – and the board of directors. Nick Bontis stepped down as president last month and Charmaine Crooks was promoted to acting president ahead of elections scheduled for May.

Berube has been seen on Soccer Canada boards since 2015-16. A Quebec lawyer, he is considered an expert on human rights and governance. He joined Soccer Quebec in 2010.

Geosits has worked as a journalist and consultant. While earning a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, she wrote a policy analysis exercise on diversifying hockey for the National Hockey League. She also served as the Executive Director of the Carnegie Initiative for Inclusion and Recognition in Hockey.

The sixth-ranked women’s team, formed by the Canadian Soccer Players’ Association in 2016, is without a labor deal, the last of which expires at the end of 2021. They have reached an agreement in principle with Canada Soccer to pay compensation for 2022, but say other issues have yet to be resolved.

The 53rd ranked men, who organized last summer as the Men’s National Soccer Team Players Association of Canada, are working on their first formal labor agreement.

Both groups have turned to job action due to discontent over the labor crisis.

The men boycotted a planned friendly against Panama in Vancouver last June. The women’s team briefly downed tools ahead of last month’s SheBlieves Cup before returning to the field amid threats of legal action from Soccer Canada.

The Heritage Committee has already taken Hockey Canada to task as part of the Safer Games in Canada research.

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