Hockey Canada's entire Board and the chief executive have resigned ©Getty Images

Hockey Canada chief executive and President Scott Smith has resigned with immediate effect, while the entire Board of Directors has also agreed to step down.

The departures end weeks of pressure for Hockey Canada's leadership to resign amid a scandal over how the organisation has handled claims of sexual misconduct.

Interim Board chair Andrea Skinner quit over the weekend, after former chair Michael Brind'Amour's resignation in August.

An interim management committee will be put in place to oversee Hockey Canada's operations until a new chief executive is appointed - which in turn will not happen until a new Board is elected by Hockey Canada members.

An online election of a new Board is scheduled for December 17 and no officials will stand for re-election.

Hockey Canada has faced heavy criticism for its treatment of allegations of sexual assault since it became known earlier this year that it had settled a case for CAD3.55 million (£2.2 million/$2.7 million/€2.7 million) with a woman who claims she was abused by members of Canada's junior national team in 2018.

An investigation into the incident has been reopened and law enforcement is also looking into an alleged group sexual assault committed by members of Canada's 2003 junior national team.

Hockey Canada has had its access to public funds frozen as a consequence, and revelations that membership fees may have been used to settle lawsuits related to sexual misconduct have sparked further outcry.

Hockey Canada's access to public funds has been frozen because of the scandal over how it deals with allegations of sexual assault ©Getty Images
Hockey Canada's access to public funds has been frozen because of the scandal over how it deals with allegations of sexual assault ©Getty Images

Members Hockey Québec and Hockey Nova Scotia have said they will not send money to Hockey Canada, while sponsors including Nike, Tim Hortons and Scotiabank have ended or suspended commercial relationships with Hockey Canada.

Equipment manufacturer Bauer Hockey became the latest sponsor to pause a commercial deal with Hockey Canada earlier today, just hours before Smith and the Board resigned en masse.

Canadian Sports Minister Pascale St-Onge had repeatedly urged Hockey Canada's leadership to quit and also pushed regional bodies to put pressure on Hockey Canada, as Hockey Québec and Hockey Nova Scotia had.

Hockey Canada has committed to becoming a full signatory to the new Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner and published a six-pillar action plan to address "toxic behavior" and a "code of silence" it admits plagues the sport, as well as commissioning a governance review.

The interim management committee will be tasked with enacting that action plan, although Hockey Canada is yet to outline who will comprise the interim management committee.

The governance review is to be led by Thomas Cromwell, a former Supreme Court justice.