Opposition parties question choice of Shane Doan as team Canada captain

At the heart of the controversy are comments about French-Canadians that Doan allegedly directed towards officials during a December 2005 game between his Phoenix Coyotes and the Montreal Canadiens.

Though Doan denies making the comments, all three opposition parties questioned whether Doan was an appropriate choice to represent the team given the allegations.

Opposition leaders were also irked by the government’s unwillingness to deal with the issue.

“It’s not a government decision,” said Secretary of State for Sport Helena Guergis to repeated questions in the House of Commons.

But Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe rejected those claims.

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“I cannot understand why the government wouldn’t put out a single comment to say that this is disrespectful to French Canadians,” Duceppe said.

The NDP’s Jack Layton suggested that Doan’s captaincy will “cast a shadow on (Canada’s) participation on the international stage.”

For his part, Liberal Leader Stephane Dion admitted that the government shouldn’t interfere with Hockey Canada decisions, but called the Tories’ silence on the issue “shocking.”

Doan was not punished by the NHL after a league investigation into the incident, though the Alberta-born athlete was given a misconduct for verbal abuse of officials during the game.