On the heels of a letter from the Minister of Children and Youth Services asking Ontario municipalities to accommodate road hockey, one London councillor wants to make sure the city’s youth are free to play on city streets.
The open letter written by Minister Michael Coteau is asking Ontario municipalities to remove any barriers that would prevent children from taking part in road hockey in the province.
While there are no by-laws against street hockey in London, Ward 1 councillor Michael van Holst says the current by-law could be misinterpreted when it comes to allowing road hockey on city streets. Van Holst has tabled a letter that will be seen by the City’s Civic Works Committee next week. In it, he mentions the by-law prohibits “activities that would obstruct any street,” which he believes could be interrupted to include street hockey.
“Our streets have excess capacity. We can cooperate to accommodate everyone,” van Holst said, “kids are capable of watching out for cars and clearing the road quickly… Remember that when you were young, city council let you play on the roads, so why shouldn’t we do that as well.”
The Civic Works Committee will vote on the recommendation next Tuesday.
Coteau’s letter states “where regulation is needed to keep kids safe, it should be careful not to discourage their adventurous and active spirit.”
Earlier this summer, Coteau wrote to Toronto council to change their by-law. The City of Toronto then voted 35-2 to allow the good old hockey game on city streets.
With files from Tom Fraser, Craig Needles, and Marty Thompson