Girl's hockey group angry over ice time shortage
Published Wednesday, November 11, 2009 6:32PM EST
A girl's hockey group is threatening to launch a discrimination complaint against the City of Toronto over the allocation of ice time.
The 900-member Toronto Leaside Girls Hockey Association sent a letter to Mayor David Miller complaining the city doesn't enforce its equity policy at publicly-owned arenas.
It wants its members to sign a petition to be presented at the Nov. 30 city council meeting calling on the city to enforce its equity policy when it comes to allocating ice time.
"The enrolment in girl's hockey has gone up, while the enrolment in guy's hockey has gone down, and yet we're not getting the equal treatment that we want in terms of the availability of ice," Kim McCollough of the PEAC School for Elite Athletes said Wednesday.
"So it's frustrating for us, knowing that we're the growing segment of the population, we're still getting the same ice time as 15 years ago when I was playing for the Leaside organization."
David Miller responded to the letter Wednesday, saying some Toronto-area arena boards are not following the city's policies.
"There are two of three arena boards -- North Toronto, Forest Hill, and Leaside -- that are not following the city policies and the policies are very clear: girls are entitled to access the rinks and entitled to equal access and they should be given it," he told CTV Toronto.
The group uses 18 public and private arenas around the GTA to meet its ice time needs. Private rinks can more than twice as much per hour than city-owned rinks.
In a letter to parents, the association said ice at arenas in its core areas are owned by the city but managed by an autonomous board of management.
The association said boards are expected to do business in accordance with City of Toronto policies.
"While we do receive a few hours at Ted Reeve and Forest Hill, they are not suitable times for our house league program and our allocation is well below the hours our membership is entitled to based on the large number of players that reside in those communities," the letter said.
"The North Toronto Board of Management has completely denied us access to North Toronto Arena."
City policy is supposed to give priority to youth house leagues, then youth competitive hockey and then adult recreational hockey, but that isn't happening, the letter said.
Female hockey players say they aren't getting the prime hockey hours that boys are.
"We should be treated just (like) guys or equal at least," 15-year-old hockey player Catalina Hayden-Anderson told CTV Toronto. "We have late ice time, so we probably start at 8:45 and end around 10 p.m. I get home around 11 p.m., take a shower and still have to get up for school around 6:30."