Why has road hockey suddenly become a national debate?
Last week, someone nutter in Enfield called in the big bad RCMP on a bunch of 12-year-olds playing road hockey. Apparently people have nothing better to do then scoff at children out their window.
Great — let’s encourage kids to stay inside and play computer games, become overweight, and wait until their health care bills become a burden on society until we complain that kids don’t exercise enough.
Sound dumb to you?
Or perhaps you’d prefer them to use their free time to be spray painting grafitti on your fence.
Enfield resident Debbie Jefferies says her 12-year-old son Ryan and his friends had been out playing road hockey any chance they got.
But a neighbour called police and under the Motor Vehicle Act in Nova Scotia the games now have to stop. The kids were given the option to play at a dead end street, but the 10 minute strut would be difficult to haul all the gear to.
Jeffries says she doesn’t know who complained, but says it’s the first she’s heard of the road hockey being a problem – and she wishes that person had come to her first.
Jeffries told the Chronicle Herald the ban on shinny games broke her heart.
Nova Scotia’s transportation minister Bill Estabrooks called the complaint “frivolous” and says the RCMP have better things to worry about. Oh I don’t know… maybe like all the recent SHOOTINGS in the city.
Many Canadian municipalities have by-laws banning street hockey, however they’re rarely enforced.
But if you think the Halifax case is new, think again. One Montreal father is fighting a case in court. He says street hockey is part of Canadian culture.
During some of the fabulous weather we got in March, 42-year-old David Sasson was playing ball hockey with a group of neighbourhood kids that included his own children in the Montreal suburb of Dollard-des-Ormeaux. A neighbour called in the coppers.
Sasson told the Globe and Mail responding officers watched the game for 45 minutes and called the complaining woman twice to try to convince her to drop the matter. Apparently the complainer was tired of the noise — so Sasson ended up with a $75 ticket.
Again, the neighbour never bothered to complain directly.
“We live in Canada, we have the right to play hockey,” Sasson told the Globe and Mail.
Sasson even staged a protest game in the City Hall parking lot and local police and bylaw officers JOINED IN. What does that tell you?
The Wayne Gretzkys and Sidney Crosbys are born in street hockey games. Let’s not let a few old bitties ruin a national pastime.
Jennifer Casey was born and raised in Halifax. She loves all sports but tries to stick to writing about hockey for sanity purposes. You can follow her on twitter @jenncaseyhfx or find her on her blog National Passtime