Opinion | Hockey Town Protocols

I find it hard to believe there no longer is adult skating in the evening in either the John Rhodes or McMeeken arenas, which essentially means no evening adult skating in the city.
The adult skate from 9 to 10 P.M. on Tuesdays at the John Rhodes has been given over to hockey, as if it didn’t have a majority of the ice time already.
I had written the community centres department about the disappearance of adult skating, asking if it was going to be this way for the full season and if so, why? Was its lone hour to be given over to hockey?
“We have reviewed our ice allocations this season and made adjustments so that we could maximize the use of the available ice time to all user groups,” Manager Norm Fera replied. “The public skating hour is still available from 8 – 9 P.M. on Tuesdays.
“We continue to have a full adult skating program available at the John Rhodes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 12 – 2 P.M. We also added an afternoon public skating program at the McMeeken Centre last season on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 12 – 2 P.M. that is primarily used by adult skaters.”
Maximize the use of available ice time to all user groups?
Am I missing something here? All I see is one hour taken away from one group – adult skaters – to be given to another.
As Fera didn’t answer my question as to where the hour was going, I put it to him again, along with asking, if the hour indeed was going to hockey, which group was getting it?
My suspicion was KBX, which has already bought up a huge chunk of ice time at the Rankin Arena, putting playing time for some men’s teams in jeopardy.
“The ice time has been rented to an ice hockey user group,” Fera replied. “If you require specific Information on which user, a freedom of information request is required.”
So much for transparency.
But then I don’t really care who got it. My complaint is simply that it is lost to adult skaters. When Fera says the public skating hour is still available from 8 – 9 P.M. on Tuesdays, he is right but he is skirting the issue. That hour is heavily peopled by youngsters, many of them hockey-playing speedsters. It is hardly the relaxed setting of the adult skate.
And his suggestion that there is adult skating available from 12 – 2 doesn’t cut it as a defence for giving away the evening time. The 12 – 2 skate three times a week is only good for retirees. It is of no use to those still in the work force.
I think Fera has a warped sense of humour if he thinks what he has done is maximize the use of available ice time to all user groups.
All he really has done is reward one group at the expense of another, one with little or no means of fighting back.
Surely we are better than that.
Doug Millroy can be reached at dmillroy@gmail.com


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