Street hockey becomes an issue

Street hockey becomes an issue

Quebec City. (Quebec) 17 October 2014 – A big story going around town these days is the right to play or not to play hockey in residential streets.

At the end of September a neighbour in a quiet residential area called 9-1-1 to complain about the noise that some kids were making because of playing hockey in the street. The street in question is a roundabout, not a through street, so the children were relatively safe.

Unfortunately there is a bylaw in Quebec City, like many other cities across Canada, which forbids children from playing any games in a street.

It’s a matter of safety and repercussions against the city if ever there is an accident. Back in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s kids were constantly playing hockey in the streets all across the country but, slowly and surely laws were put in place because of blame responsibility and complaints from drivers.

The question arises as to the validity of the argument. On one hand we want our kids to get out and play games to get exercise and fresh air, on the other hand, some neighbours and city bylaws prevent them from doing exactly that.

Here in Quebec City, Mayor Labeaume became implicated in the discussion and flatly stated that he played hockey in the street when he was young and had lots of fun doing it. Now being mayor, the table has turned, and although he still thinks kids could play street hockey, if and when an accident were to occur, he would be the first person to be blamed for not enforcing the bylaw.

So the question remains, to play or not to play? It looks as if it’s OK if the neighbours don’t complain, but is it really.

The city has installed a lot of “summer rinks” in certain parks over the past few years where kids can go and play hockey with a ball or puck in the summer but, they are few and far between and usually require transportation to get there, but it’s a start.

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