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BCHL’s relationship with local minor hockey continues to unravel

PCAHA members are urged to avoid participating in any events related to local BCHL team
BCHL CEO Chris Hebb stated in a letter that Hockey Canada is hurting BCHL business through an “unprecedented fear campaign.” (Garrett James photo)

The Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association has urged all of its players and members to avoid participating in any and all events related to the British Columbia Hockey League.

Black Press Media has obtained a memorandum dated Nov. 8 from the PCAHA that recommends against participation from its members or leagues with the BCHL due to insurance concerns.

The memorandum explains that due to the fact that the BCHL severed its ties with BC Hockey and Hockey Canada earlier this year, activities related to that league do not fall under Hockey Canada Insurance – which is what the PCAHA protects its members under.

RELATED: BCHL splits from Hockey Canada, forms independent league

According to the document, any teams that participate in mini-games during intermission, seventh skater anthem participation, mini-camps, post-game skate and other community events with member BCHL teams will not be covered and the families will be on their own should there be an injury.

The PCAHA asks members to avoid working with BCHL teams and instead support Pacific Junior Hockey League teams, the WHL’s Vancouver Giants or the AHL’s Abbotsford Canucks.

The BCHL teams impacted by this recommendation include the Chilliwack Chiefs, Coquitlam Express, Langley Rivermen and Surrey Eagles.

However, the BCHL recently responded to the insurance claims floated by PCAHA and shared that the BCHL has its own insurance which they claim is equal to or better than Hockey Canada’s. All PCAHA players participating in BCHL activities would be protected under that insurance.

BCHL CEO Chris Hebb shared these points in a letter dated Nov. 14 to the Minister of Sport and Physical Activity Carla Qualtrough. Hebb stated that Hockey Canada and BC Hockey are discriminating against the BCHL and are hurting their business through an “unprecedented fear campaign.”

Hebb urged Qualtrough to further investigate the actions of Hockey Canada towards the BCHL.

“As Canadian taxpayers, our owners and their employees do not understand how a government-funded entity like Hockey Canada can act this way,” the letter states. “How can an organization that so openly discriminates against our small businesses receive tax dollars for doing so? We simply ask that you inquire at Hockey Canada how policy like the ones in the attached letters is good for young Canadians, let alone our businesses.”

Hebb added that he hopes the letter will help Hockey Canada learn how to respond appropriately to opposing organizations.

Ben Lypka

About the Author: Ben Lypka

I joined the Abbotsford News in 2015.
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