Photo: Chilliwack Chiefs celebrate a goal / X @Chiefs_Hockey / File
Minor hockey restrictions
November 24, 2023 | 8:29 AM
CHILLIWACK – The British Columbia Hockey Association has accused Hockey Canada of bullying and restricting opportunities for junior hockey players in lower British Columbia. The league’s executive committee sent a letter to federal Sports Minister Carla Qualtrough alleging that Hockey Canada has launched a systematic and retaliatory campaign to harm the BCHL.
Earlier this year, the BCHL ended its association with Hockey Canada, citing the latter’s refusal to participate in discussions about rules seen as hindering the development of amateur hockey players. Following the decision, the league alleged that Hockey Canada had taken intentional actions to obstruct the operations of the BCHL.
The Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association (PCAHA), which is responsible for governing minor hockey in the Lower Mainland, claims to be quoting BC hockey policy in a letter to local minor hockey associations. The citation warns of potential penalties if associations join the BCHL through advertising, promotions or volunteer activities. The PCAHA falls under the administration of BC Hockey and therefore Hockey Canada.
In Chilliwack, the fallout affected minor hockey games between Chilliwack Chiefs games. The Chiefs can no longer use minor hockey teams for those games. In several locations, the Seventh Man program is no longer supported by minor hockey leagues. The program allows young players to enjoy the excitement of being on the ice with BCHL teams during the national anthem.