TORONTO – Nothing like a faceoff at city council.
Rookie councillors, Josh Matlow and Mary-Margaret McMahon, are taking another shot at icing Toronto’s ban on street hockey.
The duo is asking their city council colleagues to accept having the ban stay in effect on most city streets while giving residents a way to waive the city’s liability for the right to play on low-traffic streets where it makes sense.
“Policy that doesn’t reflect reality is problematic,” Matlow told the Sun Thursday. “Let’s stop pretending people aren’t playing street hockey out there.”
Right now, ball sports are banned on Hogtown’s streets despite the fact kids take part in the sport across the city.
The bylaw banning ball hockey is policed on a complaint basis but tickets are rarely, if ever, doled out.
If two-thirds of council doesn’t support debating the ban next week, it will be sent to the public works committee.
Even if he doesn’t score the votes at city council, Matlow says he’ll be happy.
“It’s game on no matter what happens,” he said.
If it goes back to the works committee, Matlow says he’ll be ready with a lineup of speakers who will urge councillors to support street hockey.
Matlow and McMahon propose staff find places that would be suitable for ball hockey like dead-end streets, cul-de-sacs or ones with low traffic levels.
If approved, their motion would also ask the city manager to set up a process where any resident living on a street with a speed limit under 40 km/h can apply for an exemption to the city’s street hockey ban.
They’re also asking what the liability would be if someone gets injured or property gets damaged while playing under an exemption to the ban.
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