Quispamsis mayor ‘extremely disappointed’ in Saint John’s hockey player user fee

Saint John's Hilton Belyea Arena is seen on Tuesday, June 18. Tim Roszell / Global News

The mayor of a community impacted by a new non-resident user fee for hockey players at rinks in Saint John says he’s “extremely disappointed” the city has taken this step.

Saint John Common Council voted this week to charge players from outlying communities $200 to play at rinks in Saint John.

READ MORE: Losses would outweigh gains from user fee: Hockey New Brunswick

Quispamsis Mayor Gary Clark believes the fee is “polar-opposite to regional cooperation.”

He said Saint John and surrounding communities had only been discussing an ice strategy for about nine months.

“We, as the outlying mayors certainly wanted to continue on with hiring a consultant to get us the facts and the figures, to bring them forward, to do an inventory of the whole region so that we could make a decision cooperatively together to move forward,” Clark said.

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WATCH: New user fees for Saint ice rinks set to go into effect this fall

Click to play video: 'New user fees for Saint ice rinks set to go into effect this fall'
New user fees for Saint ice rinks set to go into effect this fall

The fee has come under criticism from families in places like Quispamsis, Rothesay, Grand Bay-Westfield, and St. Martins.

READ MORE: He shoots, he scores: N.B. Museum shows off exhibit on Canada’s favourite game

Chris Green, a local representative for Hockey New Brunswick, told Global News Tuesday the fee could be counterproductive because it could eliminate some teams from playing and holding tournaments in Saint John, which would decrease revenue opportunities for hotels and restaurants.

Despite the new fee facing his residents, Clark said Quispamsis has no interest in implementing its own user fee for facilities in his community.


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