Advertisement

Calgary Flames change plans, announce assistance program for employees

The Saddledome, home of the Calgary Flames, is seen in Calgary, Thursday, March 12, 2020.
The Saddledome, home of the Calgary Flames, is seen in Calgary, Thursday, March 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

The Calgary Flames have decided to assist their part-time event staff who will be underemployed during the suspension of the NHL season.

READ MORE: Calgary Flames organization won’t pay event staff during COVID-19 suspension; Edmonton Oilers offer assistance

The Flames made the announcement on Sunday — a day after it was made public in an email that Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation employees affected by a halt in operations at Scotiabank Saddledome were not going to receive pay for lost shifts.

President and CEO of Calgary Sports and Entertainment, John Bean, said in a statement that the organization will now be “adopting an income bridge support program for qualifying employees.”

CSE is also the operator of the arena, which is owned by the City of Calgary.

Story continues below advertisement

Raymond Lau, a former employee at the Saddledome, started an online fundraiser to help offset the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers at the venue when he first heard CSE wouldn’t be compensating staff. The campaign had raised over $60,000 as of Sunday afternoon.

READ MORE: Fundraiser for Flames employees beats target after organization says it won’t pay event staff during COVID-19 pause

Bean said in the statement that CSE “obtained a number of additional pieces of information including communicating directly with many part-time employees,” leading to the announced program.

Calgary Sports and Entertainment also owns the Western Hockey League’s Hitmen and the National Lacrosse League’s Roughnecks. Both of those leagues have also suspended their seasons.