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Beaconsfield bans hockey on outdoor rinks after players refuse to follow rules

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Beaconsfield bans outdoor ice hockey'
Coronavirus: Beaconsfield bans outdoor ice hockey
WATCH: Beaconsfield bans outdoor ice hockey – Dec 26, 2020

The closest Beaconsfield residents will get to a real game of outdoor hockey anytime soon is on the street. The West Island municipality banned hockey on Saturday morning at its seven outdoor rinks this winter.

Just days after opening the rinks for outdoor hockey during the pandemic, Beaconsfield Mayor Georges Bourelle said they ran into unmanageable situations with their rinks.

“We have time slots for skating and time slots for hockey. The hockey people refused to get off the ice,” he said.

When the hockey players time slot ended, Bourelle claims that instead of observing the rules, players verbally attacked the rink attendant asking them to leave.

“We had a couple employees that actually wanted to quit work because they were being aggressed, insulted and threatened to some degree.”

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Players not only didn’t respect other users, but Bourelle said they didn’t follow the number of people allowed to scrimmage.

Under COVID guidelines, a maximum of 25 skaters are allowed on the ice at once, but just 8 hockey players are allowed. Multiple residents told the city that the capacity was not being respected, some even called the police.

Montreal police spokesperson Caroline Chèvrefils said on Tuesday at around 10 p.m., police received a 911 call about 40 people on the ice rink at Windermere Park. She said the call was not considered a priority and by the time officers arrived everyone had left.

Beaconsfield’s mayor said he assumed players were travelling from neighbouring municipalities that don’t allow outdoor hockey, such as Kirkland.

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Pointe-Claire decided otherwise, allowing hockey games to take place on its rinks. So far, Mayor John Belvedere says they’ve had no problems and he wants to keep it that way.

He reminded users that, “everybody is looking for things to do, let’s be respectful and not hog the ice and not hog the facilities.”

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Bourelle says it’s unfortunate Beaconsfield won’t allow hockey on its rinks, but they had no choice.

“Some people were following the COVID regulations in terms of being on the ice and respecting the time slots for hockey. But unfortunately, those few will have to suffer for the many that refuse to follow the rules.”

It doesn’t mean he is ruling out reconsidering the decision later on, but he said things need to cool off. For now, Beaconsfield’s outdoor rinks will remain open just for skaters, when the weather permits.

 

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