The gloves are off in a million-dollar hockey fight with an all-girls league accusing the City of Toronto of discrimination over ice access.
The 900-member Toronto Leaside Girls Hockey Association threatened to launch a human rights complaint in an Oct. 30 letter to Mayor David Miller over what it alleges is the city’s failure to enforce its equity policy at publicly owned arenas.
The TLGHA says the arenas shut girls out of prime-time ice and instead, in some cases, rent it to adult men for hockey.
TLGHA president Ron Baker said yesterday his not-for-profit league has spent more than $1 million over the past five years to play in expensive private arenas largely because city-owned facilities in players’ neighbourhoods regularly refuse to give the TLGHA permits for ice Baker insists it’s entitled to.
And female hockey players do have rights, according to the city’s equity policy.
“The policy is there for this very reason, the whole point being girls’ and women’s hockey in this city is on the rise and yes, they should have equal access to ice time,” said Stuart Green, a spokesperson from Miller’s office, who said this is a “legitimate concern” for the mayor.
For all hockey players, city ice is coveted not only because it’s close to home for community users, but it’s also much cheaper, at about $140 an hour for youth, than private arenas, where rates can top $300 an hour.
Keith Begley, in his second year as Ted Reeve board chair, said the Leaside league turned down one of four hours offered to them this year.
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