Ottawa rink volunteer penalized $125 for violating no hockey rules on outdoor rinks
OTTAWA -- The volunteer operator of an outdoor rink in Barrhaven received a $125 ticket for playing hockey with his son in violation of the COVID-19 rules; one day after Bylaw officers warned him to stop playing hockey on the rink.
Under Ontario's COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, ice rinks are allowed to open, but team sports, or other sports or games where people may come within two metres of each other, are prohibited. Earlier this month, the city said only skating is allowed on rinks with no sticks, pucks, balls or other sports equipment permitted on the ice.
In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, Bylaw Services Director Roger Chapman said on Thursday, Jan 21, Bylaw officers issued one charge under the Parks and Facilities Bylaw for playing hockey in an undesignated area of Weybridge Park on Flanders Street in Barrhaven.
"The charge was issued following a proactive patrol of the park, which officers have noted has been a problem area of late," said Chapman.
Chapman says the individual who received the fine is a volunteer operator at the rink and was previously warned Jan. 20 that the use of hockey sticks and pucks are prohibited on outdoor rinks at any time.
Ottawa Bylaw also issued warnings on Jan. 20 for the following offences:
- Failure to post clear signage indicating the regulations as required under the Section 22 Class Order
- Permitting the playing/practicing of a team sport that is likely to result in individuals coming within two meters of each other in contravention of both the Section 22 Class Order and the Reopening Ontario Act
- Permitting residents to use a change room in contravention of the Reopening Ontario Act
Chapman says on Thursday, Jan. 21, a bylaw officer noticed several individuals on the ice with hockey sticks and pucks.
"The individual who had been previously warned, along with his son, were among those on the ice. The officer issued a warning to everyone to remove the sticks and pucks. All individuals complied with the officer’s verbal warning," said Chapman.
"However, the individual who had been warned on Jan. 20 returned to the ice and resumed playing hockey with his son. Given that this individual had previously received two verbal warnings, the officer decided that a charge was appropriate."
Volunteer Jamie Leppard posted a message on Twitter Thursday night, saying he received a $125 ticket at the rink.
"I was passing the puck to my nine-year-old son as he was practicing shooting, we were on the ice alone," said Leppard.
CTV News Ottawa reached out to Leppard on Friday to discuss the situation, but he declined the request to speak to the media.
"We understand this is a difficult time for everyone," said Chapman. "However, to ensure regulations are complied with, officers will continue to proactively monitor outdoor rinks across the city, use discretion and will take appropriate enforcement action."