The following is an open letter from Cornwall Coun. Mark MacDonald, who is on the Cornwall recreation committee, to the president of the Cornwall Minor Hockey Association:
Further to our discussion last week, with respect to the cost of house league hockey and if $550.00 is an ADEQUATE price for a family to pay for a child to play house league hockey. I expressed my deep concern that this is no longer acceptable and we (the city) need to be more EFFECTIVE in the delivery of our recreational services for our young people. In simple terms we need to bring the registration fee down to an ACCEPTABLE level and grow our house league programs for both boys and girls.
I recalled that in 1965 it was $20.00 for a family to register for hockey and in today’s dollars that would equate to about $150.00 to register for house league play. In order to accomplish this, it would be estimated that we (the city) would need to find roughly $200,000.00 in this years city budget to help cover the cost of ice time for house league hockey for next year.
This is an issue that must not be put off for another season and I would like to do everything in my power to see that this money is allocated in this years budget. In order for this happen your organizations need to reach out to the mayor and the other councillors and lobby for their support to include this amount in our 2015 budget.
Further, I would strongly recommend your respective executive members along with all of the house league players, coaches and families, plan on attending the Council Chambers for the meeting when this will be voted on. We have not yet set a date for a vote on the budget but when that occurs I will let you know. The more councillors that you talk to prior to the meeting, the better. The more kids you get out to a council meeting for the budget vote, the better.
We have to take a stand this year, this has gone too far. Our Benson Centre sits empty at times because our kids can’t afford to use the ice. I think that we should hold firm at $150.00 registration fee for one year to see if it makes a difference in the number of kids we can get to register.
I truly believe that we are not serving the kids of this city properly by charging such a ridiculously high price for house league hockey and the fault is directly with the city because of the amount of money that they are charging for house league hockey to use the ice.
I am trusting that this request for your help is in order,
Mark A. MacDonald