City recommends serial lawbreaking when it comes to street hockey

City recommends serial lawbreaking when it comes to street hockey

Whether or not Toronto should legalize street hockey has probably been our favourite debate in city politics this past year. Over the last several months, the city’s perhaps-to-be-shuttered Pedestrian Committee asked the city to look at getting rid of the law that currently bans the playing of any games in a city street. Back then, committee member and Spacing publisher Matthew Blackett told us that it was a “nice, non-ideological thing the city can pass.” Turns out, perhaps not.

According to the Toronto Sun:

A staff report, which goes to the public works committee next week, said the city could face some penalties if it goes along with some councillors and lifts the ban…

Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong said if city council leaves everything as it is right now, kids can keep skating around the rarely enforced bylaw…

“As long as kids use common sense and know when to say ‘Game off’ and get off the road and when to say ‘Game on’ … we should let kids be kids.”

The city report endorses Minnan-Wong’s argument, with staff saying that the legal risks to the city, coupled with the discretionary enforcement practice, “suggests there is nothing inherently wrong with the way this issue is currently dealt with in Toronto at the present time.”

Okay, but there’s still the city—both staff and Councillor Minnan-Wong—telling kids to break the law. If that’s the case, isn’t it better just to get rid of a stupid law? When we read, in the staff report, that “enforcement is complaint-driven” what we hear is the city getting involved in petty arguments between neighbours. But maybe that’s just us.

• Councillors push to lift road hockey ban [Toronto Sun]

(Image: Derek Hatfield)