The Central Cariboo Joint Committee has reserves when it comes to bringing a Western States Hockey League team to Williams Lake.
City Director of Community Services Ian James’ report to the Committee included a recommendation to accept the request from the Western States Hockey League to bring a Jr. A hockey team to the City of Williams Lake with the following conditions.
- both parties agree to a year-to-year probationary period facility rental agreement to bring a WSHL Jr. A team to the City of Williams Lake, and that a firm commitment to the WSHL will be decided after four consecutive years of league activity and operations in the City.”
- The WSHL Jr. A team acceptance by the City of Williams Lake is contingent on the outcome of the Amateur Athletic Union and Alberta RCMP into player abuse allegations.”
The player abuse allegations from a team in Edson, Alberta, in which a coach allegedly physically and emotionally abused players.
The facility use agreement would be between the City of Williams Lake and the WSHL team, and the team would be paying full price for ice and facility rentals.
The Central Cariboo Joint Committee was not as welcoming for the WSHL
“I’m still concerned around the concept of the GMHL and WSHL coming to town”, said Williams Lake Councillor Jason Ryll, “Their reputations, they’re reputations of concern. When we hear conversations around player abuse and those kinds of things, while they are inevitably played out in the body of the [Amateur] Athletic Union, I understand that is really the only governing body in these ‘outlaw leagues’, and I don’t use that term in a derogatory way, it’s just outlaw in the way they’re not affiliated with Hockey Canada. That’s the feedback I’ve gotten from the community and concerned members of the public.”
“I too have a concern about the community survey,” said Cariboo Area ‘D’ Director Steve Forseth, “the items that were attached, which is the items from Slave Lake etc., for me I’m setting that aside because that’s a non-issue, what I’m more concerned about was ‘would the community at large accept this?’ To be quite candid, several of the Stampede executives live in my area, they have deep concerns. I’ve got hockey moms and dads in my area they’re not supportive either. I’m just not convinced.”
“I’m not hearing everybody jumping up and down for out-of-town kids,” said Williams Lake City Councillor Sheila Boehm, “if anything people want more ice time for their own kids in town or for local kids. The community, just reading some of the comments on our survey, we’re not just hearing that support.”
After deliberation, the Central Cariboo Joint Committee moved for receipt and non-endorsement of the recommendation.