Friday, May 04, 2007

Archie Browning Arena

This is from the VMHA website

So it looks like Archie Browning is safe for the moment.

Here is the text of a letter I sent to the TC, they did not run it.

Dear T-C

The core of this region has a population of about 220 000 people. That population is served by 5 ice sheets available to the public, there is one more at the Esquimalt base and some use of Save-On-Foods which means we effectively have six in total. This works out to about 35 000 people per ice sheet. In Canada one would expect to find one ice sheet per 20 000 people. We are short about five ice sheets. I can hear people saying "but they are expensive". If that is the case, what about the lower mainland where everything costs more?

In the lower mainland we find that Delta has six ice sheets for 110 000 people, Richmond has eight for 180 000 people and Burnaby has eleven for 202 000 people.

I have heard the argument that kids here are not interested in playing hockey and prefer soccer - that is simply not true. Kids in Victoria are not playing hockey because they prefer soccer, they are not in hockey because there is no ice time left for them. This region is desperately short of ice time and because of this, beyond hockey, Victoria also has fewer figure skaters, a lot fewer speed skaters and no ringette players at all. Kids are not on the ice because the municipal governments refuse to provide them with recreation facilities.

The core municipal governments need to look at how to get another five more ice sheets built as soon as possible to meet the demand. I would have the city of Victoria build an ice sheet as part of any Crystal Pool redevelopment, have Archie Browning be rebuilt with two ice sheets and have the costs shared by other local governments and finally add some rinks up in Gordon Head close to UVic.

If local governments say it is too expensive to operate the arenas, then why are the public pools open from May to September when people can swim in the lakes and ocean?


Bernard Schulmann
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