A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF GMHA, News (Glanbrook Minor Hockey Association)

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A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF GMHA
Submitted By Jason Shedden on Wed 11 02, 16
Glanbrook Rangers Community,

I am writing this to keep all of you informed on the challenges our association is facing and what actions your executive is taking on your behalf.

Our association is in dire need for more hours of ice to support our growing numbers.  The GMHA grew by an incredible 21% from last season!  This growth does not include the children we had to turn away by creating waiting lists on many of our programs and the cancellation of our Juvenile Rep program.  We have projected growth of another 20% to 30% for next season and a steady increase for the next decade.


We anticipated this ice shortage crisis and on February 9th, 2015, we met with both the City of Hamilton and our Councilor, Brenda Johnson.  At this meeting we outlined our projected growth and the ensuing ice we would require.  Both the City of Hamilton and Ms. Johnson agreed to work with the GMHA to accommodate our ice requirements.

Twenty months has passed since that original meeting and I regret to inform you that we have received little help.

Your executive met with the City of Hamilton on October 13th.  All the major ice-users were present and the question was asked if we all had sufficient hours of ice.  All ice-users in attendance were happy with their hours, with the exception of the GMHA.  The City admitted, in front of all other ice-users, that we were in fact not getting equal subsidized ice.  The contacts we deal with at the City of Hamilton have the best of intentions and have attempted to help us.  However, their efforts are always derailed with both red tape and outside political interference.

We had hoped that by being proactive, the City of Hamilton would work with us to solve our ice shortage and avoid harming the programs we are trying to deliver to the children of our community.  Unfortunately we were too trusting. The City of Hamilton is not willing to change the status quo and fairly distribute ice to all the residents Hamilton.  Some wards are getting preferential treatment over others - the others being the community of Glanbrook.

It is the opinion of your executive that the GMHA is being discriminated against by the City of Hamilton.

We do not make that claim lightly, we understand the severity and stand by it.  We have emailed the City of Hamilton and requested the following information:  

1) A list of the total subsidized hours each Core Program has been allocated.
2) A written explanation on how the subsidized ice is divided among the users. 

The City scheduled a meeting with the GMHA on October 27th.  The Staff that allocates the ice is aware that an unequal distribution exists and have made attempts to correct.  However, when they have attempted to implement these changes, the Minor Hockey Associations who are benefitting from the current, antiquated system, will refuse to accept any changes presented.  These associations then contact their local councillors, who veto any progress the City staff make. 

The City staff provided us with the subsidized ice numbers for all the Core Programs in the City.These numbers back our claim that the subsidized ice is not being distributed fairly. The below table shows Glanbrook compared to our closest neighbors.

Association

Number of Teams

Total hours of Subsidized Ice

Hours of ice per team for the season

Huskies MD

18

1651

92

Huskies

18

1542

86

SCMHA

30

1955.5

65

Glanbrook

33

1483

45


These are not the Associations who have the most subsidized hours, just the centers closest to Glanbrook that are blocking us from acquiring more ice. The problem is much deeper then just these three centers, the entire allocation process needs to be revamped to align with current demands and population figures.

It is time for all the members of the GMHA to stand united and demand that our children are treated as equals, along with the rest of the children in Hamilton.  In the coming days we will be starting a campaign to ensure our voice is heard.

We ask that you reach out to our local politicians. Our councillor, Brenda Johnson, can be reached at [email protected] or call her at (905) 546-4513, you can also contact Mayor Einsberger at [email protected] or call him at (905) 546-4200.

We have started a petition demanding equal treatment for the children of our community. This petition can be signed at the Glanbrook Arena, starting Saturday, November 5th.  We already have some of our teams volunteering to canvass the neighborhoods asking for support.

Finally, we are presently going through the process to request an audience with the City Council.  We feel if they are presented with hard facts they will correct this discrimination and give every child in Hamilton an equal opportunity to play this great game.  

We will update you as this progresses and we thank you for continued support.

Yours in hockey,

Rob Barbera
President
Glanbrook Minor Hockey Association

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