Shelburne Town Council voted and passed a resolution during their council meeting on Monday (Nov. 9) to request that the Centre Dufferin Recreation Complex (CDRC) Board of Management reconsider their decision to host the Ontario Junior Super League (OJSL).
OJSL, a tier II Junior A league, recently announced that Shelburne’s local arena would act as the hub for the league’s 2020-21 season. The league is scheduled to have their puck drop this weekend, starting Friday Nov. 13.
Since the announcement, concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic and the hosting of the games have risen within the community, as many of the teams would be travelling from areas in the “Red”, “Yellow” and “Orange” zones.
As a committee member on the CDRC Board of Management, Deputy Mayor Steve Anderson said that the board, in making the decision, weighed both health concerns and the revenue of the CDRC.
“We don’t take this lightly, this isn’t something that we just decided because we can, we are very diligent in our follow ups, in our questions, in our concerns and making sure that the community would indeed be safe,” said Coun. Lindsay Wegener, who is also on the board.
During the meeting Shelburne Mayor Wade Mills noted some concerns he had with allowing the league to use the town’s arena as a hub, including efforts so far to keep the community safe and going against provincial and health unit restrictions.
“My concern is that, essentially what we would be doing in hosting this sort of league is providing a loophole that allows this league to circumvent provincial and local health unit regulations within these other areas and essentially allowing them to jurisdiction shop; leap frogging their way north until they find a home or host that is willing to have them,” said Mayor Mills.
Continuing, he added that his biggest concern is ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the Shelburne community.
Councillors voted for the CDRC Board of Management to reconsider their decision, with Coun. Wegener and Deputy Mayor Anderson, who both sit on the CDRC board, abstaining from the vote.
If the board does decide to proceed with hosting the league’s season, Council has made a number of requests. Shelburne Council’s requests include providing additional information such as the number of teams and their locations, further consultation with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health and consider any additional protocols that will need to be implemented to not create a risk for the community.
Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press