New regulation will take effect next September, apply even to coaches heading over to bench
Every person on a Charlottetown city rink must wear a helmet as of next September, even the Zamboni driver, council heard Monday.
The announcement was made at the February council meeting by Coun. Mitchell Tweel, chairman of the parks, recreation and leisure activities committee.
He said the announcement comes now, followed soon by signage, notices and advertising as a way to make sure everyone is ready for the new rule.
"The policy comes into place next September so this gives us plenty of time to get the word out," said Tweel.
At the moment, only children 12 and under must wear a helmet at all times while on the ice.
The new legislation will demand that everyone, from children to adults to staff, wear a Canadian Standards Association, or CSA-approved helmet at all times when out on the ice. That includes arenas and outdoor rinks run by the city.
Multi-sport helmets will be accepted. This corrects information previously written in early versions of this story.
Arena staff will be required to wear a helmet when on the ice, said Tweel. He is even looking at making coaches wear a helmet when crossing the ice to a bench.
"We want everyone to be a part of this new program, to make it much more (safe) for any one of the users," said Tweel. "We want to make this all-inclusive, regardless of what is taking place on the ice, whether it is minor hockey or an adult skate or what ever the case may be.
"From the City's perspective, it certainly addresses issues of liability," he said.
Tweel said other municipalities across Canada are taking the same step.
"With the heavy emphasis on concussions, recreational users, regardless of what the usage is, are all moving in (this) direction," said Tweel.
"At one time, people, regardless of what sport they were involved in, didn't realize they had a concussion and now there is a protocol," he said.