HALIFAX - Canadian Hockey comes to Halifax this long weekend to celebrate the secondannual general meeting of its membership. The annual meetings, hosted by the Nova Scotia Hockey Association, begin Friday evening with the first plenary session and run through to Tuesday, May 21 with the elections of the new officers and the first new board meeting.
Canadian Hockey was formed July 1994, when the operations Canadian Amateur Hockey Association and Hockey Canada came together to form one entity. The CAHA was formed on , holding its first annual general meeting in Winnipeg 81 years ago on .
"With over a half million registered players, and more than 4.2 million Canadians involved in amateur hockey on an annual basis, creating a $400 million industry, there is no question that our national game is a part of our culture," said Frank Lento of Fernie, B.C., chairman of Canadian Hockey. "Our five-day annual meeting here in Halifax will give us the opportunity to provide direction and resources for the volunteers who are working diligently at making hockey fun for everyone involved."
The annual general meeting is an opportunity for the Association's membership, which includes the 12 branches, Canadian Hockey League, National Hockey League, National Hockey League Players' Association and the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union, to meet formally and plan for the upcoming season.
The main topics to be discussed during the five plenary sessions, and the respective council meetings for women's hockey, minor hockey, junior hockey, senior hockey, and centres of excellence research and development, will be the age change proposals, limiting the number of European imports, evaluating the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union's membership status and the election of officers.Each council also has keys issues and planning procedures on its own agenda relevant to its area of hockey.
On the age change issue, which will be voted on during the plenary session of Sunday morning, one proposal to be tabled is to keep the status quo in terms of age groupings, while the second proposal moves to a three-year midget category (15, 16 and 17-year olds) while dropping the other age categories by one year - that is, novice for 7-8 year olds; atom to 9-10 year olds; peewee 11-12 year olds and bantam 13-14 year olds. The rationale behind the second proposal is that the 12 and 13-year olds do not belong together in the existing peewee division.
On the subject of imports, a notice of motion is requesting that Canadian Hockey limit the number of non-North American imports to one (1) from the current eight (8), and that once a player is considered an import, they are always an import. Imports from other Canadian Hockey branches and the United States would remain at eight.
The Prince Edward Island Hockey Association has submitted a notice of motion requesting that the associate membership status of the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union be reviewed in light of the incident involving game officials, players and coaches from the University of Moncton during an Atlantic playoff game, in which original suspensions were reduced by an ethics committee of the AUAA.
On the election slate, long-time Canadian Hockey vice-chairman Joe Richard of Saint John, New Brunswick is stepping down opening the door for the election of one officer. Sheldon Lanchbery and Don Brown have thrown their hat in the ring for the election on Tuesday, May 21. Lanchbery of Deloraine, Manitoba, is the past-president of Hockey Manitoba, and Brown of Kanata, Ontario, is the Ottawa District Hockey Association's past-president.
Canadian Hockey will also hold its Awards Banquet on Monday, May 20, where the winners of the Order of Merit, Volunteer of the Year, Gordon Juckes Awards, and Minor Hockey Association of the Year will be announced.