A petition calling on the provincial government to allow the B.C. Hockey League to resume play has been launched by former NHL player Garry Valk. (Black Press file photo)

A petition calling on the provincial government to allow the B.C. Hockey League to resume play has been launched by former NHL player Garry Valk. (Black Press file photo)

Petition calls for government to allow B.C. Hockey League to start playing

Launched by former NHL player Garry Valk

A former NHL forward and TV analyst has launched a petition asking the provincial government to allow Major Junior and Junior A hockey leagues to start up again.

Garry Valk, who played for the Vancouver Canucks and worked as an analyst on their TV broadcasts after his playing days, said on the petition that the mental health of youth is something that has not been taken into consideration by B.C.’s elected officials.

“The BCHL Junior A hockey league has proven they can safely and responsibly play hockey while keeping the community safe,” wrote Valk, whose son, Garrett, is a member of the B.C. Hockey League’s Trail Smoke Eaters. “We safely played our preseason games in our cohorts before the season was abruptly cancelled.

“It is clearly demonstrated now that hockey can safely be resumed, as seen in all other Junior A leagues in Canada and USA and Europe.”

The QMJHL, NCAA, USHL, NAHL, AJHL, SJHL, and now the WHL are all moving ahead with their return-to-play protocols.

The BCHL and WHL in British Columbia are the only leagues yet to have a return-to-play set. The Kootenay International Junior B Hockey League cancelled its season in early February.

“As we see all other junior hockey leagues playing and kids from those leagues being scouted and potentially drafted while our B.C. kids sit on the sidelines, we call on (Premier) John Horgan, Dr. Bonnie Henry, and (health minister) Adrian Dix to allow the BCHL and WHL to return to play before it is too late,” said Valk.

The petition has drawn more than 3,100 signatures toward a goal of 4,000 as of Sunday morning, Feb. 28.

The province will announce the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 immunization plan Monday, March 1, at 10:30 a.m.

READ MORE: BCHL season delayed once more, but league still hopes to play

READ MORE: KIJHL cancels season due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BCHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Statue of Lady Justice at B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Verdict to come down today in Surrey crash that killed Travis Selje

Accused testified she has no recollection of the crash and believes she had an epileptic seizure that caused the collision

White Rock-based entrepreneur and business consultant Likky Lavji says it’s important to discover our own blind spots, whether in business or in personal life. Contributed photo
Identifying blind spots crucial to success, writes White Rock author of Death by BS

Likky Lavji says advice in his self-help book applies to both business and personal life

A Morgan Creek resident has filed an official complaint against a blueberry farmer in the area. (Google image)
Morgan Creek couple files official noise complaint against blueberry farmer

Pair who recently moved to South Surrey say blasting fans keep them from sleeping

Members of the Wheeling 8’s dance group go on a roll at Surrey’s Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre in 2018, during the club’s 45th-anniversary event. If not for the pandemic, such activities could be socially prescribed as part of a new program involving Fraser Health and DiverseCity Community Resources Society. (File photo: Tom Zillich)
‘Social prescriptions’ connect Surrey seniors to activities and other services they need

Fraser Health-backed program involves GP referrals to a Seniors’ Community Connector with DiverseCity

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

Letisha Reimer, 13, was killed Nov. 1, 2016 in a stabbing at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
Second-degree murder conviction stands for Abbotsford school killer

Judge finds that Gabriel Klein is criminally responsible for death of Letisha Reimer

FILE – RCMP officers wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 stand by as protesters opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion block rail lines, in Burnaby, B.C., on Friday, November 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Very scary’: B.C. travel rules too vague, shouldn’t involve police, civil liberties group says

BCCLA said that speaking with communities could have avoided top-down approach

Ocean Legacy Foundation members conduct a shoreline pollution cleanup in Vancouver. (OLP)
It’s time to end ‘suffocating’ plastic pollution along B.C. shorelines, advocates urge

This Earth Day, Ocean Legacy Foundation is launching a free educational platform to educate the public about plastic pollution

A teacher-librarian in Nanaimo was fired in 2019 for checking out an age-inappropriate graphic novel to a student. The discipline agreement was published Wednesday, April 21. (News Bulletin file photo)
B.C. teacher-librarian fired for checking out too-graphic graphic novel to student

Teacher had been previously disciplined and suspended on two occasions

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. university rowing coach ‘deeply sorry’ after complaints

Barney Williams says he’s been committed to ensuring no other member of the roster had a similar experience

Aria Pendak Jefferson cuddles ChiChi, the family cat that ran away two years ago in Ucluelet. The feline was missing until Courtney Johnson and Barry Edge discovered her in the parking lot of the Canadian Princess earlier this month. Aria and her parents were reunited with ChiChi in a parking lot in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
B.C. girl’s wish granted as her cat came back, two years later

Courtenay family reunited with cat that went missing in Ucluelet in 2019

Stu Burgess is operations manager for Golden Ears and Rolley Lake Provincial Parks. (The News files)
Golden Ears park camping to be limited to those in local health region

Fraser Health Authority and Vancouver Coastal Health now considered one region

Thousands have converged in Whonnock Lake Park to enjoy the nice weather. (Roxanne Hooper/The News)
Thousands enjoy B.C. park with warnings about social distancing

Portable toilets installed in anticipation of nice weather

Most Read