VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The BC Liberals are crying foul over Premier John Horgan’s proposal to bring the NHL to Vancouver.
Horgan announced Wednesday that Dr. Bonnie Henry approved a plan for Vancouver to be a possible NHL hub city.
One aspect of the plan is a modification of the quarantine plan that would allow an NHL team to be a family entity, or a ‘bubble.’
“Any testing would be the responsibility of the club. No interaction with the public would take place for the 14-day quarantine period,” Horgan said Wednesday.
“So it is an amendment to the quarantine. It’s not changing it in any meaningful way. It’s only expanding the number of people within the bubble that would allow for NHL teams to come to Vancouver.”
Peter Milobar, MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson, says he’s a fan of the sport but says this proposal constitutes “two sets of rules.”
“Dr. Henry has been consistent all along that no exceptions will be made, yet yesterday there was the premier saying they would like to see some exceptions made,” Milobar said.
Moreover, he said the premier is spending an “an inordinate amount of time” focussing on hockey.
“The premier seems very concerned about trying to make this happen. Yet, we have businesses in the Interior and around the province that are pleading with the Premier for better rules, better supports for PPE, better support for making sure their staff and their clientele feel safe, and for the ability to reopen in a safe manner. Those calls seem to fall on deaf ears.”
We need to see a plan that would allow people in #BC to travel, see loved ones in care, safely open up economy, reduce overdoses. We don’t need @jjhorgan making plans with one set of rules for us and one for celebrities and pro athletes #bcpoli https://t.co/DmpxV6BN8f
— Peter Milobar (@PeterMilobar) June 11, 2020
Vancouver was short-listed for one of two NHL hub cities last month as commissioner Gary Bettman outlined a four-phase plan that will see games resume in the summer.
Horgan touted the potential economic boost the city could get if it wins this designation.
But Milobar argued that claim is offside.
“I think it would be great if the Canucks were able to do this with the NHL. There would be some type of economic benefit, but let’s be realistic – there will not be spectators, there will not be kids getting autographs,” he said.
“I get the importance of sport tourism. I get the economic benefit that a 12 team NHL tournament could bring to hotels and caterers, but this would not be the same as a tournament where people could go and watch live like the Olympics or the World Juniors, so I think we have to keep that in perspective. We’ll be watching it at home on TV –whether it’s in Vancouver, or whether it’s in Edmonton, or whether it’s in Las Vegas.”
With files from Mike Hall