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

Interior Health nurses administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
69 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The total number of cases in the region is now at 9,840 since the pandemic began

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Interior Health hospitals not strained by rising COVID case counts

While provincial hospitalizations rise, health care systems in the B.C. Interior remain robust, say officials

BC CDC data showing the geographic distribution of COVID cases in the province. (BC CDC photo)
One new case of COVID-19 in Golden

Cases continue to surge in surrounding areas

The Golden Golf Club will open for a new season on the links beginning April 24. (Claire Palmer photo)
Golden Golf club eyes April 24 start

The golf course is supporting local businesses with the driving range and mini-golf

An Interior Health nurse administers Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
105 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

Just over 8,000 new vaccine doses administered in the region for a total of 158,000 to date

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

Vernon Fire Rescue Services responded to a truck fire on Dallas Road in Vernon April 15, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Vernon Morning Star)
WATCH: Vernon firefighters quick to douse fully involved truck fire

The fire was near multiple structures and spreading along the ground upon crews’ arrival

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

Fire crews tend to a collision that is causing severe traffic delays on the William R. Bennett bridge headed east into Kelowna. (Aaron Hemens - Kelowna Capital News)
7 vehicle collision on WR Bennett Bridge under investigation

The collision backed up traffic on the William R. Bennett bridge for much of the morning

Kelowna company celebrates milestone of producing 46 million masks in under a year.
46 million masks and counting: Kelowna company reaches 1 year milstone

In under a year, Breathe Manufacturing Ltd. in Kelowna has hit production of 46 million masks for front-line workers

The organizer of a Kelowna protest against COVID-19 restrictions was fined by the RCMP for the third time Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
Kelowna RCMP investigating hit and run involving 11-year-old

Police said the boy suffered minor injuries

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Most Read