City Cuts Threaten Legendary League

One of the first casualties of the City’s decision to cut its deficit could be the Swansea Hockey League, of the continent’s biggest and oldest outdoor hockey institutions.

Public rinks are to open four weeks later this year to save money and the league says that will shorten its season to the point of making it unviable. The season may be lost.

The League and Ward 13 Councillor Bill Saundercook called the S.H.A. parents and kids together on short notice on Labour Day to pose for a picture for the Toronto Star, in the hope of raising the profile of the problem.

Saundercook told the gathering of about 80 people that it was bureaucrats who chose cuts that would most upset the public. However, he said he “feels good” about the chance of having the Swansea decision reversed when the City’s Executive Committee meets September 4th.

The Councillor says he will propose tapping into the “heads and beds” fund, an unspent reserve that normally goes to education and health. He is also hopeful the province will step in and pick up the cost of provincial programs that were downloaded onto the City in the 1990s.

Saundercook was among the Council members who voted not to impose the new taxes proposed by Mayor David Miller and his Executive. If the province does not come through, the Councillor says he would then be forced to support the original tax package.

He expressed the hope that this would not come too late to save the Swansea Hockey Association’s season.

The S.H.A. will hold a public information night on Sept. 11 at the Swansea Recreation Center. See the league website for details:

The S.H.A. is asking you to contact our local officials if you want to express your opinion on this issue:

Councillor Bill Saundercook, telephone 416 338 5165 (community office) and 416 392 4072 (City Hall);

Mayor David Miller, telephone 416 397 2489; email