What could be more Canadian than kids playing hockey? And what could be more ominous than the authorities ordering a family to dismantle the skating rink it created in its front yard?
That's what's happening in Cornwall, Ontario. The modest ice rink, a magnet for local kids, was built on private property with a simple frame of wooden boards. Ah! But the frame seems to have broken a "road allowance bylaw." And naturally, a neighbor complained.
I'm sure it had nothing to do with the yelps of happy kids playing next door. No, it was a safety violation, don't you see? (Like everything else in the world.) According to CTV News:
Cornwall Mayor Leslie O'Shaughnessy said the boards infringed on land that could contain gas, phone and high-voltage electrical lines.
"This is a bylaw that is in effect in every municipality," O'Shaughnessy said. "It is there for public safety and it needs to be enforced."
This was the second year the Vincent family had built the hockey rink.
City officials said the family could have an ice rink on their front lawn, just not the wooden border. But the Vincents said that without the border, the ice would wash down their sloping lawn if it rained.
Apparently rain is not the government's problem. Neither is keeping kids active, slim, and speedy. Indoors they will go—there is plenty of hockey on TV, kids. And at last Canadians can become like their neighbors to the south: inert.