Ah, the good old days. The days when you’d come home from school, shed your backpack, grab your stick, and play street hockey with the neighbors until the fading daylight made it hard to see the tennis ball. I can still hear the scraping of wooden stick on pavement, still see the sprinting feet as they raced towards the PVC goal, still visualize the public security offier arriving at our driveway, summons in hand.
That will be one of the memories that a certain Quebecois boy has when he looks back on his youth, thanks to an oft-ignored but recently-enforced law outlawing street sports. The law is on the books in many suburuban Montreal towns, but is generally only enforced when there is a related noise complaint. And that’s exactly what happened to David Sasson two weeks ago. The CBC reports:
Sasson said public security officers who patrol the neighbourhood told him they had to fine him because they received a noise complaint.
“First of all, I didn’t believe him and asked him to repeat himself,” Sasson said. “I mean, this is ridiculous.”
In Dollard-des-Ormeaux, a bylaw prohibits playing any sport on the street. But Sasson pleaded not guilty to the charge and plans on fighting it.
He organized another street hockey game this week to protest the rule.
Sasson says more than 200 people showed up for the Tuesday game, which was played in a public parking lot across the street from Dollard-des-Ormeaux’s city hall.
“Public security was there, including the police department, and ironic or not they were involved in our game,” he said.Dollard-des-Ormeaux resident David Sasson says he was surprised when public security officers told him they had to fine him for the street hockey game. (CBC)
Hundreds have also signed a petition asking municipal leaders to amend the bylaw, Sasson said.
“Kids should not be cooped up in the house,” he said. “It was actually the first nice day [in recent months] and the kids wanted to be outside, and we should be promoting that activity.”
Of course there is the safety issue of playing in the street, but we have to assume that the father had his son’s wellbeing at the forefront of his mind. And as for the noise complaint, which miserly neighbor phoned the fuzz over a few shrieking street hockey players? A five-minute stint as a pad-less street hockey goalie seems a suitable penalty for such an offense.