Toronto personal injury lawyer Darryl Singer is echoing calls for dropping Toronto’s ban on street hockey, urging politicians to “let kids be kids.” Ontario Trial Lawyers Association Blog
“The prohibition is nothing short of stupid,” says Singer, principal of Singer Barristers Professional Corporation. “Street hockey gets kids outside and promotes a sense of community and fitness.”
Society spends too much time worrying about legal issues such as liability, he tells AdvocateDaily.com.
“We are over-lawyered and over-legislated at the municipal level. This is an issue where we should leave the legalities out and just let kids be kids.”
Ontario’s Minister of Children and Youth Services, Michael Coteau, recently took the unusual step of intervening in municipal politics to take a stand on the issue, the Toronto Star reports.
Coteau is urging city politicians to amend the Municipal Codes to remove the prohibition of portable basketball and hockey nets on the public right of way, the newspaper says.
In a letter to Toronto City Council, Coteau pointed to the many benefits of outdoor play that go well beyond the physical and health gains: “Things such as communication and social skills, an understanding of social rules, relationship building, learning how to compromise with others, patience and perseverance, teamwork and a sense of belonging.”
Singer, a father of three, says he doesn’t see how the city could be held liable if children are accidentally hurt while playing street hockey.
“It would be a stretch to tie it in with the city,” he says.
“If the prohibition stands, why not ban any sort of physical activity in the city? I am not usually one for the slippery slope argument, but this a good place to say ‘let’s not open the floodgates.”