By Darryl G. Smart
The Ontario government is trying to provide a little bit of assurance for coaches and organizations doing everything they can to make their environment as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last week, they introduced the Supporting Ontario’s Recovery Act, 2020. If the bill is passed it will provide liability protection for coaches, volunteers and minor sport associations that make an honest effort to follow public health guidelines and laws relating to exposure to COVID-19.
“The Ontario Hockey Federation and its member partners have been leaders in providing sport that follows public health guidelines and laws,” Ontario Hockey Federation executive director Phillip McKee said. “However, the undertaking of personal liability from returning sport in this current COVID-19 landscape has been a cause of significant concern and resulted in several organizations to hit pause on the 2020-2021 season.
“We are pleased to see the government is taking an important step to bring forward legislation,” he said. “This change will give sport confidence that the government will help protect players, coaches and volunteers who continue to provide a safe return to sport.”
This announcement follows the decisions of both British Columbia and Nova Scotia who implemented legislation to help protect workers supporting communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.