OHA and member teams seek resolution Sunday

KITCHENER — Although the Jr. hockey season is up and running, turmoil persists between the top brass of the OHA and several member teams. The Ontario Hockey Association has called an emergency meeting for this Sunday when resolutions will be voted on to correct the perceived problems at the Kitchener Auditorium.

There are 15 resolutions on the table, that will be voted on by member team representatives, which includes:

– All OHA directors will resign effective immediately;

– A group of three trustees – who have no affiliation with the OHA in any capacity – will be put in place to oversee the OHA’s operations until the 2019 annual general meeting. The trustees will be selected by the Ontario Hockey Federation and Hockey Canada;

– An independent governance committee will be selected by governance chair John Neville with a mandate to meet the timelines approved at the 2018 AGM and provide recommendations to the membership for ratification in 2019. This will replace the current committee, which includes Waterloo Siskins president and director of hockey operations Curtis Clairmont, Kitchener Dutchmen director of hockey operations and general manager Brad Lund, Ontario Junior Hockey League commissioner Marty Savoy, OJHL chair Marc Mercier, Hanover Barons director of hockey operations and GM Terrence Whiteside, Allan Cup Hockey commissioner and former OHA president Brent Ladds, Port Hope Panthers GM Ian Green, former Dorchester Dolphins head coach Tim Flynn, and OHA chair Gary Moroney. Former OHA chair Tom Strauch was on the committee but his spot has remained vacant since he resigned last month. A resource committee, which didn’t have any votes, includes Ontario Hockey Federation executive director Phil McKee, OHA president Karen Phibbs, and Neville.

– The OHA and its leagues will operate as status quo for the 201819 season and beyond until the governance committee recommendations are approved by the membership;

– All OHA appeals will be conducted through the OHF appeals committee and will cost $300;

– Teams, leagues or individuals who are deemed to have not abided by the contents of this membership-approved direction or take legal action against the OHA, OHF, Hockey Canada or any of its teams, leagues, directors, or employees will be suspended from participation in Hockey Canada programming until the completion of the governance review process. Teams, leagues or individuals will have no recourse to the courts for compensation of losses due to suspension and will be responsible for all legal fees of the parties they brought legal action against;

– The OJHL will make a formal application under the new governance model to move the Milton IceHawks to Brantford for 201920. The IceHawks, who moved to Brantford temporarily in 2018-19, will play out of Milton for the rest of this season;

– GOJHL Inc., which includes 15 teams, will provide third-party services to the Junior B teams for the 2018-19 season based previous years’ practices. As a pre-condition to providing third party services to the Junior B teams for the 2019-20 season, GOJHL Inc. will have to apply to the OHA board for approval as a recognized entity by the OHA. (Resolutions regarding GOJHL Inc. fees has been omitted due to its confusing verbiage);

– Junior B teams based on the membership-approved governance committee recommendations will then vote on a new league player fee to cover the services within the approved structure;

The OHA had until Oct. 5 to call a special meeting after a group of 25 “concerned members” from three junior leagues served notice of their intention to remove Moroney and directors Jeff Beatty, Shawn McKelvie, Tim Simmons and Trevor Tinney.

Strauch would replace Maroney, while Wayne Cowell, Terry Lynch, Abe Fehr and Mike McCarron would replace the specified directors.

If the OHA’s resolutions are rejected Oct. 14, the “concerned members” will hold another special meeting on Monday at the Lion’s Arena in Kitchener to vote on the aforementioned motions.

Phibbs did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

GOJHL commissioner Greg Best urged members to reject the proposal.

“As presented, the OHA Proposal has the potential to completely destroy and eliminate any real possibility for change in OHA governance, which the members have fought tooth and nail to implement through the Governance Committee,” he wrote in an emailed statement to an unspecified number of teams. “It is clear to the Members elected to be on the Governance Committee that the OHA does not support the Governance Committee unless the OHA has full control of the process.”

The Six Nations owned Caledonia Corvairs opted to sit out this current hockey season amidst the factions and infighting at the league level. The decision was made to take a sabbatical this hockey season and possibly return when the smoke has cleared.

Corvairs management has also stated as a reason for the absence this season on overextended management and coaching staff who are also busy year round with duties at the MontHill Golf Club and the new Jukasa Speedway opening.

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