February 1, 2019
Facility Evictions Can Be A Slippery Legal Slope

A recent event in a northern Ontario ice arena had parents at a minor hockey game involved in an altercation that left young inexperienced referees unprepared to deal with the situation. This kind of situation highlights an issue that continues to increase in all types of recreation environments. (More)

Recreation facility owners (in the case of a public owned facility - the Mayor and Council) or owners representative (facility staff) are usually responsible for a building code of conduct.  Enforcement must ensure that employees are properly trained under Bill 168 – Violence and Harassment in the Workplace.

User groups, such as the minor hockey league in the previous example, are applauded for having their own code of conduct.  However, user groups need to be reminded that their code of conduct must be approved by building management, especially if it includes eviction. User groups must understand that an eviction from one facility does not automatically restrict entry into another facility. This kind of specific example often appears at play-off time as teams move from one building to another, then back again. Eviction, or facility use restrictions, are governed by the Trespass to Property Act that both parties need to review and be in compliance with.

The ORFA reminds both recreation facility owners, their representatives, and the users of these buildings of the importance of open and advanced communication of policies and code of conduct to ensure a safe recreation work and play environment.