The City of Corner Brook says it is doing what it can to prevent problems with the Corner Brook Minor Hockey Association’s finances from affecting the kids playing the sport in the city.
The association has remained silent and has not returned any requests for comments on the internal audit it says it is conducting in light of the recent discovery of financial irregularities.
Minor hockey is the biggest user group at the Corner Brook civic centre. Mayor Jim Parsons said the association approached the city to discuss its current woes and seek advice on how the association should proceed.
He told The Western Star that the association is behind on paying its ice time bill, which the mayor estimated to be in the vicinity of between $20,000 and $25,000 per month during the hockey season.
Parsons would not say how much is owed or how much the association has concerns about, but said it is significant.
“It’s not a pretty situation,” he commented.
The city has told the association to continue playing out the remainder of its season. Minor hockey typically ends off its year with provincial tournaments during the Easter break, which is the fourth week of April this year.
Parsons said those tournaments are played by all-star teams that mostly fund their own ice time, so the hours at issue are for local house league games and practices.
The civic centre, noted the mayor, has taken over dealing with those representative teams directly, as opposed to those teams going through the minor hockey association.
“We encouraged (the association) to continue and wrap up their season while they figure things out,” said Parsons. “We will work with them to figure out how to deal with any amount owing. We want to support the parents and players to get through the season while the association figures out its business.”
At the same time, the city still wants to get the money it is owed for ice time, emphasized the mayor.
“But we will do that in a compassionate way to make it work,” said Parsons.
While a letter sent to the hockey community from the association executive references only that an internal audit is being conducted, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary confirmed Wednesday that it has started a file to investigate the financial irregularities being reported by the association.
No details on that investigation were available Wednesday.