Letters for February 22, 2002

Flawed laws should be changed, not ignored

I am writing about the articles regarding playing road hockey in the Jan 25 issue.

I must first state that this has nothing to do with what I believe in terms of the “playing road hockey is illegal” bylaw.

I personally grew up playing road hockey and still enjoy a good game now and then. Unfortunately, I have a problem with how we are dealing with this unjust bylaw.

Everyone disagrees with the bylaw; we all feel that it dimishes one of our greatest pastimes, which links us to one of our beloved national sports. So, in protest, we stage a road hockey game and publicize it (Hm. I wonder if Labatt’s ever received a lot of grief over its road hockey commercial). The law enforcement agencies, in trying not to offend the mass majority, take on the stance of “unless people are putting themselves in danger, the bylaw will only be selectively enforced”.

I will give you another scenario. We all disagree with the speed limit of 100 km/h and, in protest, we drive 115 km/h. The police will not pull us over, simply because 115 km/h isn’t really all that dangerous..

And what is the difference between these two events? Are we trying to tell our kids that, because a bylaw is wrong, we can break that bylaw? I sincerely hope I am not the only one seeing the fallacy here.

If the bylaw is fundamentally wrong, then the correct solution is to change it. I would agree that, if a road hockey game is disturbing someone, or causing damage to someone’s property, then the bylaw should be enforced for disturbing the peace or tresspassing. But if it is perfectly safe, causing no harm, why should there be a bylaw banning it in the first place?

But whatever it is we do, two wrongs never equals one right!

Edward Lee

Lisgar Street