Representatives from Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association appeared as a delegation at the city council meeting Tuesday, Oct. 20 asking for the no spectator policy to be rescinded. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Representatives from Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association appeared as a delegation at the city council meeting Tuesday, Oct. 20 asking for the no spectator policy to be rescinded. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Update: Williams Lake city council rescinds no-spectator policy for hockey

WLMHA, city staff and council will meet Thursday to iron out details


After hearing from Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association president and a coach, city council rescinded the no-spectator policy for hockey that was implemented last Friday.

Council agreed the mask policy should remain in place, that spectators be allowed and that members of council would meet with WLMHA and staff on Thursday to work out the details.

Rispin told council when the mask policy was announced Thursday he didn’t have a problem with it, but the issue of no spectators ‘slapped’ the organization hard.

“We hadn’t even been given a chance to make the masks work,” Rispin said. “I am asking that this be solved before we get to another weekend.”

Rispin said he believes his fans, parents, spectators and association as a whole can deal with masks, but doesn’t want to see spectators removed.

“I think it’s too important for our community, too important for our parents and too important for our kids,” he said. “I really don’t want to see this continue.”

Coun. Sheila Boehm put forward the resolution that the no spectator policy be rescinded, which was seconded by Coun. Scott Nelson.

All of council voted in favour of rescinding, except for Mayor Walt Cobb who said he would have rather waited until council had met with City staff and WLMHA on Thursday.

During the meeting the City’s director of community services Ian James, appearing by phone, said over the next few days officials at BC Recreation and Parks Association, viaSport, BC Hockey and the Recreation Facilities of B.C. will be meeting to revisit the guidelines and recommendations for sports teams and arenas.


Representatives from Williams Lake Minor Hockey (WLMHA) are on the agenda to speak to city council Tuesday evening, Oct. 20, 2020, regarding their concerns surrounding spectators not being allowed in the arena.

Ryan Hatt and Mike Rispin are appearing as a delegation to speak on behalf of the WLMHA.

“I think we should have the opportunity to make a mask requirement work,” Rispin told the Tribune, regarding his thoughts around a policy change at Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex Friday, Oct. 16 in which spectators are no longer allowed at the rinks. “My (hockey) parents and the majority of my volunteers have bent over backwards to make this work. I feel like we had been doing this for months, trying to make this work, listening to what they’re asking us to do, then all of the sudden it changed.”

WLMHA sent out an email Monday evening and Tuesday encouraging members to show their support for WLMHA by gathering outside city hall with face masks on.

Mayor Walt Cobb said he’s heard from residents voicing their disagreement with the no spectator decision, as well as concerns around Lower Mainland hockey teams playing in Williams Lake.

Cobb said he would like to hear the concerns of the presenters, and hopes they can find a solution everyone can live with while still sticking to COVID-19 protocols.

“I don’t want a COVID outbreak. We have to be cautious,” said Cobb. “I don’t know all the answers. We have to take direction from the people who know about these things.”

Cobb said as a community “we’ve been lucky so far” regarding COVID-19, adding he’s heard from representatives from several other communities who are not allowing spectators in their arenas.

“They are all getting the same pressure we are getting to allow spectators.”

To view the meeting, check out this link.

Do you have a comment about this story? email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Patrons exercise at Re4rm Fitness prior to last week’s new, provincial COVID-19 regulations. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake fitness centres adapt amid new COVID-19 regulations

Gymnastics, dance studios, martial arts, yoga, pilates, strength and conditioning impacted

Patrons enjoy some skiing and the views at the top of the chairlift at Mt. Timothy Recreation Resort. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Mt. Timothy nearing opening date; owners excited for upcoming season

Once open, hours will be Thursday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

School District 27 announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 this week at Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake campus. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘It was just a matter of time’: SD27 superintendent confirms two COVID-19 cases at LCSS

An entire PE class is self-isolating as Interior Health engages in contact tracing

A volunteer with the Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association for the past 12 years and its current president, Mike Rispin moved to the lakecity in 1991. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
OUR HOMETOWN: Rispin skates through pandemic at helm of minor hockey

“I never did plan on staying here, but I liked the outdoor activities,” Rispin said.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 65 new cases of COVID-19

Province-wide, there are 887 new cases of the virus

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

The corporate headquarters of Pfizer Canada are seen in Montreal, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. The chief medical adviser at Health Canada says Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could be approved in Canada next month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Health Canada expects first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved next month

Canada has a purchase deal to buy at least 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine,

FILE – A paramedic holds a test tube containing a blood sample during an antibody testing program at the Hollymore Ambulance Hub, in Birmingham, England, on Friday, June 5, 2020. (Simon Dawson/Pool via AP)
Want to know if you’ve had COVID-19? LifeLabs is offering an antibody test

Test costs $75 and is available in B.C. and Ontario

Most Read