Here is a story about the death of hockey in Scarborough,ON which borders Toronto on the city's east side.
Hockey tough sell to new Canadians
In Scarborough, the game has failed to attract immigrants, partly because it has become too pricey
Jun 15, 2009 04:30 AM
Hockey in Scarborough is dying, the victim of a changing population that prefers to play soccer, cricket and even badminton.
The demographics of Scarborough explains the rise of these relatively banal sports. Soccer is the most popular sport in the world and the infusion of Latino and African immigrants into the city would be the push behind this. There are many South Asian immigrants in Scarborough as well particularly Sri Lankan Tamils and this would explain cricket. Asian immigrants mostly from China have settled in Scarborough too and this would help explain the popularity of badminton.
The head of the Scarborough Hockey Association, which has ruled the sport in the area for 53 years, warned local politicians this week that organized minor hockey could be dead within two years.
In a blunt speech that was part funeral oration, part Old Testament prophecy, John Kelloway said hockey organizations have failed to attract immigrants to the game – partly because it has become too expensive and partly because of the assumption Canadian kids will always play the game.
Fifteen years ago, Kelloway's association had 10,000 players. Today there are just 2,800.
A legal battle is also cited as contributing to the demise of minor league hockey in Scarborough. But though the story emphasizes the cost of the sport as a prohibitive factor (and it is expensive) the real reason is that immigrants don't care about hockey. Period. If they wanted to play they would find a way but they don't.
This story is nothing new. I do recall the local city news station CityTV doing a report on the death of a city hockey house league for the same reason: immigrants to the area failed to support the sport choosing to play other sports instead.
Immigrants are not compelled to play hockey, of course. But how are they nation building when they are erasing a cultural characteristic of Canada simply by choosing to ignore it? How is Canada better for it?
This isn't the death knell for hockey in Canada. It is alive and strong in the "white flight" areas around the city as implied by this:
Overall, Oakman said, the GTHL – an amalgam of 93 local hockey organizations – hasn't suffered a drop in players because growing cities such as Vaughan are "bursting at the seams" with players.
Several questions arise from this. How is Canada's cultural identity strengthened when immigrant groups don't care to preserve it? How sincere are immigrants in becoming Canadians? Should Canada refashion its immigration system to favour those who will most likely preserve a Canadian cultural identity?
Canadians should be aware that one of the costs of mass immigration coupled with a multicultural societal model is that Canadians risk losing that which makes them unique in the world. Multiculturalism doesn't strengthen Canada's identity, it erases it.