It’s not just hockey

The national mourning at the death of Guy Lafleur Quebec showed just how important ice hockey was to us.

But is it still like this? I do not think so.

Does he have to become it again at all costs? That we as a nation are making extra efforts to help more of our people progress in the NHL or the Olympics? What would help bring it back to its former place? I’m not sure.

However, that was the more or less explicit premise of the Quebec Committee on Hockey Development, which presented its report on Thursday.


“Despite its great importance, history and opportunity, ice hockey is no longer a must for active families in Quebec,” stated the committee, chaired by Marc Denis.

Is it really dramatic? Isn’t the real drama that young people are less and less active? sitting video games due to screens; motorized locomotion that we parents let them do. Add to that bad eating habits…

Your “physical condition, particularly VO2max, will be negatively impacted as we see its value declining every year,” as I read in a university dissertation yesterday. It would be worse in lower socioeconomic conditions.

ice rinks

Curiously, the report does not address this serious phenomenon. However, some of the recommendations would contradict this.

It would be great to ensure that all Quebecers learn to skate in school.

Also install ice rinks “in all the villages and towns of Quebec.” Even if it’s not bad. The Committee specifies that these should be “covered and refrigerated, where appropriate”. Climate change requires.


Making hockey a sort of identity pin, as the Legault administration wants, is perfectly legitimate.

But it’s expensive, as the report shows. And its premier professional league, the NHL, has become a soulless industry. (Which scandalously turns up their noses in Quebec, by the way.)

Ice hockey is closely linked to our emblematic season, our “land”, winter. Teasing the puck out in the cold, with people gathered at random, without counting too many points is the essence of the sport. And the way to develop an enduring passion for it, in enjoyment.

However, many other sports could allow young people to improve their VO2max while taking advantage of the cold season. The speed skate. Snowshoeing, hiking and running. Cross-country skiing (classic and skating) etc.

Shouldn’t Quebec also give itself the means to develop other Charles Hamelin; other Pierre and Alex Harvey?

Additionally, some of these sports can also be active modes of transportation in cities or communities that should have the intelligence – with a boost from Quebec? – to create “enabling environments”.

Now that the hockey case is under scrutiny, another committee is needed to deal with the development of all winter sports that together we should elevate to the glorious rank of Nationals as soon as possible.

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