Local minor hockey associations fail to garner enough votes to merge

Minor hockey in the Chaleur region will continue to be governed by two associations for the time being.

On Tuesday, March 22nd, the Bay of Chaleur Minor Hockey Association and Bathurst Minor Hockey Association failed to garner enough member votes in favour of merging into one regional association.

65 per cent of members from the Bathurst association association voted against the merger while 43 per cent from the Chaleur association voted "no".

Each association required 66 per cent of their membership to vote "yes" for the planned merger to proceed.

The merger was expected to result in a better pool of accredited coaches, enhance skill development, and allow players to compete at their appropriate skill level.

Bathurst Minor Hockey Association president Dave Brown says his group will continue exploring new initiatives through Hockey New Brunswick and Hockey Canada to increase membership and develop player skills through various programs.

The end goal, Brown says, is to foster a positive environment for kids to enjoy playing the game they love.

Bay of Chaleur Minor Hockey Association president Shawn McLean, meanwhile, says parents felt they weren't educated enough on the matter to vote in favour and that the outcome may have been different had members been more informed and given more time to reflect on the pros and cons of the two associations joining forces.

But McLean says the door isn't closed on the matter and that he looks forward to working towards a successful merger for the good of the region's young hockey players.