By Chad Ingram
A little communication goes a long way.
As was reported last week, a Junior A hockey team to be called the Haliburton County Huskies is set to take up residency in the new Minden arena this fall.
This is obviously exciting news for the community, particularly for hockey fans.
For others, like me, you’re indifferent to the hockey itself, but recognize the positive economic possibilities the team brings with it. There’s the revenue-generating opportunities for the township – particularly poignant given the $13-million facility has been funded completely on the backs of taxpayers – and the economic spinoff for Minden itself. Ideally on game nights, with visiting teams, families and fans in town, Minden proper will see an infusion of cash.
Part of the plan, as we heard during a council meeting in late April, is for the team to renovate the space that has served as the Scouts and Guides hall for decades into a dressing area. However, it’s become apparent since last week these groups were never consulted about or even informed by the township of this decision.
They should have been, as a matter of courtesy if nothing else.
Consider the history of the space, located on the lower level of the community centre. It was created through a large donation from the Minden Rotary Club, and at least a couple of generations of local youth have passed through it as Brownies, Girl Guides, Cubs and Scouts. And while there are obviously other municipal spaces the groups can use, a big benefit of the hall has been the ability to store materials, and for kids to be able to make a mess with glitter, sawdust and so on.
In the scramble to make way for a shiny, new, unknown and untested entity, a longtime user group is being displaced, or at least relocated. Going forward, the township might do a better job at consulting the community regarding use of the facility.
Let’s not forget it’s the community who’s paying for it.