Mooseheads face legal action from CHLPA
The Halifax Mooseheads are facing a legal challenge by the Canadian Hockey League Players Association.
Little is known about the challenge, but it appears to do with compensation. The issue is something the union has brought forth in the last few days.
In a letter to every OHL team, Michael C Mazzuca of Toronto lawfirm Gibson&Barnes LLP says “there has been, and continues to be, flagrant breaches of the Employment Standards Act (Ontario, the Canada Pension Plan and the Employment Insurance Act”.
The letter outlines a list of failures by teams: to pay players at least the prescribed minimum wage, to pay overtime for hours worked in excess of 44 hours, vacation pay, holiday pay, termination and severance pay and CPP/EI contributions.
It appears the CHLPA has chosen to use the Mooseheads as their first example. Its unclear whether a complaint came from within the team or whether the CHLPA simply chose a team doing well in the standings and at the ticket gates.
Not much is known about the CHLPA, other than its headed by former NHLer Georges Laraques.
“In reality, the players don’t want to fight in court against the owners to have minimum wage,” Laraque told QMI Agency on Friday. “They simply want the best possible conditions.”
The CHL sent out a press release of its own Friday evening, shooting down many of the union’s claims.
“Our 60 clubs operate with the best interest of the players in mind, at all times. It is estimated the net value, or investment, for each player in the league is between $35,000 -40,000 annually. This accounts for the education program, and the many other benefits provided by CHL member Clubs,” says the release.
“The CHL vehemently disagrees with the recent allegations made by Georges Laraque on behalf of the Canadian Hockey League Player’s Association (CHLPA). Mr. Laraque, knows better than anyone, the investment that we make in each of our players and our commitment to ensuring that the player’s amateur hockey experience is maximized.”
The CHL, made up of regional leagues in the QMJHL, OHL and WHL is considered semi-pro. Players receive a stipend for living expenses and schooling costs and live with billet families.
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