My friends in Canadian Junior Hockey are pretty upset about these updates we are providing to you. Understandably so. They depend on American dollars in tuition and tryout camps to fund their operations.
One coach emailed me not too long ago telling me to “shut up” and that I :had no clue what I was talking about” when it came to the border reopening.
I said weeks ago that the border wouldn’t reopen for non essential travel, or hockey players, until testing and other methods of controlling the spread of Coronavirus were in place.
Yesterday Health Minister Patty Hejdu confirmed just what I said weeks ago when saying;
“We’re in no rush to reopen any of our international borders until we’re certain we have things under control in Canada, and that our systems at international borders are ready to go to be able to reduce any importation risk,”
Safety measures being prepared at the border included developing comprehensive screening protocols, staffing border crossings with public health officers to support CBSA agents, and ensuring officials could effectively trace visitors’ contacts within the country after they arrive, said Hajdu.
Testing for COVID-19 at entry points would be no panacea, Hajdu said, noting issues with potential false negatives.
In other words? At least in Ontario, and most likely all of Canada, it will be a very long time before American born players will be going north to play hockey.
It will likely be at least a few more months if not until January 2021 before American non essential travel will take place in Canada. This is coming from the health experts.
So, all of the players who have ignored these warnings and my advice to find a backup plan may now want to speed up that process.
If anyone is telling you not to look at alternatives, they simply do not have your best interest at heart, and are giving you potentially career damaging advice.
If your adviser is telling you to wait, don’t worry, Canada will be open, “no problem”, your adviser should find a new line of work.
The world of hockey has changed. It will continue to evolve as we learn how to live with these types of pandemics. Better to prepare now then to be forced to react when it is likely too late.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser