Wayne March, Sicamous Eagles general manager

Wayne March, Sicamous Eagles general manager

KIJHL rejects northern expansion

Travel costs influence vote against Quesnel addition

Quesnel’s Parallel Sports Group’s bid to bring a Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) expansion franchise to Quesnel was once again turned down by the league.

Matt Kolle, who spearheaded the initiative, says he attended league meetings on Jan. 13 and 14, and presented the group’s bid to the KIJHL governors.

They voted it down, with 16 governors against, and three for, expansion. This is the second time the league has shut down Parallel Sports Group’s expansion bid. Parallel also applied in January 2017, along with a group from Williams Lake.

Sicamous Eagles general manager Wayne March supports the KIJHL’s decision to turn down the northern expansion. He said it may be feasible at some point in the future, but the cost is too much for current KIJHL teams to bear at this time.

“The cost of doing that is horrendous and one of the big things they had to look at was… There are some teams struggling in our league and you can’t put any more burden of expense on them travelling up there,” said March. “I think a couple of years down the road, it could happen, but now, until things are better in the league….

“At this point in time I’m not in favour of it.”

Despite another setback, Kolle says he is not done with the idea of bringing Junior B hockey to Quesnel.

“The feeling I got in the meetings was that the KIJHL governors do believe KIJHL hockey will eventually operate in Quesnel and Williams Lake. Right now, though, in their minds they are hesitant to take that first step because it presents change and change is unknown.

“They seem to know its the right step, but are just struggling to take it. I believe the first step was taken when the 100 Mile House Wranglers were granted their franchise, and what happens next is actually a natural progression for another division,” comments Kolle.

Following the group’s first bid, Kolle and his colleagues began a campaign to show the KIJHL that Quesnel is the right place for a team.

As part of that campaign, the Kamloops Storm have been playing regular-season games in Quesnel this season, with Storm general manager Barry Dewar on board with Kolle in believing that Quesnel is the right place for a Junior B team.

KIJHL president Bill Ohlhausen and other league governors attended games in West Fraser Centre in November, and were impressed with Quesnel’s arena. Ohlhausen said at the time, however, that the decision falls to the membership.

With files by Lachlan Labere, Eagle Valley News.

Just Posted

(Dave Ogilvie/Contributed)
Injured mountain biker rescued in West Kelowna

The mountain biker reportedly has a hip injury about 1 km up the Smith Creek Road trail

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Asia Youngman (right) is pictured shooting another short film she wrote and directed titled Hatha. (Luba Popovic)
Peachland set to star in fantasy thriller film about N’xaxaitk’w — a.k.a. the Ogopogo

The film will follow an Indigenous teen as she navigates peer pressure, bullying and identity

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Jaimee Peters photo of a Willow Midwives helping with a birth. Willow closed its doors March 31 because of a shortage of midwives. (Contributed)
South Okanagan’s only midwifery to re-open this summer

Willow Community Midwives was forced to close because of a shortage of midwives

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

Gord with a mom and her young son outside Pathways which was defunded on May 31. (Facebook)
Gord Portman with a mom and her child outside of Pathways. The sign says it all about the difference Pathways has made in people’s lives. They were defunded by Interior Health on May 31.
Penticton man takes the plunge for the recovery house that helped save his life

Gord Portman said Discovery House and Pathways have been everything in his 1 year sobriety

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Most Read