Nipissing First Nation (NFN) has decided to cancel the Little Native Hockey League (LNHL) tournament that was planned in Mississauga from March 13-17.
A news release says the decision was made in response to the surge in COVID-19 activity across the province.
"The return to modified Step 2 measures, including restrictions on recreational facilities and gatherings, as well as limited testing capacity and data reporting due to recent changes in provincial guidelines, signals that we are not moving in the right direction," says the release.
“While this isn’t the kind of three-peat anyone aspires to, the decision to cancel the tournament for the third year in a row was made entirely out of concern for the health and safety of First Nation communities across Ontario, especially those unequipped to deal with increased demands on already very limited resources,” said NFN Chief Scott McLeod.
“Although we remain hopeful that the situation will improve in the coming months, this pandemic continues to teach us that we can’t predict what will come next. We all hope that this will come to an end sooner than later, but as many have noted, ‘hope is not a strategy’ and holding a huge hockey tournament amidst an ongoing global pandemic is not a risk that Nipissing First Nation is willing or prepared to take,” Chief McLeod added.
“In these rapidly changing and unpredictable times, your health and safety have always been our top priority,” said LNHL President Marian Jacko.
The LNHL Host Committee and the LNHL Executive discussed the possibility of postponing the tournament until later in the year or hosting a regional format. However, they agreed that a postponement or alternate format is not feasible.
"We know many will be saddened by the cancellation of LNHL 2022, but we trust that the rationale behind our decision is clear and sound," concludes the release.