Ontario's government excludes Ontario Hockey League players from provincial employment standards to maintain a "gender equality" with other major junior hockey leagues across the country, province said in a release Thursday.
The move maintains the status of the league's 425 players as amateur practitioners, and prevents them from being employed as governed by the Employment Standards Act.
"Hockey is central to so many childhood, so many big family gatherings, a part of all our societies," said Premier Doug Ford in a statement. "Our government is proud to take action and reduce bureaucracy to provide clarity and ensure that OHL can continue to train players and show off this great sport."
Provincial Government called the application of OHL players legislation "unnecessary" and said it is "protecting the long-term sustainability of local junior hockey teams".
Ontario says the players will still be protected by legislation, such as the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
"Amateur hockey is part of Canadian life, and we make sure it's done," Ford says.
The Canadian Hockey League – OHL's parent organization, along with the Western Hockey League and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League – is currently involved in a $ 180 million salary case, filed in 2014 by Toronto-based Charney Lawyers. The costume on behalf of all current and many previous players seeks outstanding salaries, overtime pay, vacation pay and vacation pay.
Sam Berg, a former Niagara IceDogs forward, and Daniel Pachis, a former member of Oshawa Generals, was recognized as the representative of the OHL when the mood was certified in March 2017. OHL appealed the certification and is expected to be heard in court on January 29.
The League welcomed the Ontario government decision Thursday.
"I want to thank the government for its leadership to ensure that our 17 Ontario teams can continue to be leaders in society and contribute to the economic development of the communities in which we play," says OHL Commissioner David Branch, who also serves as CHL president.
"This also allows our teams to focus on our most important role, and it gives our 425 players the best on-the-go experience, the hallmarks of which are our scholarship program."
Branch sent a letter to the province on November 5, which urges the government to keep the players' amateur status.
Joshua Mandryk, a lawyer at Goldblatt Partners, who also pursues the costume against CHL, told the Canadian press earlier this week that he was unable to present his side before the Ontario government publicly supported the league.
Junior players are currently eligible for a scholarship, with each season used in the league is worth a year of tuition, books and mandatory fees. Players also get money for out-of-pocket expenses, equipment, billing and travel expenses under a CHL roster.
The news comes after almost all other jurisdictions where CHL teams play has reviewed this issue and have already approved exemptions / clarifications about employment standards, including Quebec, New Brunswick, BC, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Prince Edward Island, as well as Washington states and Michigan.