Moncton — Business groups in Moncton who recently demanded stronger responses to crime and homelessness by municipalities, the province and federal government are stepping up with their second initiative to improve the situation.
In addition to decorating the homeless for the holidays, local businesses will be purchasing 2022 World Junior Ice Hockey Championship tickets to less desirable games in Moncton in order to provide the homeless with an additional opportunity for shelter.
“The City of Moncton will be providing heated tents, which is considerate, but we think we can offer a better experience,” said Krystoffer Xyla, a local restaurant owner. “Facebook Marketplace is currently flooded with people trying to sell off tickets for games involving countries most New Brunswick educated individuals can’t find on a map, and we see this as a tremendous opportunity.
“People were forced to buy ticket packages that include games that practically no one wants to see and are now trying to sell off at a deep discount. We’re picking up these tickets faster and cheaper than you can score meth on Main Street.”
Xyla went on to add, “The Avenir Centre is warm, has comfy seating, clean washroom facilities and hours of entertaining hockey, which will give the homeless a break from the rough and tumble streets. Sure, the food is expensive, they can only be inside for a few hours at a time, and they’ll have to watch teams like Latvia and Switzerland, but no solution to this crisis is perfect.”
“I see this as an investment in the economic development of the city” added Scrooge McDougall, a Moncton-based economist. “They’ll show the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) that Moncton can draw record crowds into the building for even the most lackluster game, thus helping their chances of being awarded the tournament in the future.
“Plus, it allows them to sweep their little problem under the proverbial rug while the high-paying Canadian and American fans are out and about in the downtown core by creating the appearance that the city is clean and well managed.”
IIHF officials could not be reached for comment.