January 15th, 2021

Quebec gives Canadiens approval to play, while Manitoba shows support for plan


By The Canadian Press on January 4, 2021.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price shares a laugh with teammate Brendan Gallagher during the first team practice in Brossard, Que. on Monday, January 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

MONTREAL – Quebec is the third province to approve NHL games this season in Canada, leaving Manitoba and Ontario as the only jurisdictions not to announce a final decision.

In an email to The Canadian Press on Monday, a spokesperson for the Quebec Health Department confirmed that public health authorities approved the revised protocol submitted by Canadian teams to federal authorities.

Meanwhile, Manitoba chief provincial public health officer Brent Roussin said Monday the risk to the public is “quite low” under the NHL’s plan. He added that the next step is to amend public health orders.

Alberta and B.C. previously gave the green light to the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks, respectively.

The NHL season is set to start on Jan. 13 with a new North Division that will see the seven Canadian franchises play one another instead of crossing into the United States for games.

Alberta gave the OK on Dec. 25 before B.C. Premier John Horgan announced his province’s blessing on Sunday.

The league said on Dec. 24 it believed it was free to play in Canada after discussions with health authorities.

Provinces with NHL franchises needed to give their approval for games to be played between Canadian teams during the regular season.

The federal government approved the start of training camp and the waiving of the 14-day quarantine under “national interest grounds”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 4, 2021

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