Sliding bans not the way to go
Many generations of families have gone sledding in Canada over the years. They have all understood the risks involved and in the pursuit of this most enjoyable pastime, most have survived with a few minor scrapes, bruises and red cheeks.
During the last 10 or so years and with the latest technology — cell phones, iPods and the like — our children have preferred to stay indoors. They have become a generation of thumb twiddling, out-of-shape youngsters, who don’t know what it is to spend a day or at least a couple of hours outside, getting fresh air and exercise! Doctors and other specialists have been encouraging children and adults to get outside and partake in physical exercise.
Then someone in Ontario decides to sue the City of Oakville because their child hurt themselves while sliding! When you are born, you take a risk and everything you do from then on, that risk in and of itself, is part and parcel for any outdoor activity. And if cities like Oakville and St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, have their way, this once healthy and normal activity will be banned because some overzealous and overprotective parent sued a city!
Where will this lunacy end? Ever since time began and man started inventing things to make life easier, humans have been getting hurt in one way or another as a direct or indirect result of anything we invent. If you step outside at all, you run the inherent risk of getting hit by something, whether it is from the sky or from you tripping or fainting or a myriad of other things. Will we follow suit and sue high heel shoe manufacturers because someone sprained an ankle? Or falls off a bike and sues a bicycle manufacturer, like Schwinn or Raleigh? Or are we waiting for someone to be sued here because a drawstring on a hood failed to stay tied and the person caught a cold?
The lady who sued the City of Oakville and another who sued the family of a dead child and two others (because they failed to apply the brakes on their bicycles) after she admitted to speeding and drinking, are obviously lacking in common sense. If common sense were applied here these two lawsuits would not be happening and children could once again go sliding.
— Wanda White writes from Broad Cove
Editor’s note: The City of St. John’s is reviewing its insurance policy in light of liability concerns tied to the situation in Ontario. Mayor Dennis O’Keefe told The Telegram, “We have no intent, if at all possible, to ban sliding on city property.”