B.C. government approves plan to allow WHL to resume in province

Adrian-Dix

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix speaks during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, August 6, 2020. British Columbia's Health Minister Adrian Dix says a significant step has been taken toward much needed upgrades to a hospital in Prince George, B.C. (Darryl Dyck / CP)

VICTORIA — British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix says a plan has been approved in principle to allow the Western Hockey League to resume operations in the province.

Dix said Monday that a “series of variances” are still required from public health authorities, but he said he expects the five teams in the league’s B.C. Division — the Kamloops Blazers, Kelowna Rockets, Prince George Cougars, Vancouver Giants and Victoria Royals — to play this season.

Teams in the league’s other three divisions have already been cleared to play by state and provincial governments and public health authorities.

The start of the 2020-21 season was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Play finally began Feb. 26 with the league’s Alberta-based teams. Teams in the U.S. Division are scheduled to start March 19 while the East Division, with teams based in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, has been cleared to play in a bubble environment.

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League was the only league under the Canadian Hockey League to start its season at its traditional time, but pandemic-related issues have caused several interruptions.

The Ontario Hockey League has yet to announce plans for a season.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.