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'Unacceptable': Man utters death threats at North Bay-area winter carnival hockey tournament

'It is a family reunion as well so we have an expectation that it is going to be friendly, people are there to have fun but for some reason, some people decide to contravene the code of conduct of what we expect'
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EAST FERRIS — Jennifer Laporte is disappointed that their fun family hockey tournament had to get ugly. 

The OPP have laid charges against a 44-year-old Oshawa man, who was charged with uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm and causing a disturbance at the East Ferris Winter Carnival Family Feud Hockey tournament. It's part of the local carnival which took place on the Feb. 15 weekend.  

"The person was a player on the ice and the threats were made on the ice and after," stated the OPP media release. 

See related: Man charged with uttering death threats during family carnival hockey game   

See related: Hockey and cipaille - East Ferris Winter Carnival traditions 

Jennifer Laporte is the volunteer chair of the East Ferris Winter Carnival.  

"We have a code of conduct that has been in place, and if we go with our code of conduct, that contravenes that directly because it was something that took place off the ice," Laporte told BayToday.  

"Regardless, it is a family tournament that is supposed to be family tournament for fun basically. So when it gets out of hand on the ice we do have referees in place to manage that. In hockey some people get 'hot under the collar.' but it is usually managed by our referees fine. This escalated beyond a 'hot under the collar' situation and escalated outside the dressing room and off the rink so it spilled off into the public and it became unacceptable."

Laporte says the hockey tournament can get intense but nothing like this.   

"Our goal is that it is a family event which fundraises for the community which is the primary goal of the event," said Laporte about the 20-team tourney.  

"It is a family reunion as well so we have an expectation that it is going to be friendly. People are there to have fun but for some reason, some people decide to contravene the code of conduct of what we expect."

The tournament has been around since the 1970s. Laporte says moving forward they may look at whether or not they are communicating their policies properly to the public.

"We have things in place but we may need to focus on communicating them better to the public," said Laporte.  

The suspect has been released on an undertaking and is scheduled to attend the Ontario Court of Justice in North Bay on March 24.




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Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with BayToday.ca since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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