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November 27, 2009
For immediate release

Helmet Use at Brookvale Remains Voluntary for Most Visitors


Helmet use will remain voluntary at Brookvale Provincial Park as there continues to be no available Canadian Standards Association (CSA) approved helmet(s) on the market, says Minister of Tourism Valerie E. Docherty. “The mandatory use of helmets at Canadian ski hills has been a growing topic of discussion for the last two years,” Minister Docherty said. “The Province wants to remain consistent with what other ski hills are doing and, without a CSA approved helmet, we have decided to continue with our policy that helmet use will be voluntary in most instances. However, Tourism PEI will enforce stricter guidelines to ensure that students wear helmets.”

In October 2009, the Atlantic Canada Ski Association met and, at the time, it appeared unlikely that a helmet would be on the market for the 2009/2010 ski season.

“Currently, all Brookvale helmets meet European certification,” said Provincial Parks Manager Shane Arbing. “Alpine activities present an inherit risk and educating parents, children and all users about the safety of helmet use during these activities is essential.”

Brookvale has signs with up-to-date safety information onsite. For 2010, new signage will be erected in the area of the rental shop and lift to encourage helmet use.

In addition, beginning this season, all ski school students, regardless of age, who are taking a lesson will be required to wear a helmet. Brookvale will be including the helmets as part of their rental package for ski school customers.

Furthermore, all ski school instructors will be required to wear a helmet while teaching. Helmets are not mandatory for private lessons where gear is not rented. Helmet use is however mandatory for anyone who wishes to use the terrain park.

A policy that has been in place for several years, which was initiated by the School Boards and enforced by Brookvale, requires all school groups visiting Brookvale to wear helmets. In addition, the waiver form that gave parents the opportunity to opt out of the school helmet policy has been removed this season. All school students will be required to wear a helmet.

Tourism PEI staff has met with the Ski Patrol and requested they consider having their members wear helmets while on patrol. The Ski Patrol unit is a volunteer group not directly accountable to Brookvale yet provide a valuable service to the hill. Other than ski school instructors, Tourism PEI does not have staff on the actual slopes. Staff do wear snowmobile helmets when operating machines on the property.

When CSA approved helmets become available, Brookvale will request the necessary budget to replace existing rental helmets with CSA approved helmets.

Tourism PEI procedures are comparable, if not ahead of Intrawest’s plan. Tourism PEI already requires helmet use in the terrain park, and all instructors will be wearing a helmet this year. Intrawest identifies these initiatives for next year.

Media Contact: Julie Whitlock
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