B.C.’s political arena now includes a basketball venue, after the installation of a public hoop on a back driveway of the provincial legislature.
Speaker Raj Chouhan had the basketball net installed last week to improve public use of the legislative grounds, as well as promote physical activity.
The legislature has also ordered a series of new picnic tables for its grounds, so that tourists, staff and the public don’t always have to sit on the grass.
“The addition of the hoop is part of an effort to encourage use of the legislative grounds by our local community,” said Kate Ryan-Lloyd, clerk of the legislature.
Anyone is welcome to play basketball, said Amber Keane, the executive director of the Speaker’s office.
“It’s meant to encourage physical activity,” she said. “The Speaker is trying to look at making the grounds more welcoming for the public.”
The legislature also recently finished repaving its driveway, a project that included new sitting areas and gathering spaces on the Belleville Street side of the grounds.
Premier John Horgan is a noted basketball fan, having played at Reynolds Secondary in his youth and on the varsity basketball team at Trent University.
Reaction on Twitter to the new addition was mixed, with some calling it a positive development and others comparing it to the infamous wood-splitter purchased for the legislature in 2019.
Some also questioned the placement of the hoop over a curb, suggesting basketballs could hit it and bounce unpredictably.
New addition to the #bcleg grounds – presumably installed so basketball fanatic @adriandix can challenge unsuspecting tourists to impromptu games of pick-up. pic.twitter.com/U83Mydw6zC
— Rob Shaw (@RobShaw_BC) July 6, 2021
Looks like they’re finding new and exciting ways to spend that sweet log-splitting money.
— Jamie Elmhirst (@jelm_jelm) July 6, 2021
Always good to promote fun and physical activity! Wondering what adaptations might be possible to make it more inclusive? @One_Ability ideas?
— Cindy Andrew (she/her) (@CindyPAndrew1) July 7, 2021
Gotta wonder about the the placement of the net over the curb. Balls will hit that corner and careen all over the place….
— Blair King (@BlairKing_ca) July 6, 2021