Female Oilers fans upset after women’s washrooms are swapped to accommodate men at arena

At Sunday’s Edmonton Oilers playoff game at Rogers Place, some female fans were surprised to find women’s bathrooms had been converted to men’s, causing their wait times to increase.

Earlier in the playoffs, male fans had complained about lengthy lines for washrooms during Oilers playoff games.

The Oilers Entertainment group attempted to cut down on the wait times by adding a staff member to the washrooms to help point out empty stalls and putting sticks on the floor to assist fans in knowing where to line up.

READ MORE: Edmonton and Rogers Place making tweaks to adjust to Oilers’ playoff fever

Watch below: In response to fans, Rogers Place has made a few changes to help speed up washroom lineups during hockey games.

But on Sunday night, Rogers Place did something different, flipping women’s bathrooms to men’s in an attempt to reduce wait times for male fans.

“For playoffs, what we’re seeing is we’re getting predominantly men in here – the more exciting the hockey gets, I think the less guys are willing to give up their tickets,” said Susan Darrington, general manager of Rogers Place. “So we’ve adjusted our plans and we flipped a restroom on our main and on our upper concourse to be more available for men.”

On Sunday night, the women’s bathrooms backed up and female fans took to 杭州桑拿会所 to voice their concerns.

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“We came across an extremely long lineup and found out that was actually the lineup for the women’s washroom. And we had to go, we had to wait,” Jacqueline Comer said.

She estimated she got into a bathroom line on the upper level about two minutes into the intermission and spent about 25 minutes waiting to use the washroom.

“It was ridiculous. Waiting five minutes, 10 minutes – it’s OK. But waiting half an hour? That’s not acceptable,” she said.

Charlene Zacharuk encountered the same issue.

“I go to the washroom that’s always the women’s washroom and it’s a men’s washroom. So we make our way three-quarters of the way around the building and the women’s washroom is 60 deep,” she explained. “There was no lineup at the men’s washroom that was previously the women’s washroom, so that made it even more frustrating.”

Darrington said staff are trying to address the issues.

“We clicker count, we’ve got people watching the lines and again, we’re studying them and doing everything we can operationally to make it as comfortable as we can for our fans.”

She said staff survey season-ticket holders to try and get an idea of how many men are coming to a game compared to women.

“You’ll never make everyone happy. I think we actually feel good about what we’ve done. The men are getting through faster, the women are seeing a little more of a delay.”

Zacharuk said flipping the bathrooms isn’t a fair solution.

“I get that the men had to wait, and it was an inconvenience for them, but they solved the problem by creating another problem.”

Not wanting to miss a minute of the action, Zacharuk chose not to drink in the second period so she could stay in her seat and avoid the long lineups.

“I don’t know why they couldn’t make it just one unisex bathroom. You could have a choice. If you don’t want unisex, you go to the guys’ or you go to the girls’ washroom,” she said, suggesting the idea as a means of eliminating the wait times for both genders.

READ MORE: Porta potties installed downtown to relieve Edmontonians during Oilers’ playoff run

Comer felt the decision showed male fans took precedent over women.

“It just felt like we were on the other end of the scale for us in terms of what fans were important,” she explained.

“You should have enough washrooms for the number of people that are going to be in there. I think it’s kind of a no-brainer.”

Rogers Place aims to have fans in and out of the bathrooms in about four minutes, a time Darrington said they were successful with in the regular season.

According to the City of Edmonton, there are 172 toilets and urinals required by code, while Rogers Place has 485. However, some have use restrictions, including company boxes, the Loge Level and Sportsnet Club.

Alberta government to hold fatality inquiry in Medicine Hat this week

A Medicine Hat family is hoping get answers in a fatality inquiry following the tragic death of a loved one.

Glenn Piche hung himself with a bed sheet four years ago while he was a patient at Medicine Hat Regional Hospital in 2013.

His brother, Marc Piche, had called Redcliff RCMP and had him taken into custody on a mental health warrant. He was admitted to the hospital’s psychiatric ward.

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“You think that he’s safe, that he’s in a place where they’re going to take care of him, and then I couldn’t believe it,” Marc said.

Marc says his brother struggled with mental health throughout his life.

“If he had proper guidance and got back on his feet, he’d still be here today,” he said.

Marc and his family have been searching for answers ever since Glenn’s death.

Wednesday, after years of pushing, a fatality inquiry is set to get underway, examining the circumstances surrounding the tragedy.

“My brother was always there to help other people, always,” Marc said. “He picked up people off the street, feed them, housed them into his home and stuff.”

Glenn was just 49 years old when he died, and left behind four daughters.

The family tragedy didn’t end there. A year-and-a-half after Glenn died, his wife also took her own life.

“It was a hard blow,” Marc said. “She left a note saying she’s gone to be with him.”

Alberta Health Services told Global News an initial review was done in 2013 and determined staff need to be better educated about assessing patients’ suicide risk.

The public fatality inquiry held by the Alberta government will go from May 3-5.

Marc hopes no other family will have to go through what his family did.

“I hope at the end of all this, is that it doesn’t happen to somebody else.”

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.

The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868  all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.

Christy Clark wishes she gave Linda more of her time, even if she won’t get her vote

Christy Clark said she could have taken more time to talk to Linda Higgins, a citizen who drew enormous attention online when she confronted the BC Liberal leader and said she wouldn’t vote for her last week.

Clark said as much in an interview with Vancouver radio station CFOX on Monday.

“In retrospect, yeah of course, I wish I’d stopped and spoken to her,” Clark told the Jeff O’Neil Show.

“I normally try to, but the thing is, you go to these things and they’re just whipping through, and there’s 100 people to talk to, and I do move a little bit quickly.”

READ MORE: B.C. Election: Liberals and NDP in tight race according to new Ipsos poll

Higgins, a Sunshine Coast resident, became a prominent name in B.C. media after a CBC News reporter tweeted video of an encounter between her and Clark in a North Vancouver grocery store last week.

The video showed Clark circulating in the store before Higgins greeted her and said, “I would never vote for you.”

Clark quickly responded, “You don’t have to. That’s why we live in a democracy.”

“Yeah, thank goodness,” Linda said. “Hopefully, you won’t get elected in.”

Clark subsequently walked away and talked to other potential voters in the store.

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The encounter helped to spark a hashtag, #IAmLinda, that became a rallying point of sorts for people opposed to the BC Liberal leader.

It also inspired backlash from BC Liberal supporters who accused Higgins of being an NDP plant.

Higgins denied being an NDP plant, or even a card-carrying party member in an interview with The North Shore News.

She said she made a spontaneous decision to speak to Clark, and didn’t mean to be disrespectful.

“I think it’s important for her to hear from the Joe Average voter,” Higgins said.

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