PWHL Ottawa Recognized in Visit to Senate

PWHL Ottawa players and coaches took a trip to the Canadian Senate, where they were hosted and recognized by Sen. Kim Pate.

PWHL Ottawa Recognized in Visit to Senate
PWHL Ottawa players joined Sen. Kim Pate and Usher of the Black Rod Greg Peters in the chamber ahead of Wednesday's Senate sitting. | Photo by Simon Hopkins

Ottawa's PWHL players and team founders were invited to the Canadian Senate Wednesday afternoon as guests of Senator Kim Pate.

The players and founders toured the building and Senate chamber, where they met Senators and the Usher of the Black Rod (who and what that is can be saved for another time).

Three hockey players take a photo with a Senator.
From left to right: Natalie Snodgrass, Kristin Della Rovere, and Rosalie Demers pose for a photo with Sen. Kim Pate. | Photo by SImon Hopkins

Pate, an Ontario senator, spoke at the start of the sitting, recognizing the guests sitting in the Senate's galleries.


Speaker of the Senate Raymond Gagné and Senator Kim Pate recognize PWHL Ottawa in The Senate of Canada | Video courtesy of The Senate of Canada

In her speech, Pate recognized the long journey of professional women's hockey and importance of creating the Ottawa team. "No wonder the league's slogan is ice time earned," she said in her speech to the Senate. Pate played hockey herself and grew up dreaming of playing in a women's league.

"Dad always told us one day it would happen; little did I expect it would take 60 years before we would see a women's professional hockey league in Canada," Pate said.

Following the speech, Pate and a group of about 10 senators met with the players in a separate room. Pate told them she had grown up playing with boys but was been renowned for her checking.

The small group of senators which included parliamentarians from Newfoundland to The Yukon excitedly waited in line to shake the hands of every player. Some even asked for autographs.

A senator wearing glasses speaks with a woman.
Sen. Mohamed-Iqbal Ravalia shakes hands with a PWHL Ottawa player. | Photo by Simon Hopkins

Following the meeting, Ottawa coach Carla MacLeod told reporters how special it was to be recognized. "To hear he words and the passion behind them infused a new energy in all of us," the Ottawa coach said. "It's a real special moment we're grateful for," MacLeod said.

"We are so fortunate to be here in Ottawa," she said. "This community has just lifted us consistently every day."