(Toronto) The father of a 15-year-old Ontario boy who was killed by a 90-kilogram soccer net says he is honored that a new provincial law is named after his son, even though he would trade it all for not being aware of the dangers of such nets and getting his boy back.

Garrett Mills, of Napanee, Ontario, was playing in a park with his girlfriend and best friend on May 12, 2017. He was hanging from the crossbar of an unanchored soccer net and doing pull-ups, when the structure fell on him and killed him.

The Garrett Legacy Act, which received Royal Assent last week, sets out requirements for the safe use of mobile soccer goals used by members of the public.

Shortly before his death, Garrett had asked his father what a bequest was.

“Once we explained it to him, he paused for a while and really thought about it for a while, and then he said, ‘When I go away, I want to leave a legacy,'” testified his father, Dave Mills.

“Four days later he was gone. »

Moving soccer goals have caused more than 40 deaths in North America, mostly children, said Ric Bresee, Progressive Conservative MPP for Hastings—Lennox and Addington, who proposed the private member’s bill. .

Mr. Mills says it’s a tremendous honor to have his son’s name associated with a law that could save lives.

“Garrett probably would have been most embarrassed by all the attention, but the thought of it possibly preventing a similar accident from happening and another child being seriously harmed and another family having to to have your guts ripped out – as my wife so eloquently put it some time ago – is a great feeling,” he maintained.

Mr. Mills has come a long way in advocating for the passage of legislation. This was the third attempt to pass the bill.

MP Bresee said he was pleased that the bill had cross-party support and that they all cooperated to get it passed before the legislature adjourned for the summer.

“Soccer is obviously a wonderful sport,” he said. We want to encourage people to enjoy the fresh air, whatever sport they are doing, but we need to make sure people are safe in the process. »

Now Sports Minister Neil Lumsden will make regulations so the law can come into force. The ministry works with sports organizations and manufacturers.

“I can’t wait to make a change that will impact thousands and thousands of young people, and they won’t even know it,” he said.

“His power will last a long time. »

Although he is relieved that the law has finally passed, Mr. Mills wants his son to be remembered beyond the circumstances of his death.

“I know a lot of parents would probably say the same thing about their own kids, but he was really cut from a different cloth,” he related.

“Since the day he was born, we never had an argument with him, not once. We never had to discipline him, ever. He was a peacemaker. He sought to make others happy. Every day, it was like his mission to make people laugh. »

He never lost his temper and exuded love for everyone, his father added.

“I said to myself that if this kid, who was 15 at the time of his death, could live such a good life […] I could probably emulate him a little and live like that myself. And I made this effort. And I always make this effort to live more like Garrett lived,” he emphasized.

“I try every day to be that legacy, part of that legacy that Garrett left behind. »