A group of parents has filed a human rights complaint against the Nanaimo Minor Hockey Association after it cut a teenage girls bantam hockey program.

Bill Hardy, whose 12-year-old daughter, was part of the cancelled program, said all the parents are looking for is equal opportunity for the girls to develop.

"This team has been in existence for four years. So why wouldn't you nurture it and make sure it continues?" he said.

The association says registration numbers were low and it just didn't have enough ice time for everyone.

The parents deny that the numbers were low.

Hardy says the city is setting a bad example for the rest of the country especially when interest in Canadian female hockey athletes is high with the Olympics around the corner.

"When our national team hits the ice, are we going to be cheering them? Yeah, we're going to be cheering them on. Where does that start? That starts grassroots up," Hardy said.

"Girls have to play competitive hockey ... to get to that level."

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Jason Pires