I know little of the current HC controversy or how HC operates, but I suppose how you view public funding towards sport, any sport, and the role sport plays in the national psyche will impact your view. Even though the odds of any one kid making the NHL is infinitesimally small, the journey starts at the local level. Canada use to own the NHL because of this feeder network that started with every hamlet having a rink of some sort. Over time, things got more organized with inter-league play, tournaments, etc. Other countries learned, particularly the US that has made significant improvements to their feeder system. I see similar changes in curling but for different reasons.
When kids are involved, there will always be the challenge of weeding out exploiters. The system has to remain focused on this and not turn a blind eye from a coach because Team A is winning. In my view, it also needs to defend itself from parents, advocates and psychologists. Above a certain age, the game migrates from just fun, and pointed direction, even criticism, isn't, in and of itself, abusive. In that sense, it reflects, hmm, life.