The driving range at Cedar Hill Golf Course in Saanich. (Facebook/Cedar Hill Golf Course)

The driving range at Cedar Hill Golf Course in Saanich. (Facebook/Cedar Hill Golf Course)

LETTER: Cedar Hill golf pass holders help reduce tax burden

Re: Recreational golfers unfairly targeted by Saanich (Letters Sept. 29)

I can now buy an annual pass to swim at Saanich Commonwealth Place for $360, a facility that receives millions of dollars per year in tax subsidies. Yet at the same time, Saanich council, based on a summary of a report that I am denied access to intends to make it more expensive for me to play golf at Cedar Hill Golf Course.

With the current price structures in place and with no tax subsidy, the golf course is the only Saanich recreation facility that makes money.

Pass holders are the golf course’s most loyal followers. We pay up front (more than $250,000 in total, by every April 1) and treat the golf course with respect.

The summary report, presented to council Sept. 13, also recommends to Saanich “dissolving the formal relationship with the Cedar Hill Golf Club,” an organization that predates the municipality’s association with the course and has in the past given Saanich thousands of dollars to develop facilities. In addition, club activities generate monies, including our ladies field day, $213,500 to Victoria Hospice and contributions from the profits of the annual Cedar Hill Open.

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The summary report contains many debatable statements, half-truths, inaccuracies and bureaucratic innuendos relating to course conditions, customer satisfaction, monies gained/lost, demand for services, etc.

Is it just a coincidence that this hatchet job to the most loyal users of the golf course occurred whilst COVID-19 protocols are in place and limit face-to-face contact?

What is most disappointing is that Saanich has made little effort to engage in meaningful dialogue with pass holders or the golf club.

The majority of pass holders, like myself, are seniors and many of us are on fixed incomes. How much more money does Saanich think it can make by pricing me out of my preferred recreational activity?

As a Saanich taxpayer, I am asking council to treat all its residents fairly. I can buy an annual pass for $360 to use at all four recreational centres. Why not an annual pass to play golf?

Mick Goodger