Liberal MLA for Columbia River-Revelstoke, Doug Clovechok, flattered the golf industry (and challenged the NDP to a match) with the following statement in the BC parliament on May 29th, the newly created, National Golf Day.
It gives me a great deal of pleasure to rise here today and speak about a sport that is near and dear not only to me, but to millions of British Columbians and Canadians. It’s a sport that I started to play at five years old and played with my dad and brother every night after school and continue to play today. I’m thrilled to say that my son beats me these days, and my oldest granddaughter has been learning to play this for the past four years.
Of course, I’m talking about the sport of golf, and today is National Golf Day. In Columbia River–Revelstoke, we have 18 amazing golf courses, and some have won national awards. We are a golf mecca, visited yearly by thousands from all over Canada and the world. It’s an industry that represents both economic and social pillars in our community. If you’re a golfer and have never played our courses, let me encourage you to do so. They will be the highlight of your golf career.
Golf has many faces, and I will reference a few of them. Economically, it’s a $2.08 billion industry in B.C., creating 44,000 jobs, $1.27 billion in household income and generates $465 million in taxes. From a social investment perspective, the 300-plus courses in B.C. are locally owned and operated and provide charitable and taxation benefits to British Columbian communities. Golf courses provide valuable green space and wildlife refuge. Turf and trees capture carbon, create oxygen, cool the air and filter storm and water runoff. Golf courses are leaders in environmental stewardship. The industry has an integrated pest management effort and strives to be an industry leader in greener best management practices.
It’s good for you. Approximately 10,000 steps happen on each 18 holes and encompass all demographics. People who play golf benefit physically, socially and mentally from golf. Golf is a game for all ages and abilities and is the number one sport activity in Canada.
Golf is an amazing game, and I want to thank the Allied Golf Association of B.C. for all they do. If you don’t play it, there’s still time to start, and I’d like to challenge the members opposite to a golf game with us some time.