Eric Foster, MLA, Introduces the Golf Industry to BC Legislature BLUES


Afternoon Sitting

Routine Business

Introductions by Members
E. Foster: In the House today we have members of the B.C. Allied Golf Association: Trevor Smith, Tricha Larsen, Kris Jonasson, Blair Armitage, Donald Miyazaki, Michelle Collins, Andy Hedley and Jerry Rousseau. Would the House please make them welcome.

(Standing Order 25B)

E. Foster: The first golf courses were built in British Columbia 122 years ago, first at Jericho Beach in Vancouver in 1892. Over the last few years the Vancouver Golf Club, Shaughnessy Golf and Country; Qualicum Beach Memorial Golf Club, Royal Colwood golf and country club on the Island; and Vernon Golf and Country Club — obviously, one of my favourites — all celebrated their 100th birthdays.

Golf courses and the golf industry in B.C. have come a long way from the early courses, which are still among some of the top in British Columbia today.

As many members of this House already know, the appeal of the game of golf is hard to ignore. During the 14.5 million rounds of golf played each year, British Columbians get to go outdoors and enjoy one of the simplest, safest and most often recommended forms of exercise, walking. In fact, a round of golf where the player is walking will burn off more than 700 calories. Of course, if you cover as much of the golf course as I do, that could be as high as 2,000. This is part of the reason that golfers have a mortality rate 40 percent lower than those who don't exercise.

The golf industry is present and is locally owned and operated in every community, and in British Columbia it contributes $1.6 billion to the province's gross domestic product. Directly and indirectly, golf employs almost 47,000 British Columbians, including substantial numbers of youth. Over 43 percent of those employed by the industry are students.

The excellence of our golf courses is well recognized at home and abroad. B.C. golf tourism is the main reason why almost one million Americans made overnight trips to British Columbia last year.

When it comes to taking care of the environment, the B.C. golf industry takes a responsible approach to managing their local environment by naturalizing managed green space into wildlife and plant habitat and by building wildlife corridors for local animals.

As a result, golf is good for our health, good for our environment and good for our economy in British Columbia.

Please join me in welcoming our guests, and when you have time in your schedules, please take a few minutes or an hour or two to visit one of the 300 locally owned golf courses in British Columbia.