Sunshine Coast Regional District Directors- Open our Recreation Facilities

Sunshine Coast Regional District Directors- Open our Recreation Facilities

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The COVID-19 global pandemic and its economic and social impacts have disrupted nearly all aspects of life for all groups in society. People of different ages, however, are experiencing its effects in different ways.  

Economic and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have been asymmetric across age groups. Current evidence suggests that young people are less at-risk in terms of developing severe physical health symptoms linked to COVID-19 than older age cohorts (WHO, 2020[6]). However, the disruption in their access to education and recreation puts them at the highest risk of mental health complications. There is significant psychological impacts of social distancing and quarantine measures on young people causing stress, anxiety and loneliness.

Sport cements social cohesion, contributes to the social and emotional development of youth and promotes greater physicality.  Sport has long been considered a valuable tool for fostering communication and building bridges between communities and generations. 

By keeping the doors to our facilities closed we are forcing our residents to live sedentary lifestyles and/or travel off Coast which increases the pandemic footprint of COVID-19.  We are creating division between residents with different financial realities during a time when there should be equal opportunity for all.

Concerns regarding the financial implications of COVID-19 are at the forefront of keeping our community recreation doors closed. In the July 23rd Corporate and Administrative Service Committee meeting staff was asked to provide an average dollar amount per household that would result from the reported deficit forecast for recreation. The response was that for an assessed improvement value of $250,000, the annual tax amount resulting from a $1,000,000 deficit would be $50 per household. The staff report indicated approximately a $400,000 deficit which would equate to $1.67 per month per household to provide our community with recreation facilities. The board needs to hear from the citizens of the coast that we believe that there is sufficient value in community recreation to justify this cost to tax payers.

Our ice organizations are well prepared for the re-opening of ice arenas, dedicated volunteers have developed Return to Play Protocols that strictly follow the recommendations of our Public Health Officers and Provincial Sport Authorities.  We are willing to work with SCRD staff to open the recreation facilities in the safest possible way in order to protect our members and the residents of the Sunshine Coast.  

By signing this petition you are voicing your support for the health and well being for residents of the Sunshine Coast.  Let's get back to doing what is so important to our communities growth and development.