Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New Rec Passes Cross Borders

I like this idea, it makes so much sense. I have resisted buying a pass because I like to use facilities in several municipalities.

People may not be willing to go to full amalgamation, but steps like this make so much sense for what is really one city with bantustan local governments. South Africa used the bantustans to stop easy movement of people in their country. Local governments make life harder for businesses and residents by refusing to make our city have consistency across the region. Common sense says there should be only one recreation and parks department, there should be a single place to get all your permits and that their is consistent policing in the region.

The new rec passes are a smart idea and I hope go beyond the pilot project.

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Greater Victoria residents will be able to visit any local recreation centre using a single card beginning Jan. 1.

A regional annual pass is being introduced as part of a pilot project, says Agnes Szilos, of Recreation Oak Bay.

As a result of government departments constantly asking recreation centers for bulk group discounts, five of eight recreational centres in Greater Victoria got together to issue an annual pass.

“We didn’t really think it was fair for one organization to receive a break so this is an enlargement of that,” Szilos said.

The pass will cost $420.10. The amount is a play on the year 2010, the year that Vancouver and Whistler will host the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Sooke is the only recreation centre so far to turn thumbs down to the shared pass.

The pass allows purchasers unlimited access to all the local recreation centers, including pools, fitness centres and weight rooms.

Passes in the pilot project will be sold until the end of 2009 and passes will be honoured for a full year from date of purchase.

The regional pass ties in with the province’s Active communities mandate introduced last year that challenges B.C. residents to be 20 per cent more active by 2010.

vmoreau@saanichnews.com

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