West Shore Parks and Recreation facilities face a challenging future in terms of funding, due to reduced operations throughout the pandemic. (Black Press Media file photo)

West Shore Parks and Recreation facilities face a challenging future in terms of funding, due to reduced operations throughout the pandemic. (Black Press Media file photo)

West Shore Parks and Recreation faces challenging future

West Shore Parks and Recreation Society submits 2021 budget request to owner municipalities

Oncoming terrain for West Shore recreational facilities appears a tad rocky, but owners and organizers are doing all they can to keep the doors open for residents.

The West Shore Parks and Recreation Society (WSPRS) was recently approved for a portion of the owner municipality (Langford, Colwood, View Royal, Metchosin, Highlands) COVID-19 provincial restart funds. These funds were used to re-open the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre pool as of Jan. 20, said Grant Brown, Chief Administrative Officer for the WSPRS.

Times are tough, as rec facilities can only offer so much service to fewer residents, due to COVID-19 restrictions. Brown noted that services such as events and food offerings remain severely reduced throughout the pandemic.

“Staff continue to produce a modest number of frozen meals that are sold through our golf course pro shop,” Brown said in a statement to the Gazette. “The other hard-hit area is our low-cost programming that is usually subsidized by our more profitable programs. Currently, we are seeking funding from our owners from their COVID-19 restart funds to reinstate these for the summer.”

READ ALSO: New workspace opens for West Shore public service employees

The 2021 West Shore Parks and Recreation budget requested a total of $5,268,635 and has been approved by four of five partner municipalities, including View Royal, Langford, Highlands, and Metchosin. Colwood has yet to review the budget submission, but Brown said the budget has been authorized regardless, as the operating agreement includes that approval is reached when 75 per cent of the requisition is approved. Four of five approvals meets this threshold.

The request saw a rise of $197,596, or 3.9 per cent, over the approved 2020 budget requisition, due to operational challenges created by the pandemic. The 2021 requisition approval means rec facilities should be sitting in a safe spot for the year.

“We submitted a very conservative budget, taking the restrictions through the summer and only a very slight lessening for the fall,” stated Brown. “Due to that, we are comfortable with our current status, however, it will once again be a very challenging year with potentially some very difficult decisions to be made if the current restrictions remain long term.”

Moving forward, Brown hopes to see a gradual ease in restrictions around recreation for youth and adult sports programming, and that facilities will be able to operate under the previous provincial guidelines that were used last summer and fall.

“West Shore Parks and Recreation facilities are a valuable amenity for the West Shore. Offering a variety of recreational and leisure activities as well as life skills for all ages,” Brown said. “Our owners recognize this and have been supportive through these challenging times. The parks and recreation field is adjusting how we operate, scaling back to ensure we can remain operational.”

West Shore Parks and Recreation

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist, an independent pharmacy in Toronto, Monday, April 19, 2021. Younger Canadians in several provinces are now able to get the AstraZeneca vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
AstraZeneca vaccine appointments fill up fast on Vancouver Island

More pharmacies expected to be added as supply increases

Victoria’s bylaw restricting sheltering in parks won’t apply to those who accept indoor housing when it comes back into effect on May 1. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria bylaw restricting sheltering in parks won’t apply to those who accept indoor housing

The bylaw banning daytime camping in public parks will be reinstated on May 1

Island Health has reported a COVID-19 exposure at Pacific Christian Elementary School on April 12. (Google Streetview/Screenshot)
COVID-19 exposure reported at Saanich elementary school

Pacific Christian Elementary School experienced exposure on April 12

The Sooke Regional Spotlight, presented by the Federation of B.C. Writers (FBCW), features readings by nine established and emerging Sooke Region authors. (Pixabay.com)
Sooke authors to shine in province-wide event

Nine local writers star in an online ‘spotlight’ presentation

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. university rowing coach ‘deeply sorry’ after complaints

Barney Williams says he’s been committed to ensuring no other member of the roster had a similar experience

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Have rising prices caused you to give up hope of buying a home?

Do you have a spare 50 grand or so kicking around (have… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP, investigating explosion in Harewood, also came across an alcohol still on the property

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. sees 1,006 more COVID-19 cases Thursday, ‘alarming’ 502 in hospital

Vaccine bookings for people aged 60 and older set to start

Shannon Zirnhelt, from left, her son Lockie, 3, Julia Zirnhelt, 13, and Ella Krus, 13, co-founders of Third Planet Crusade are featured in a music video set to air on Earth Day, April 22, 2021. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
VIDEO: B.C.-made music video launched in time for Earth Day 2021

Singer songwriter Shannon Zirnhelt worked with Third Planet Crusade on the project in the Cariboo

Ambulance crews have been busy with a record number of emergency overdose calls this Wednesday, April 21. (BC Emergency Health Services)
B.C. paramedics responded to a record 138 overdose calls in a single day

Wednesday’s calls included 48 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and 51 in Fraser Health

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. COVID-19 hotspots targeted as AstraZeneca vaccine runs low

17,000 appointments booked the first day for people aged 40 and up

B.C. Ferries’ sixth Island-class vessel launches at Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania. The ship is the second of two that will service the Nanaimo-Gabriola Island route starting in 2022. (Photo submitted)
Second hybrid ferry for Nanaimo-Gabriola route launched overseas

Island-class vessel will enter service in 2022

Most Read