Michael Norgaard, 15, practices his dive at the Saanich Commonwealth Place pool. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich cancels recreation centre membership passes due to COVID-19

Pass-holders to receive account credit or refund, facilities remain closed

  • Jun. 9, 2020 12:00 a.m.

Saanich has temporarily suspended the sale of recreation centre passes and is crediting those who already purchased membership passes with time limits.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the closure of indoor recreation facilities across Greater Victoria. Saanich is home to four recreation centres – all closed since March 18 to minimize the risk of transmitting COVID-19.

READ ALSO: Recreation facilities begin to reopen across Greater Victoria

In recognition of the safety restrictions implemented by the province, Saanich Parks, Recreation, and Community Services opted to cancel all recreation centre memberships with time-constraints – such as annual and six-month passes that can’t be used due to mandatory facility closures and safety regulations limiting group sizes.

Credits will be applied to residents’ accounts – prorated from March 17 – and can be used for single activity registrations, admission punch cards, programs and other facility bookings when service resumes. Those who would prefer a refund can contact any of Saanich’s recreation centres for assistance.

Saanich recreation centres will also not be selling new monthly or annual passes for the foreseeable future.

READ ALSO: Island Health to use Saanich recreation centre to support pandemic needs

A timeline for the reopening of indoor recreation facilities has yet to be finalized, said District spokesperson Megan Catalano on June 4. Staff are monitoring the provincial health officer’s directions and will be adhering to the Recreation and Parks Sector Guideline for Restarting Operations – developed by BC Recreation and Parks Association and approved by Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Mayor Fred Haynes said staff are aware residents value the recreation facilities and are looking for ways to safely resume service. Saanich will keep residents informed as plans are made, he said, adding that when facilities do reopen, service “will not be business as usual.”

While indoor facilities remain inaccessible, some outdoor recreation facilities have already reopened. The Cedar Hill Golf Course resumed service on May 5 and many of the District’s outdoor recreation facilities and sports courts reopened on May 21

Saanich Parks, Recreation and Community Services is also looking at starting summer day camp programs the week of June 29. The District will reach out to parents with information about registration and protocols.


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