Thursday, 21 April 2011

Golf Industry Kicks-Off Season at Queen's Park

Golf Associations Highlighting Industry's Economic Impact and Environmental Stewardship

TORONTO, April 20, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Ontario Allied Golf Associations (OAGA) kicked off golf season by visiting Queen's Park to increase awareness of golf role as a major driver of Ontario's provincial economy and draw attention to the responsible environmental practices of the industry.

"Golf is played by more Canadians than hockey," said OAGA spokesperson Don MacKay, "More than 2.3 million Ontarians, and 6 million Canadians, play golf each year, making it Canada's number one sport in participation and a great way to stay fit, get healthy, and have fun."

A recent report by OAGA found that Ontario's golf industry represents more than $5 billion in direct sales across Ontario every single year. OAGA members and their affiliates employ more than 123,000 Ontarians across the province. The golf industry contributes $1.2 billion per year in tax revenue to the various branches of government.

"Ontario's golf courses contribute a great deal to our economy," MacKay continued. "As people head out the links this summer we wanted to make sure that people are aware of the size and scope of our industry, and what we do to be responsible members of our communities."

Ontario's golf courses are leaders in environmentally sustainable golf course operations. They work extensively with government to meet or exceed provincial water and pesticide regulations, and are constantly researching technologies and techniques to reduce their environmental footprint. Indeed, the industry has spent more than $1.2 million in recent years to research more environmentally sustainable practices.

Ontario golf course owners and operators are at Queen's Park today to make Members of the Provincial Parliament aware of golf's demonstrated track record of being an honest and responsible partner to government in developing regulations that meet the needs of protecting the public and at the same time are in the best interest of ensuring a viable, thriving golf industry.

"Everyone benefits from smart regulations," said Mackay, "But smart regulations mean all stakeholders are actively consulted. We're here to do our part and help policy makers succeed building strong, sustainable regulations that allow our industry to be successful and focus on what it does best, providing a fun, physically-active and family-friendly pastime."

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