The CVRD’s sports commission is asking member municipalities to cooperate on a proposed all-access pass program for low-income families. File photo.

Comox Valley Regional District considers all-access rec pass for low-income families

Cumberland council supports motion for staff to work with partners on pass program

The Comox Valley Regional District is proposing a pass for low-income residents that would give them access to all recreation facilities in the Comox Valley.

This would include recreation facilities within the CVRD and those run by member municipalities.

Jesse Ketler, who is a council member for the Village of Cumberland but is also chair of the Comox Valley Sports Centre Commission, updated her colleagues at the Sept. 9 council meeting about the proposal.

“Through the CVRD we have a focus on ensuring lower-income families have affordable and convenient access to a wide variety of recreation programs and activities,” she said.

RELATED STORY: Cumberland considering Leisure Access Program

This is highlighted in her letter to council, which cites the recently adopted Comox Valley Sports Centre Commission strategic plan. This plan includes accessibility to recreation services as its fourth goal. The commission passed a resolution at a July 16 meeting for CVRD staff to work with all of the municipal government members in the regional district.

Ketler’s letter notes that cooperation between all of the respective organizations will be required in order to develop the all-access pass program, and she asked for council’s support for the initiative and for staff to be directed to collaborate with the CVRD and other local governments. Her Cumberland colleagues were quick to express enthusiasm for the program.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Coun. Sean Sullivan.

Mayor Leslie Baird echoed this point, adding she thought the Village’s Manager of Recreation Ryan Coltura already has some ideas for the program.

Council unanimously passed a motion for Village staff to collaborate with the regional district and other member municipalities on the program.

Ketler added the region may consider developing a general all-access pass, though this is not the focus at this time.

“It’s just low-income at this point,” she said. “There might be an opportunity to expand that, but for now we’re just working on getting lower-income families more access and easier access to recreational services.”

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