Queen’s Park – A discussion to amend regulation 63/09
As President of the OGSA, I was given the opportunity to represent the golf industry and the association at Queen’s Park on May 1st for “We Are Golf”. The “We Are Golf” group is made up of members from the OGSA, Golf Ontario, CSCM – Ontario, PGA of Ontario and the NGCOA – Ontario and had a total of nine representatives. The purpose of the day was to promote the game of golf, its economic and charitable impact and its environmental benefits. In addition, it was an opportunity for us to discuss regulation 63/09 and in particular, its requirement to hold an annual public meeting.
Our specific ask was to have the “outdated and costly regulation 63/09 be amended to only require annual reports to be made publicly available online”.
After weeks of phone calls and planning the lobbying strategy with the aid of Impact Public Affairs, the MPP’s received an invite to our morning breakfast during the evening sitting of the legislature the day prior to our event. We received a good turnout from a number of MPP’s and they were very open to listening to our concerns and our request to amend regulation 63/09.
After breakfast, we had the opportunity to attend the Question Period during the meetings of the Legislature while we waited to attend our private meetings with MPP’s. This is an experience that I would recommend, especially when the party leaders are in attendance. It will give you a different perspective on provincial politics and the passion that our political representatives have for their party’s issues.
We then broke into three groups of three. Each group had someone who was able to speak on behalf of our concerns regarding the 63/09 public meeting. Each group had a minimum of three private meetings with MPP’s. The feedback from the MPP’s was very positive and generally supportive.
There is still a lot of work to do, but this was a really good start. It was not possible to get in the door with the Liberal government over the past eight years, we tried, however the PC’s are very willing to listen.
This event was something new to me and to be honest, I was nervous as this day approached. I didn’t know what to expect, how the conversations would go, or how the MPP’s would respond. However, I did do my homework, and I am very proud of what we started.
The MPP’s were approachable, understanding and were there to listen and learn. As in many circumstances, my anxieties were unwarranted. It was a very positive experience, and now I would not have any hesitation in meeting my local MPP to discuss any matter.
The OGSA does need your assistance in educating our MPP’s on our issues and we encourage all of you to connect with your MPP to discuss the elimination of the public meeting from the regulation. We intend to work on some tools and information that could assist in approaching your MPP and ensure a common message.
A special thank you to current and past NAGA – Ontario representatives as the work of this group has spanned a great many years and while it remains to be seen, what the level of support on this issue is, we remain optimistic.
Jason Boyce, OGSA President