An independent report has identified that rebuilding the Kananaskis Country Golf Course is in the best interest of Alberta taxpayers.
“Let me be clear: we do not believe government should be in the golf course business. Unfortunately, the contract we inherited locks our government into either rebuilding, or walking away and leaving Alberta taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars now and further financial risk into the future. We will not throw good money after bad.”
~ Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks
“This is the best approach for taxpayers as the provisions of the current agreements with Kan-Alta Golf Management Ltd. make it impossible to end the arrangement without significant cost to government.”
~ Joe Ceci, Minister of Treasury Board and Finance
Following the June 2013 flood that devastated the golf course, the province committed to rebuild the course and negotiated both a settlement and amended operating agreement with its contracted golf course operator, Kan-Alta. Reconstruction of the course was halted earlier this year until an independent review by Deloitte LLP of the current contracts was completed.
The rebuild cost will be largely offset by federal funds that have been pre-approved through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements. After federal reimbursement, the net cost to Alberta will be either $3.8 million or $8.8 million depending on the eligibility of an increased $5 million in flood mitigation for reimbursement. Approximately $2.5 million has been expended for work completed to date.
The Deloitte LLP report identified that if the provincial government did not proceed with the rebuild, it could incur additional and significant contractual and legal costs at the expense of taxpayers.
The golf course, when operational, does generate revenue for the province and supports local jobs and the economy. A portion of the revenues will be directed to upgrade William Watson Lodge, a place where Albertans with disabilities can stay and enjoy the outdoors at a reasonable cost.
At the end of the current operating agreement signed in 2014, which is in place until 2026, government will proceed to a public tender process for long-term management of the property. The course is expected to reopen in the summer of 2017.
- June 2013 – Flood destroys much of the Kananaskis Country Golf Course.
- July 2014 – The province announces the golf course will be rebuilt.
- July 2014 – Existing operator agreement with Kan-Alta is amended and a settlement agreement is created to cover losses during the rebuild.
- August 2014 – Kan-Alta authorized to begin reconstruction.
- March 2015 – Reconstruction halted and Deloitte LLP contracted to complete an independent review of golf course contracts.
- August 2015 – Deloitte LLP submits report on golf course to government.