The past several years have been exciting for the National Allied Golf Associations (NAGA). A parliamentary Golf Caucus was formed with participation from all political parties, and meetings have taken place with close to 200 MPs from across the country promoting Canada’s golf industry. NAGA has also been featured in a vast number of media outlets both nationally and internationally, including the Wall Street Journal, the Economist and CBC National News.
While NAGA has experienced many successes over the past several years, there is still a lot of work to be done. The wave of change that recently swept the Liberals to power with a solid majority government brings with it new opportunities for NAGA and its request for tax fairness. With close to 200 new MPs with little to no exposure to national organizations and federal policy, it is essential for NAGA to build a brand, develop new relationships, and frame advocacy agendas early with new MPs.
This kit contains an overview of the current tax situation and explains the challenge our industry faces. The kit also provides instruction for contacting your MP and a sample letter to send to his or her local office. Due to a 1971 tax reform, the Canada Revenue Agency does not allow deductions for expenses incurred by business people entertaining clients at golf courses. Canada’s 2,300 golf courses, most of whom are small business operators, cannot compete fairly with all the other industries where CRA does support entertaining clients. Over time, the unfairness of this discrimination against the golf industry has become more and more significant. To Canada’s 2,300 golf course operators, who are now facing the most competitive marketplace in our industry’s history, this unfair tax legislation is no longer a tolerable disadvantage. NAGA and its member associations are calling on the federal government to correct this problem and establish tax fairness for Canada’s golf industry.
Please click here to download the brand new English grassroots advocacy kit and here for the French grassroots advocacy kit. We have completely revamped the look and feel of both documents and hope you will consider getting involved. We are excited to start the conversation on Canada’s golf industry with new MPs, while also maintaining relationships with established champions from last session.
For background materials to provide to the MP should you schedule a meeting, or if you have any questions on this outreach initiative, please contact Cynthia at NAGA@impactcanada.com or 613-233-8906.
The federal election offers a unique opportunity for every member of the golf industry to build on their history of customer service and make sure our future federal government leaders understand the role of Canadian golf and our case for tax fairness. In fact, 2015 is the first year that a federal election has been set by federal election law during a majority government. The implication of this time line is that not only will the parties have a well-planned and coordinated year building to election platforms and policy commitments, but advocacy groups also enjoy a clear flight path to advocate for policy commitments prior to the election.
Regardless of which party and candidate you will be voting for, this campaigning period presents a great opportunity for your voice to be heard. In fact, this is the time when candidates are at their most attentive level as they are eager to listen to their constituents and learn about the issues that impact them. This year, more than ever, it will be very important that you take an active role during this campaigning period because if elected (or re-elected), these candidates will be the ones who will shape public policy that affects you and other golf industry professionals across the country.
Over the years, we have made serious, measurable progress in NAGA’s advocacy goals because of the strength that we have in numbers and the importance of the golf industry to the Canadian economy. In this time of great political uncertainty, we cannot afford to be complacent and we must seize this opportunity to get involved. There are many ways to impact a federal election on the local level, and this kit (available in English and French) will outline ways for you to do so. Most importantly, the kit will also provide you with the necessary tools to ensure that NAGA’s tax issue is a priority in this campaign.
If you would like to set up meetings with your candidates, email NAGA@impactcanada.com for assistance.
NAGA Campaign Toolkit – English
NAGA Campaign Toolkit – Français
With the release of the 2015 Budget, the National Allied Golf Associations’ (NAGA) is encouraging all members to bring about a renewed push to Members of Parliament (MP) regarding the request to amend the Income Tax Act given that it was not included in the Budget. Please take a moment to review the text below and consider sending a letter to your MP on the need to establish tax fairness for Canada’s golf industry.
To view the sample letter please click here.
2015 Grassroots Advocacy Kit
The past several years have been exciting for the National Allied Golf Associations (NAGA). A parliamentary Golf Caucus was formed with participation from all political parties, and meetings have taken place with over 200 MPs from across the country promoting Canada’s golf industry. Another success was the official introduction of Mr. Randall Garrison’s Private Member’s Bill (C-397) entitled “An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (golfing expenses)”. NAGA has also been featured in a vast number of media outlets both nationally and internationally, including the Wall Street Journal, the Economist and CBC National News. While NAGA has experienced many successes over the past several months, there is still a lot of work to be done.
Please download the below PDFs to learn how you can meet with your MP and get the message out on the need to establish tax fairness for Canada’s golf industry.
To view the PDF in English please click here.
To view the PDF in French please click here.
NAGA is pleased to release its summer 2014 activity update which highlights its recent lobby day activities. Please click here to learn more!
The National Allied Golf Associations (NAGA), released it’s updated economic impact study on June 3rd by media conference at Parliament Hill in conjunction with another Golf Awareness Day to inform Members of Parliament of the high benefit that the golf industry generates for Canadian society.
This Economic Impact of Golf in Canada study was conducted by Strategic Networks Group, the same research firm who did our 2009 study; and is based upon 2013 golf data derived from two surveys: a golfer survey of 15,000 and a golf course operator survey of 300.
As expected, some of the measurable economic indicators are trending up and some are down. Overall, the direct Gross Domestic Product by Canadian golf is up to $14 billion, and when including golf’s economic spin-off to related industries the total Gross Production is $36.8 billion.
Golf remains the #1 participation sport in Canada and that golf participation rate also remains #1 of all countries in the world. This exceptional popularity of our sport then drives the large economic impact you’ll see in the Study, to the point where Canadian golf generates more revenue than all other participation sports and recreation facilities combined. To view the report, please click here.
NAGA has met with a number of Members of Parliament (MPs) over the past several months who have indicated that they are interested in sending letters in support of the association to the Minister of Finance. In order to make this process as straight forward as possible, NAGA has taken the liberty of formatting a letter that can be printed out and personalized by any MP interested in reaching out to the Minister of Finance to request tax fairness for Canada’s golf industry.
English letter of support
The Hon. Joe Oliver, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Finance
90 Elgin Street
I am writing to express my support for a recommendation from the National Allied Golf Associations (NAGA) concerning an issue that is important to many small businesses in my riding.
NAGA informed me that due to a more than 40-year-old tax reform, Canadian businesses are unable to claim expenses when meeting with clients on golf courses. The golf industry is singled out in the Income Tax Act due to a policy change made in 1971, since which time the industry has changed dramatically in Canada. Businesses of all kinds in Canada are able to claim client entertainment expenses in many other areas, such as sporting events, concerts, and other performances. The golf industry should be treated in the same manner as the other entertainment industries with which it competes every day. Though NAGA has been talking about this issue for many years, the industry has been aware of the government’s fiscal position in recent years. With the budget returning to balance, now is the time to restore tax fairness for Canadian golf.
The golf industry is an important one in my riding, employing hundreds of people. Many of their employees are students earning money to pay for their education. There are more than 2,300 golf courses across Canada and they are forced to compete against other entertainment industries where 50 per cent of expenses incurred are deductible from corporate income. Golf is one of the most valuable ways to establish and maintain business relationships. It is much more effective than, for example, hockey games, which qualify for a 50 per cent deduction.
I fully support NAGA’s campaign for tax fairness for Canada’s golf industry and hope you will consider eliminating the exclusion of golf in section 18.1.l of the Income Tax Act in the 2015 budget. It is important to note that the industry is not advocating for deductibility for private club dues or initiation fees, only green fee and cart rentals when businesses entertain their clients at golf courses. The vast majority of Canada’s more than 2,300 golf courses are small businesses. What they are requesting is nothing more than a level playing field with other industries with which they compete. For more details about NAGA’s recommendation or to discuss the issue in greater detail, I would encourage you to contact Jeff Calderwood, NAGA’s Former Chair, at NAGA@impactcanada.com.
I thank you for your attention to this important matter.
French letter of support
L’honorable Joe Oliver, C.P. député
Ministre des Finances
Cabinet du ministre
Ministère des Finances du Canada
140, rue O’Connor
Ottawa, Ontario (K1A 0G5)
Monsieur le Ministre,
Sujet : Déductibilité des dépenses de golf
Cher monsieur le Ministre,
Je vous écris pour vous exprimer mon soutien à l’Alliance nationale des associations de golf (ANAG) concernant une question qui est importante pour beaucoup de petites et moyennes entreprises dans ma circonscription.
L’ANAG m’informe qu’en raison d’une réforme de la Loi de l’impôt sur le revenu qui date de plus de 40 ans, les entreprises canadiennes ne peuvent pas réclamer les dépenses relatives au divertissement des clients sur les terrains de golf. L’industrie de golf fait exception dans la Loi de l’impôt sur le revenu en raison d’un changement de politique datant de 1971. Des entreprises de toutes sortes au Canada ont droit de réclamer les frais de divertissement de leurs clients dans beaucoup d’autres secteurs, tels que les événements sportifs, les concerts et autres événements. L’industrie du golf devrait être traitée de la même manière que les autres industries de divertissement avec lesquelles elle est en concurrence quotidiennement. Bien que NAGA parle de cet enjeu depuis plusieurs années, l’industrie est consciente de la situation des finances publiques au pays. Cependant, avec le retour à l’équilibre budgétaire, il est maintenant temps de rétablir l’équité fiscale pour l’industrie du golf au Canada.
L’industrie du golf est importante dans ma circonscription, employant des centaines de personnes. Bon nombre de leurs employés sont des étudiants gagnant de l’argent pour payer leurs études. On compte 2 300 terrains de golf dans l’ensemble du Canada, forcés de concurrencer avec d’autres industries de divertissement qui ont le droit de déduire 50 pour cent des dépenses encourues, du revenu imposable de l’entreprise. Jouer au golf est l’une des meilleures façons d’établir et de maintenir des relations d’affaires. Les parties de golf sont beaucoup plus efficaces que les joutes de hockey, par exemple, qui profitent de la déduction de 50 pour cent que nous demandons.
J’appuie pleinement la campagne de l’ANAG pour l’équité fiscale dans l’industrie du golf au Canada. J’espère que vous considérerez modifier l’article 18.1.1 de la Loi de l’impôt sur le revenu dans le budget 2015. Il est important de noter que l’industrie ne préconise pas la déductibilité des cotisations à un club privé ou à des frais d’initiation, seulement les frais d’entrée et de location de voiturettes pour les clients corporatifs. La grande majorité des 2 300 terrains de golf sont exploités par des propriétaires de petites et moyennes entreprises. Ce qu’ils demandent n’est rien de plus que d’être au même niveau de concurrence que les autres industries. Pour plus de détails sur la recommandation de l’ANAG ou pour en discuter davantage, je vous encourage à communiquer avec Jeff Calderwood, ancien président de l’ANAG, au NAGA@impactcanada.com.
Je vous remercie de l’attention particulière que vous accordez à cette question importante.
Veuillez agréer, monsieur le Ministre, l’expression de mes sentiments les meilleurs.
NOM DU DÉPUTÉ
NAGA is pleased to release its first ever annual review document which highlights the advocacy activity the association has accomplished over the past 12 months. Please click here to learn more!
The National Allied Golf Associations (NAGA) have released a Canadian Golf Consumer Behaviour Study aimed at helping the Canadian golf industry to better understand the current state of golf in Canada as well as factors that influence the behaviour of consumers as they relate to golf.
The purpose of conducting the Canadian Golf Consumer Behaviour Study was to gather insights and intelligence that can enable NAGA (comprised of the National Golf Course Owners Association Canada, the PGA of Canada, the Canadian Society of Club Managers, the Canadian Golf Industry Association, the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association and Golf Canada) as well as the Canadian golf industry to better understand consumer behaviour characteristics in Canadian golf; uncover actions which offer an opportunity to sustain the game in Canada; and improve on factors that impact consumer behaviour as it relates to golf in Canada.
The Study was introduced via a media conference which can be seen in its entirety on NAGA’s YouTube page (click here). The media conference was highly watched, and articles on the Study’s findings were released in multiple outlets including the Globe & Mail (click here), TSN (click here), the Hamilton Spectator (click here), and the Ottawa Citizen (click here).
NAGA-Ontario recently hosted a breakfast event at Queen’s Park to meet with Members of Provincial Parliament (MPP) and discuss issues relevant to the province’s golf industry. 16 MPPs from different parties across the province attended the breakfast, and many commented that they are interested in golf related issues due to the fact that they have one or more golf courses in their riding. To learn more about this event, specifically the issues which were discussed, click Queen’s Park Update piece.
Every year, the federal government encourages Canadians across the country to submit pre-budget recommendations to be reviewed by the Standing Committee on Finance. NAGA took this opportunity to advise the government on the impact Canada’s golf industry has on the economy and on job creation. NAGA specifically recommended that the government correct the 40-year-old inequity in the Income Tax Act in order to help spur jobs and growth not only in the golf industry but across many sectors at a negligible cost to the federal government.
You can find a link to NAGA’s pre-budget submission here: 2012 Pre-Budget NAGA.
Earlier this month, NAGA participated in a fundraiser hosted by Mr. Peter Stoffer, MP entitled the “Stoffer Olympiad” which featured a number of sports activities in his Parliament Hill office in Ottawa. MPs and staffers attended the event, and each participant paid $10 to do the sports circuit, and all of that money will be going towards Canada’s Olympic athletes for this summer’s London games. The event was a lot of fun, and was filmed by “This Hour Has 22 Minutes”, a highly watched comedy news program that airs nationally (click here to view the segment). The event was also featured in MacLean’s magazine (click here to read the article). NAGA donated a small putting green and a fun “Silence Please” sign, and all the participants really enjoyed it. The event offered a great chance to raise the profile of golf, and NAGA representatives handed out information cards to all attendees explaining how golf is returning to the Olympics in 2016 and providing information on NAGA and golf’s impact on the Canadian economy.
NAGA representatives also used the event to meet with the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State for Sport. It was a great opportunity to touch base on how things are going for the association. There was also an opportunity to personally thank Mr. Stoffer for appearing on Power & Politics where he spoke on the need to establish tax fairness for Canada’s golf industry, and he advised that he would continue to stand up for NAGA whenever possible.
The National Allied Golf Associations (NAGA) is thrilled to announce the introduction of legislation designed to correct an unfair and outdated tax policy that hurts golf businesses. The bill, C-397, was introduced on February 16 by Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca MP Randall Garrison and is entitled “An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (golfing expenses)”.
Due to a 1971 tax reform, the Canada Revenue Agency does not currently allow deductions for expenses incurred by business people entertaining clients at golf courses. Canada’s golf courses, most of which are small business operators, are forced to compete on an uneven playing field for entertainment dollars. Over time, the unfairness of this discrimination against the golf industry has become more and more significant. Bill C-397 rights this wrong and provides greater tax fairness for Canada’s golf industry. Mr. Garrison has been a member of the Federal Government’s All Party Golf Caucus since the fall of 2011, and this bill is a great indicator on the Caucus’ dedication to Canada’s golf industry.
Local golf industry professionals and politicians formally recognized Mr. Garrison’s bill with a luncheon on February 17 at Olympic View Golf Club, a golf facility in Victoria, BC. Attending NAGA representatives enthusiastically showcased their support for Mr. Garrison’s initiative, which is an important step in establishing greater tax fairness for Canada’s golf industry.
MP Randall Garrison and Jeff Calderwood, former NAGA Chair and current Executive Director of the National Golf Course Owners Association
NAGA was featured on the February 12th version of CBC’s flagship news broadcast, The National. In an in-depth clip, Jeff Calderwood is interviewed on the implications of NAGA’s tax policy position, as well as a local course owner and the Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty.
Click here to watch the clip!
NAGA is featured in the current issue of Canadian Business Magazine, a publication that prides itself on delivering relevant commentary on the fast-moving stories and individuals that drive the business sector today. The article features interviews with current NAGA Chair Gary Bernard and NDP Golf Caucus Chair, Mr. Peter Stoffer! Please click here to read it!
NAGA is featured in this week’s issue of The Economist, one of the most highly regarded international publications in the world. The article features interviews by two NAGA members, and explains in depth the current tax legislation issues faced by Canada’s golf industry. Please click here to read it.
NAGA needs your help to reach out to your local MP this month to bring the message to them where it counts most – directly in their own constituency. Please click Advocacy Kit NAGA 2012 (English) or French Advocacy Kit NAGA 2012 (French) to download NAGA’s 2012 Grassroots Advocacy kit!
On January 3rd, 2012 NAGA was featured in The Wall Street Journal, one of the most widely read newspapers in the world. The Wall Street Journal is read by an estimated 2 million readers each day, and will undoubtedly increase awareness of NAGA and bring attention to the current 40-year-old inequity in the tax system. Click here to read it.
The National Allied Golf Associations (NAGA) brought golf industry representatives from across the country to Parliament Hill in order to comment on Minister Flaherty’s recent Budget and to advocate for tax fairness for the game of golf, Canada’s most popular sport. NAGA held the industry’s first federal golf awareness day to underscore the importance of the sport for the health of Canadians, and the significance of the industry for the Canadian economy
National Golf Industry Awareness Days, June 6th – June 7th, 2011
The British Columbia Allied Golf Association (BCAGA) kicked off the golf season with a visit to the British Columbia Legislature on May 18th. This was BCAGA’s first-ever lobby day and the visit was focused on providing Members of the Legislative Assembly with a full introduction to the industry-side of British Columbia’s most popular sport: its size and scope, its charitable and youth involvement, its sound environmental practices, and the numerous health, social, and economic benefits the sport provides.
British Columbia Golf Awareness Day May 18th, 2011
The Manitoba branch of the National Allied Golf Associations (NAGA) brought local golf industry representatives to the provincial legislature to increase awareness of golf as a major driver of Manitoba’s provincial economy and a vital way by which Manitobans stay fit, get healthy and have fun. This year marked the first ever coordinated government advocacy effort put forth by local Manitoba golf industry representatives, and the events that took place provided an excellent opportunity to speak to local government decision makers about issues that are of concern to the industry.
Manitoba Golf Awareness Day May 3rd-4th, 2011
The Ontario Allied Golf Association (OAGA) kicked off the golf season with a visit to Queen’s Park on April 20th. This was OAGA’s first-ever full lobby day at Queen’s Park, so the visit was designed to give MPPs and their staff a proper introduction to the golf Industry in Ontario. The day emphasized the size and scope of golf in Ontario- it’s the most popular sport, contributing about 1% of the province’s GDP – and also underlined the responsible role that golf plays in protecting Ontario’s environment and working to make Ontario a better place.
Ontario Golf Awareness Day, April 20th, 2011
The Alberta branch of the National Allied Golf Associations (NAGA) brought local golf industry representatives to the provincial legislature to increase awareness of golf as a major driver of Alberta’s local economy and a vital way by which Albertans stay fit, get healthy and have fun. This year marked the first ever coordinated government advocacy effort put forth by local Alberta golf industry representatives, and the events that took place provided an excellent opportunity to speak to local government decision makers about issues that are of concern to the industry.
Alberta Golf Awareness Day April 19th, 2011
On April 5th, 2011, the Quebec Chapter of the National Allied Golf Association (NAGA Quebec) brought Quebec golf representatives to the National Assembly to increase awareness of golf as a major driver of our economy and a vital way by which one in seven Quebecers stay fi t, get healthy, and have fun.
Quebec Golf Awareness Day Quebec City April 5th, 2011
Le 5 avril 2011, la Section Québec de l’Alliance nationale des associations de golf (NAGA Québec) a réuni les représentants de l’industrie du golf à Québec à l’Assemblée nationale dans le but de les sensibiliser davantage au fait que le golf engendre une retombée importante sur notre économie et qu’un québécois sur sept le pratique pour se tenir en forme, se maintenir en santé et avoir du plaisir.
Journée de sensibilisation au golf au Québec Le 5 avril, 2011
The Prince Edward Island branch of the National Allied Golf Associations (NAGA) brought local golf industry representatives to Province House to increase awareness of golf as a major driver of PEI’s local economy and a vital way by which one in five Islanders stay fit, get healthy and have fun. This year marked the first ever coordinated government advocacy effort put forth by local PEI golf industry representatives, and the events that took place provided an excellent opportunity to speak to local government decision makers about issues that are of concern to the industry.
PEI Golf Awareness Day April 5th-6th, 2011
NAGA is launching a Canada-wide campaign aimed at increasing awareness of golf as a key driver of our economy, a steward of our environment, and a vital way in which millions of Canadians stay fit and healthy every year.
Canada’s golf industry represents more than $11 billion in economy activity across Canada every single year. NAGA members and their affiliates employ more than 340 000 Canadians in every region of the country. Charitable donations from the industry approach a half billion dollars per year, and the golf industry contributes more than $3 billion per year in tax revenue to governments across Canada.