The last few weeks has seen comments in the media and online providing various interpretations of the history of the Braefoot Community Association (Braefoot) and their use of the park and the Community Center, which is different from the Recreation Centers run by Saanich. The Association would like to help provide some clarity and set the record straight, as most of this information has come from other sources.
In the 34 years since the Association built the building at Braefoot Park, Braefoot has invested more than $2M into the building and Braefoot Park by assisting in the building of the lacrosse box, the playground, and many other projects. According to the lease, Braefoot is responsible for the interior building maintenance and the associated operational costs. Meanwhile, Saanich is responsible for both the maintenance of the exterior and the major services of the center, including electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and structural repairs. The $2M figure represents more than half of the total money that has gone into the property. Braefoot is the major user of the property, with Lakehill Soccer and Saanich Lacrosse only operating for only about half of the year, making up about 2% of the revenue base for the association.
The Braefoot building is run efficiently to serve the community. Braefoot runs diverse programs for vulnerable populations. Total inclusivity has always been an essential part of Braefoot’s operations, which is reflected in the camps and programs it runs, as well as the post secondary bursaries it distributes.
The community risks losing child care programing, an adult day program for adults with developmental delays, a bursary program, before and after school care, and fully subsidized camps for families in need. Other programs that are at risk include direct subsidies for immigrant families, financial support for athletes, a nonprofit supporting the two amature sports organizations on the property, financial support for other community-minded organizations, jobs for youth, co-op and internships, community outreach support, and a building that is owned and operated by the community.
The Association has been in full compliance with the Community Charter and is willing to work with Saanich and stakeholders to find a solution so they can continue to do good work for the community.