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Coquitlam to cancel 30,000 recreation passes, and credit users

Changes are coming this year to Coquitlam's recreation passes and memberships.
The city of Coquitlam plans to cancel the 30,000 existing unexpired recreation passes and memberships — now on hold during the pandemic — and place the credit value on users’ accounts, in the new PerfectMind registration system, later this year.

If you hold a recreation pass or membership to swim, skate and workout at a Coquitlam civic facility, you’ll be getting a credit later this year.

The city plans to cancel 30,000 existing unexpired rec cards — now on hold due to the pandemic — and place the credit value on users’ accounts.

Pass holders and members can put the credit on a new pass or membership, once the recreation centres are fully re-opened to the public.

The move is because of a change-over in the city’s registration system, CLASS, which was replaced last March with the PerfectMind software.

Still, it’s not the only update coming for rec complex users.

Monday, council-in-committee heard how the One Pass and Get Connected, Get Active (GCGA) programs will also be overhauled in an attempt to get more people in the civic pools, arenas and weight rooms, and get healthier.

Specifically, the One Pass will no longer have the 120-day and 50-visit options as they are the least popular picks, according to a city report.

Rather, pass holders will be able to chose how many visits they want, with a minimum commitment, and they won’t be charged for cancellation.

With the improvements, staff believe the One Pass revenues for the municipality will return to 2019 levels by 75% in 2022, and 100% by 2023.

As well, the city plans to retool the GCGA program to make it cheaper and simpler for people in need to sign on.

The program, which is open to Coquitlam residents earning less than low income cut-off (LICO) set by Statistics Canada, will soon allow more ways to verify income and will have a bigger list of agencies that can refer clients.

The city will also cut the number of supporting documents needed for the application process, and reduce the turnaround time for approvals.

And, instead of Option A (50 drop-in admissions at no charge) or Option B (an annual One Pass for $10), the city will offer 50 drop-in visits at no cost plus a $225 credit toward admission, passes or programs.

The revision to the GCGA will make the low-income program “one of the most generous in the region,” wrote Don Luymes, Coquitlam’s general manager of parks, recreation, culture and facilities, in his April 1 report.

The One Pass and GCGA memberships were suspended last March when the indoor recreation centres closed, after the B.C. government declared the health emergency; the new passes will be available when the centres re-open.

Since last summer, Coquitlam rec centres have run at reduced service levels, with small drop-in fees: $1 for kids, $2 for adults and $5 for families.

Jennifer Keefe, manager of community recreation and culture services, told the committee that the program updates were reviewed by the BC Recreation and Parks Association, follow best practices from other municipalities around the province and are in line with what the YMCA has to offer.

Coun. Dennis Marsden said the new information needs to reach School District 43 and medical doctors, to encourage healthy living in Coquitlam.