When the federal budget came down in April, I chatted here with Jeff Calderwood, CEO of the National Golf Course Owners Association of Canada, who is also spearheading efforts on behalf of the National Allied Golf Association to have golf classified as a legitimate business expense for companies entertaining clients.
As Calderwood told me when their objective wasn’t included in the budget, “We haven’t lost, we just haven’t won yet.” He also realized that Parliament could look considerably different once the current federal election ended and that will take place on Monday.
“That can be good and that can be bad. You feel like you have to take a couple of steps back and start over if you have a different party in power,” said Calderwood at the time.
“You just have to face those realities, work through it, deal with the hand you’re dealt and know that you’ve got to be persistent,” he added.
I have no doubt that Calderwood and NAGA will continue to be persistent. They have, after all, made strong efforts to get in front of MPs, finance ministers and other decision-makers over the past few years in their quest.
However, it may be more than a couple of steps back as of Monday. The cliche is that the only poll that matters is the one that comes in on voting day and there is merit to that. Several recent provincial elections put exclamation marks behind that statement.
Having said that, various polls conducted recently are showing Justin Trudeau and the Liberals apparently on course for a minority government, possibly even a majority, with the Conservatives second and NDP third, but I will stress again much can change between now and Monday evening.
The only point is that there could be a lot of new faces in the House of Commons after Monday’s vote, which means that NAGA may not have to start over, but it will have a lot more work ahead of it should the polls be correct and change is dramatic.
At that point too, you must wonder how open the newcomers will be to NAGA’s communications with them. Up until now, NAGA was optimistic about its efforts even if it wasn’t included in the budget, but that could all change with new faces in Ottawa.
That’s not a prediction, just a possibility. The dust will settle once the election is over and at that point, I’ll contact Calderwood again and have him assess the situation.