I received an emailed note yesterday regarding my inquiries about Highlands Links, Canada’s gem in Cape Breton that was hammered by a winter storm in December. Chip Bird, a Parks Canada bureaucrat who is in charge of the finances for Cape Breton Highlands National Park, and by extension, Highlands Links, responded to my questions this way:
We began work immediately following the storm to repair areas where public safety was threatened and where there was imminent risk of further damage to the course and other assets. Having completed the assessment of damage, Parks Canada has begun repairs to the golf course . Our objective is to complete the work as soon as the weather allows and in accordance with the design and subsequent advice that we have received from Ian Andrews.
If I read that correctly, he’s not confirming a dollar figure for the repairs, only saying it will be done in the “accordance” with the direction of Ian Andrew, who has devised a plan for restoring the course. Of course there’s no reference to the overall restoration of Canada’s most highly-rated course, something that is long overdue. However, the damage to the course was so extensive, that the repairs to bunkers will encompass almost half of those on the course. So maybe we should be thanking Mother Nature on this one — apparently she got the government to move on a project they’ve been avoiding for two years.