On November 17 and 18, 2014, twenty-nine Canadian camping leaders met for the National Leadership Forum at the Toronto Airport Holiday Inn. The participants included the CCA Board, Provincial Presidents, Executive Directors and National Committee and Task Force Chairs.
On the second day, after hearing reports from every province and committee the participants focused on three priorities: marketing, education and lobbying.
Chair, Liz Kovach (Executive Director for Manitoba) with assistance from Gabrielle Raille (ICF Representative) of Quebec will form a task force of provincial representatives to develop a National Marketing Campaign. Before seeking professional input, they will begin by answering two questions:
John Savage (CCA Board Representative for New Brunswick) with assistance from Sean Day (CCA Board Representative from Quebec) is committed to hosting a Canadian Camp Directors Course in New Brunswick in the Fall of 2015 with leadership from Jane McCutcheon (former CCA Treasurer) and Jeff Bradshaw (Camp Wenonah).
Currently, Mark Diamond (Director of Camp Manitou, Ontario) is the Chair of the CCA Lobbying Committee, which was established in the Spring of 2014 to address pending federal legislation affecting camps. Jill Dundas (CCA President) and Jonathan Nyquist (CCA Board Representative for Ontario) are members. The intention is to expand the committee to include a representative from every province to act as a watch dog for pending legislation affecting their camps and disseminate relevant information to their camps.
Earlier efforts, which were focused on Transport Canada legislation, were successful in negotiating a camp-specific course for camp boat drivers that is less onerous than the Small Vessel Operator Proficiency. Decisions are being made on how and by whom this course will be delivered to camps for summer 2015. Work is ongoing on insurance requirements for camp boats.
Attention then focused on Foreign Workers Legislation. The hope is for current exemptions for charitable and religious camps to continue while gaining an exemption for all camps. CCA is budgeting to cover all costs of lobbying on national legislation pertaining to camps.
After identifying the awareness of new legislation and government lobbying as priorities at the November 2013 National Leadership Forum, the CCA pleased to announce that it has:
At a recent meeting in Edmonton, the CCA Board moved to financially support Ontario’s initiative to lobby the federal government on current and future Transport Canada Regulations, which are having and will have a serious, negative impact on many Canadian camps. The Ontario Camps Association hired Global Public Affairs Inc. to schedule meetings on April 22, 2013 of three OCA representatives with MP David Tilson; MP Larry Miller, Chair of the House Transport Committee; the Political Staff in the Ministry of Transport and the Chief of Staff to the Minister of Small Business and Tourism.
The federal legislation applies to all camps that use motorized boats over 9.9 HP for any reason but it is particularly demanding for camps that are accessed by water or regularly transport more than 6 passengers.
Current legislation requires the registration of every motorized vessel over 9.9 HP as a Small Commercial Vessel (SCV). The onerous registration paperwork can take up to six months. Registered boats require specific equipment (flares, lifejackets (as opposed to PFDs), communication devices etc).
Small Vessel Operator Proficiency (SVOP) and Small Non-Pleasure Vessel Basic Safety (MED A3) are now required for operators carrying more than six passengers or operators of workboats greater than 8 metres in length. These qualifications require several days to complete at a cost per individual of between $500 and $1000.
By 2014, Small Vessel Marine Insurance is anticipated at a rate of $250,000 liability insurance per seat for each motorized passenger-carrying vessel. This coverage is separate and distinct from other general liability insurance. Nancy Brown, broker for the CCA Insurance Progam, is working with the OCA representatives on this aspect of the anticipated legislation.
There is mounting evidence that government legislation has been and will continue to be a grave concern for camp operators. CCA, recognizing the need and advantages of being proactive, has added lobbying to the top of the agenda for the National Leadership Forum (NLF) this November. At the NLF, the CCA Board, Provincial Presidents and Executive Directors will consider the viability of retaining a lobbyist to keep camp leaders aware of pending legislation that will affect the camping industry. A national committee dedicated to monitoring legislation with input from a professional lobbyist would enable us to be proactive.
Today we are doing our best to react to Transport Canada regulations. Camp owners in Ontario have made individual contributions to add to the financial commitment from OCA and CCA. The initial costs are estimated between forty and sixty thousand dollars. Financial support from any camp across the country directed to the OCA Executive Director, Heather Heagle, would be most welcomed.
This is a national issue. We need to know what camps in what provinces are being affected negatively by the Transport Canada Commercial boating regulations. We would like to hear your stories. How are the regulations affecting you now? What has been your experience with Transport Canada or other enforcement officers? How will the regulations affect you? Please contact Mark Diamond (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your stories.
Right now, camps in Ontario that depend on water transportation are bracing for a fight with the Federal Government to change new legislation that could put them out of business. The Ontario Camps Association is taking on the job, but the Transportation Canada Shipping Act regulations apply across the country.
Knowing the magnitude of the camping industry is vital to lobbying governments. The next issue could affect your camp!
Please join the seventy-five camps that took five minutes to complete this brief and confidential Business Survey to enable us to compile the statistics that are essential if we hope to be effective with current and future conversations with all levels of government.
We need to hear from the other 725 plus camps across the country for a meaningful result. Please click on the links below: