Welcome to Spring. It’s been chilly but new shoots are sprouting and have already blossomed in Victoria – a sign that summer is not too far off.
As President of the FMCBC, I continue my outreach work to build relations with our Indigenous neighbours. In the Victoria and Sooke areas and it is a challenge to identify lands and come to an agreement on the transfer of those lands as Treaty elements. Specifically the inclusion of Sooke Mountain Provincial Park as Public Treaty Land is a welcome development. I have had the opportunity to attend several of the recent open houses in support of the Te’mexw Treaty and wrote to the Chiefs and the Provincial Government with FMCBC’s support of this process. For more information or to view detailed maps of the Treaty Lands visit: engage.gov.bc.ca/temexw-treaty-negotiations.
I am part of the advocacy work the Outdoor Recreation Council of BC is doing. In February, along with ORC and others, I attended several meetings with provincial Ministers and Ministries advocating for more funds for trails and outdoor recreation. It is great to see some of our primary requests directly reflected in the 2023 BC Budget, for example:
• Support for routine and critical repair and maintenance of outdoor recreation facilities, including trails.
• More staff, including rangers and recreation crews, for BC Parks and Recreation Sites and Trails BC.
• Improve inclusion and accessibility in BC Parks.
• $49 million in additional funding to maintain and upgrade forest service roads.
• The single largest investment in building active transportation networks.
• $100 million for the Watershed Security Fund.
Paula McGahon, FMCBC’s Treasurer, and I attended an excellent workshop on Governance Essentials, led by Don McCreesh. I would be delighted to provide the slides to any club that’s interested. It behooves every organization to look at continuous improvement, to ask questions, and be curious about our roles. For example, how much energy and time is being devoted to a particular task? What are we bringing to the board? Are we providing good service to our member clubs? What new ideas are we bringing to the board about improving our service? What skills is our board currently lacking? These are all the questions that we, and member clubs, should be asking. For more information on this, please see my article on Governance included in this issue.
In keeping with best business practices, FMCBC has requested insurance policy assessments from four companies and is reviewing two competitive proposals. FMCBC reviews its insurance every four years. We do not anticipate major increases in our insurance premiums after last year’s substantial increase.
FMCBC is hosting an in-person AGM at the University of British Columbia campus on Saturday, October 21st, 2023. I look forward to meeting some of you and to hearing your ideas as to how we at FMCBC can work more closely with individual clubs and how we can improve our service to you.