It has been over one month since the global pandemic of COVID-19 was declared and as it has continued to unfold, it has become clear that it has and will continue to affect our sea kayaking community and both our local and global adventure tourism industries in huge ways.
In mid March the SKGABC had to make the difficult, yet now obvious decision to cancel our Guide Exchanges and Examinations until the end of May. In doing so, we also acknowledged that we will be extending our Ongoing Training Requirements by one year and we will allow members to remain active if the effects of the pandemic have prevented them from safely recertifying their first aid requirements.
We, the Board of Directors, acknowledge how challenging these times continue to be with uncertainty on the horizon and jobs for the season remaining tenuous. We continue to meet, plan and work with the interests of our membership in mind and are open to discuss any challenges you are facing. We are all in this together as we work to grapple with the evolving situation and we invite you to show your solidarity in three ways:
- To cease all commercial paddle sports activity until guidelines are relaxed by the government and Canadian Coast Guard in order to protect the safety of our rescuers, health care system, fellow guides and guests.
“On behalf of the Canadian Coast Guard, I am asking all mariners to once again come to the aid of others by avoiding non-essential trips and consider staying close to home to save lives as our country works to reduce the spread of COVID-19.” - Assistant commissioner Roger Girouard in a statement, April 25, 2020
- To try to do everything you can to support our guiding community and/or build on some of your dry land skills. Now is a great time to consider some of the areas that you can develop your expertise in skills like navigation, tides and currents, meal planning ideas or planning a trip for the future when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Additionally if you have skills you would like to share with our community, please consider contacting us and we can help you share it with our wider membership in the form of an online course, blog post or in an online classroom setting.
- If your membership renewal is due in the next few months, we invite you to continue to support us by renewing your membership with us as we continue to work hard for you and our industry.
We will continue to post updates as they become available and are open to comments and concerns from you, our membership, as we continue to work hard to serve you during this difficult time.
You can find more information as the situation unfolds from the following resources:
BC Parks Covid-19 Response: http://bcparks.ca/covid-19/
Parks Canada Covid-19 Response: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/voyage-travel/securite-safety/covid-19-info
BC Center for Disease Control: BCCDC: http://covid-19.bccdc.ca/
Provincial Health Officer and Ministry of Health News: https://news.gov.bc.ca/ministries/health
Previous Update and Information from SKGABC – March 18, 2020: https://www.skgabc.com/news/posts/covid-19-and-to-develop-a-response-plan
We hope you are staying well, healthy and happy during these challenging times knowing that we are all in the same boat (pun intended). If you are struggling or need any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try our best to help you navigate these dynamic waters.
Your SKGABC Board of Directors
If you need a laugh, visit our most recent video featuring Carter Arlette kayaking in Isolation Sound here: https://youtu.be/hiI17eoXD9w