SKGABC Advisory Statement on Providing Guiding Services During the BC Restart Plan

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SKGABC Advisory Statement on Providing Guiding Services During the BC Restart Plan
June 1, 2020
Dear Members:
The global COVID-19 pandemic has unfolded over the past several months and it has had a profound impact on the sea kayaking community and our industry; this will likely continue for the foreseeable future.
In mid-March the SKGABC Executive Board made the decision to cancel the Spring Guide Exchange and Examinations. In addition, the Directors extended Ongoing Training Requirements by one year and allowed members to remain active if the effects of the pandemic have prevented them from safely recertifying their first aid requirements. Further, the Directors supported a Virtual Guides Exchange which occured from May 25-31, 2020.
With the levelling off and decline in new COVID-19 cases and through the efforts of British Columbians to follow prevention guidelines, the Provincial Government has determined that a 3 phase opening to industry may occur through BC's Restart Plan. Additionally, BC Parks are opening in a step by step process starting with Phase 2.
Some sea kayak companies are already providing rentals, tours and courses as part of Phase 3 of the Restart Plan.
As Directors of the SKGABC we want to acknowledge the unique challenges of providing guiding services to the public during the pandemic, and recommend the following steps:
(1) Employers are required to develop a COVID-19 Safety Plan that outlines the policies, guidelines, and procedures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. All guides should be aware of the guidelines set out by their organization's Safety Plan and ensure that they remain informed of revisions.
(2) Guides should be aware of the Canadian Coast Guard and Transport Canada advisories for mariners in relation to COVID-19.
(3) Safety is an employer's and contractor's legal responsibility, therefore techniques and procedures must be used to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes following all current and future federal and provincial guidelines.
(4) Guides must use effective risk management strategies that support their own safety and the safety of their clients aligning with current provincial and federal guidelines.
(5) Returning to work is a personal decision and guides should not be pressured or compelled to provide on-the-water services where they cannot meet COVID-19 transmission prevention guidelines.
(6) Guides need to inform themselves of and respect advisories issued by local municipalities and indigenous communities.
You can find more information from the following resources:
Outdoor Council of Canada COVID-19 Guidelines:
BC’s Restart Plan:
WorkSafeBC COVID-19 information and resources:
BC Parks COVID-19 Response:
Parks Canada COVID-19 Response:
BC Center for Disease Control:
Provincial Health Officer and Ministry of Health News:
Previous Update and Information from SKGABC:
We will continue working to support our members and our industry to the greatest extent possible. Additional resources including the development of a practical COVID-19 reference tool for sea kayak guides will be forthcoming. Please do not hesitate to contact us or post questions on our Facebook page.
With care,
Your SKGABC Board of Directors