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Province takes action

June 10, 2020

The Province has made the process for amateur sport organizations to get back to play easier by protecting organizations from COVID-19 liabilities, provided they are complying with public health orders and provincial sport guidelines.

Government has created a ministerial order that protects amateur sport organizations, their employees and volunteers from liability.

“We want to make sure children and their families can get the benefits of physical activity and get back to playing the sports they love,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “Many sports organizations are run by volunteers who need to make sure they are protected for risks related to COVID-19. This order will help cover that risk so people can safely get back to playing sports sooner in their communities.”

Curl BC CEO Scott Braley said: “We are delighted that the Government of British Columbia and viaSport have worked so swiftly to make this ministerial order a reality. The order will make it easier for our clubs to get curlers back out on the ice.”

Provincial and local sport organizations have identified challenges with obtaining adequate insurance as a result of the pandemic. Most insurance companies are not providing coverage for COVID-19 related damages, meaning many amateur sports were unable to provide sport programming during the pandemic.

The ministerial order protects amateur sport organizations and their representatives from damages resulting, directly or indirectly, from COVID-19 for amateur sports. For example, a sports organization or its representatives will not be liable for a participant in their sports program being exposed to COVID-19 as a result of participation. That liability protection would be in place as long as they follow applicable guidance, such as viaSport’s Return to Sport protocols (which are being adapted for curling by Curl BC) and public-health guidance on how to prevent the spread of the virus. This guidance includes encouraging proper handwashing, regular disinfecting, limiting shared equipment, physical distancing measures and the use of wellness questionnaires and health self-assessment tools.

“We are thrilled that sport is making its return in the province. Today’s announcement is welcome news for our partners in the amateur sport sector,” said Charlene Krepiakevich, CEO of viaSport. “This co-ordinated response to address concerns around volunteer and staff liability means that these not-for-profit organizations can focus on delivering safe, high-quality sport experiences for the people in their communities.”

To view the ministerial order, visit: http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/mo/mo/2020_m183