Tools to help your curling club navigate a global pandemic
Curl BC has compiled a number of resources that may be helpful to curling centres and curlers during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you would like to see something added here please let us know by emailing Rebecca Connop Price at email@example.com.
Curling Centre Resources
Return to Curling Guidelines
Curl BC is working on Safe Return to Curling Guidelines. The Guidelines are being produced in consultation with the provincial health authorities and viaSport. We are also in regular communication with our member centres, Curling Canada and the other provincial and territorial curling associations as we consider what would best serve the community.
The Guidelines will focus on the processes to open safely and measures to keep people safe to avoid further outbreaks.
The Guidelines will be shared with all curling centres. Curl BC will communicate updates with member clubs in the middle of the month and the end of the month on an ongoing basis throughout this pandemic. The next update will be released on May 29.
In addition to the Guidelines, Curl BC will be providing a template action plan for your curling operation. The focus of the action plan will be on the business of curling in the time of Covid-19.
While some aspects of the Guidelines will need to include evidence-based best practices that are universal (such as frequent cleaning), we recognise that not all curling centres have the same operational structure or physical structure. Because of this, we welcome questions, comments or concerns. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Safely hold meetings
The Zoom video-conferencing platform is convenient and easy to use, and a great way to hold an AGM, regional meeting, or board meeting. The platform allows everyone who attends the meeting to be visible (video and audio), and for users to share information on screen. It can be used on any platform (laptop, PC, smartphone). Keep in mind that users of the software need to be aware of security issues and ensure not to share links to your meeting on social media. To see how Zoom works have a look at their tutorials. If anyone has any questions Kim Dennis is Curl BC’s most experienced Zoomer and will be able to answer questions. Reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Curl BC has also used GoToMeeting (similar to Zoom) and Momentum Conferencing (primarily for phone-only meetings). If you are interested in learning more about either of these please contact email@example.com.
Your AGM and the Societies Act
Not sure if you want to hold your meetings online? Or maybe your bylaws prohibit it? Speak with Melissa Sim to navigate the compliance issues that non-profit societies may face due to COVID-19. Melissa is available at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Societies Act Details
The Provincial Government has provided some information on AGMs in this link below:
As a reminder, curling clubs, as societies in BC, are governed by the Societies Act, and by the club’s bylaws. The Societies Act sets out minimum standards and guidelines for how societies in BC are organized, and how they conduct society meetings and business. If the points below are not covered in a club’s bylaws, then a club can ‘default’ to the standards set out in the Societies Act. However, if a club’s bylaws do address one or more of the points below, then the club’s bylaws take precedence over the Societies Act, and clubs must comply with their bylaws.
The parts of the Societies Act that are relevant to our current circumstances include:
Section 71 which provides that a society must have an AGM between January 1 and December 31 of each year. So, in order to comply with the current orders from the Provincial Health officer, clubs may postpone their regularly scheduled AGM until December 31, 2020. Section 71 also provides that a society may request for an extension for the AGM to be held in the following year, up to March 31. What this means is that if a club is not able to have an AGM before December 31, 2020, it may do one of the following:
- File an annual report that states that No AGM was held;
- Request an extension to have your AGM on or before March 31, 2021.
Whether you hold your AGM as regularly scheduled, or you are moving it to a later time in the year, clubs must still provide the minimum notice of AGM set out in the Societies Act or in your bylaws. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you are not able to provide the minimum notice of AGM, you can ask your club members to waive the minimum notice and agree to a shorter period of notice. Section 79 provides that club members may waive notice of a general meeting or agree to a reduced period of the notice of a general meeting. If a club member attends the AGM, whether in person or via other means, that person has effectively waived their entitlement to the minimum notice requirements set out in the Societies Act or in the club bylaws. The only exception is when a club member attends the AGM to object to not having received the minimum notice requirements and challenging the legality of the AGM.
Section 83 of the Societies Act permits a society to participate in an AGM “by telephone or other communications medium if all of the persons participating in the meeting, whether by telephone, by other communications medium or in person, are able to communicate with each other.” So, clubs can hold an AGM via web or teleconferencing, unless your bylaws specifically call for an in-person meeting only. Clubs are not obligated to facilitate the use of any communications medium – meaning, clubs are not obligated to provide phones or laptops/desktops to facilitate an AGM by teleconference or by webconference. If holding the AGM by teleconference or webconference, clubs must ensure that the votes are conducted in such a way that it is clear how members are voting. So, it may be that everyone must be on video so that the club secretary/recorder can ‘count’ votes or you’ll actually have to take a poll of everyone who is on the teleconference. A club’s bylaws may provide some direction on how votes are taken at a meeting, so you’ll have to consider that as well when thinking about holding an AGM via teleconference and/or webconference.
If you decide to hold an AGM via teleconference or webconference, the AGM must meet the quorum set out in the club bylaws. And if quorum is not set out in the bylaws, then Section 82 of the Societies Act provides that you must have 3 voting members in order to transact business at the AGM. The following would be considered business at the AGM:
- Election/Acclamation of Directors;
- Presentation and approval of financial statements for the past year;
- Presentation and approval of the budget for the upcoming year;
- Amendments/revisions/additions to the bylaws;
- Any resolutions put forward by members;
- Any other matters that would require a vote by the members.
How can my curling club help?
Curl BC has heard of a number of curling centres offering a helping hand during this crisis. Some have donated unused food and drink to food banks and others have offered their facility to community organisations who may need it for official uses (warming centre/field hospital etc). It is fantastic to see our curlers continue to be community-minded.
It’s important to note that curling centres have quite a few resources that might be useful: storage space, cooling in the event of a heat wave, and more.
Your volunteers can also be mobilised for any number of purposes as long as they are maintaining social distancing while public authorities are asking for this.
- Opportunity for Suppliers — Call to action: the province is looking for both medical and non-medical products and services to help with the response to COVID-19
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
The Federal Wage Subsidy program will allow some curling clubs with paid employees to keep paying wages despite revenue decline. Details include the following:
- The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy would apply at a rate of 75 per cent of the first $58,700 normally earned by employees – representing a benefit of up to $847 per week. The program would be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020.
- Eligible employers who suffer a drop in gross revenues of at least 30 per cent in March, April or May, when compared to the same month in 2019, would be able to access the subsidy.
- Eligible employers would include employers of all sizes and across all sectors of the economy, with the exception of public sector entities.
- For non-profit organizations and registered charities similarly affected by a loss of revenue, the government will continue to work with the sector to ensure the definition of revenue is appropriate to their circumstances. The government is also considering additional support for non-profits and charities, particularly those involved in the front line response to COVID-19. Further details will be announced in the near term.
- An eligible employer’s entitlement to this wage subsidy will be based entirely on the salary or wages actually paid to employees. All employers would be expected to at least make best efforts to top up salaries to 100% of the maximum wages covered.
Applications are now open and more information is available here: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-wage-subsidy.html
Canada’s Economic Response Plan
Canada’s Economic Response Plan includes a program that some curling centres may be eligible for called the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA). It will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced. To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019.
Business owners can apply for support from the Canada Emergency Business Account through their banks and credit unions.
More information about this program and other federal programs is available here: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html
Financial resources for BC (Courtesy of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade)
- BC COVID-19 Action Plan — $5 billion plan that includes $2.2 billion for businesses and recovery. Plan includes tax changes and additional benefits. Highlights include:
- Enhanced tax flexibility — The Province is extending tax filing and payment deadlines for the PST, the Employer Health Tax, the municipal and regional district tax, the carbon tax, the motor fuel tax, among others to September 30, 2020
- Deferral of carbon tax increase — The provincial carbon tax increase scheduled for April 1 will be delayed and reviewed by September 30
- Tax relief for Class 4, 5, 6 property classes — School tax on the business property class as well as the light- and major-industry classes will be cut in half for 2020
- Delay of new PST registration requirements — The new PST registration requirements on e-commerce and the implementation of PST on sweetened carbonated drinks will be delayed and their timing will be reviewed by September 30
- BC Emergency Benefit for Workers — Tax-free one-time payment of $1,000 to British Columbians (EI-eligible and non-EI eligible) whose ability to work has been impacted by COVID-19, to be aligned with federal government program
- Recovery Plan — $1.5 billion allocated to support long-term economic recovery, to be allocated once the pandemic has passed
- COVID-19 Leave: Changes to Employment Standard Act — Employees who are unable to work due to COVID-19 related reasons are permitted to take unpaid, job-protected leave. This is retroactive to January 27, 2020.
- Relief for BC Hydro customers — Targeted relief for small businesses that have been forced to close due to COVID-19. Eligible businesses will have their power bills waived from April to June 2020. Applications are now open. Major industries will have the opportunity to defer 50% of their payments for 3 months. Additionally, starting April 1, 2020, BC Hydro rates will be reduced by 1%.
Covid-19 Employment Law questions answered over video courtesy of Kent Employment Law: https://kentemploymentlaw.com/covid-19-qa-videos/
When something is of interest to the public, such as news of a positive case of COVID-19 at a curling event, the media (local and provincial newspapers, radio and television) could ask for comments. If this happens, please refer to Curling Canada’s COVID-19 media toolkit. Download the PDF here. Anyone with any further questions about media and communication can contact Rebecca Connop Price at email@example.com.
Opportunities for Education
Curl BC is planning a number of online educational sessions for curling centres. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a session on a topic of your choosing.
Information from past webinars:
Slides from the Gowling webinar about Financial Support for Sports Organizations on April 3 are available here: https://sites-gowlingwlg.vuturevx.com/103/5156/linked-downloads/covid-19-presentation-sports-law-(april-3–2020).pdf
Resources for Individuals
Health information for BC residents
The best source for accurate and up-to-date health information on the COVID-19 pandemic in BC is the BC Centre for Disease Control website, which has links to the press conferences held by Dr Bonnie Henry, BC’s provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, minister of health. Visit http://www.bccdc.ca/about/news-stories/stories/2020/information-on-novel-coronavirus.
The BC Ministry of Health has created some tips to help people who are struggling with their mental health during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mental Health Digital Hub: A provincial website that provides information, services and education and awareness about mental health and substance use for adults, youth and children. www.gov.bc.ca/mentalhealth
Bounce Back: A free evidence-based program designed to help youth and adults experiencing symptoms of mild to moderate depression, low mood or stress, with or without anxiety. Bounce Back® teaches effective skills to help people improve their mental health. Call toll-free: 1 866 639-0522 or visit: www.bouncebackbc.ca.
MindHealthBC: Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, Providence Health Care and community partners have created an online mental health counselling program. If you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, or other mental health or substance use challenges, please visit the website for information and recommendations for further support in Vancouver, Richmond and other coastal communities. www.mindhealthbc.ca
Cancellations and Postponements
On Mar. 12, Curl BC decided to postpone our remaining 2019-20 championship events:
- BC U18s (Parksville, Mar. 17-22) (Will not be rescheduled)
- Club Challenge, presented by Original 16 (Royal City, Mar. 26-29)
- AMJ Campbell Mixed (Abbotsford, Apr. 1-5)
Anyone with any championship event-related inquiries should contact Will Sutton at email@example.com.
On Apr. 7, Curl BC announced the cancellation of our 2020 Rockslide Summer Curling Camp scheduled for Kelowna July 2-5. Anyone with any Rockslide-related questions can contact Kim Dennis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Opportunities for Education
Curl BC is planning a number of online educational sessions for coaches, High Performance athletes and club curlers. Check back here for opportunities or email email@example.com to request a session on a topic of your choosing.
Canada Emergency Response Benefit
If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks.
Click here for more information and to apply: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html