Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Photo: Malin Jordan)

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Photo: Malin Jordan)

Governance vote for B.C. high school sports ‘has lost all credibility’: rugby commissioner

Game changing governance proposal to be voted on May 1

The commissioner for boys high school rugby says B.C. School Sports (BCSS) voting process to change the governance model of high schools sports has lost all credibility.

Commissioner Walter van Halst, also a teacher at Lord Tweedsmuir, told the Cloverdale Reporter via email he’s shocked the BCSS has floated the proposal, complete with a list of stakeholder groups that will be a part of a new “legislative assembly”, without consulting all of those groups. He said he found out at least one group—the B.C. Teachers Federation—wasn’t consulted about being a part of the new governance model.

“When 460 Member Schools in this province are presented with a document to vote on, which claims their union is part of a new system for running BC School Sports, and now we find out during early voting itself that union wasn’t even consulted, then this process has lost all credibility.”

According to the BCSS document, 10 stakeholder groups would have voting reps in the 55-member legislative assembly, which each group would appoint themselves.

SEE ALSO: Farhan Lalji chats about the new B.C. high school sports governance proposal

SEE ALSO: Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

“There are 10 stakeholder groups which we have all been told will be part of the new system,” said van Halst, “and we don’t even know how many of them are willing to take part.”

In an email from the BCTF forwarded to the Reporter, executive director Amber Mitchell wrote, “At this time I can confirm for you that the BCTF has not been involved or received communication from BCSS regarding their governance model proposal.”

Mitchell wrote the BCTF has now reached out to BCSS in an effort to have “further discussion” about being a part of the new model, should it pass at the AGM.

“The BCTF has a quite specific process for approval of any representation requests of this kind and that would need to be undertaken prior to any agreement of Federation participation in representation.”

Rick Thiessen, president of the BCSS board of directors was unable to chat to the Reporter as he was teaching today, but he did forward a statement from the BCSS board of directors. (Please see full statement below.)

“BCSS wishes to clarify that the governance proposal was always premised around finding the ideal structure that best supported the sustainability and growth of school sport,” the statement says. “ The result was a proposal that included a seat on the Legislative Assembly for ten partner organizations, from education, sport, and government sectors.

“An invitation for the BCTF to name a Legislative Assembly member is already prepared, should governance pass so they can begin their process. Just as invitations are prepared for all other stakeholder groups, who as a result of our current relationships have varying levels of knowledge of the proposal.”

Van Halst said because advance voting has already begun, the voting process has been tainted. “The package they are voting on isn’t even real because at least one of the groups listed as a stakeholder hasn’t even been invited to participate.”

He thinks their is a great injustice taking place, whether the proposal passes or not.

“We have 20 member sports, run by volunteers who have invested enormous amounts of time, passion and energy in their respective sports, and they were not invited to be a part of this new legislative assembly,” van Halst said. “This, despite all of their years of service and dedication to our respective sports.”

The AGM takes place May 1.

BCSS STATEMENT

Full Statement from BCSS board of directors dated April 29:

Earlier today an article was posted online about the BCSS Governance Proposal and the BC Teachers Federation (BCTF), containing an excerpt from an email from Ms. Amber Mitchell, the Executive Director of the BCTF noting that ‘the BCTF has not been involved or received communication from BCSS regarding their governance model proposal.’

BCSS wishes to clarify that the governance proposal was always premised around finding the ideal structure that best supported the sustainability and growth of school sport. The result was a proposal that included a seat on the Legislative Assembly for ten partner organizations, from education, sport and government sectors. BCSS already has strong relationships with many of these organizations and hopes to formalize that connection through this process, while others like the BCTF is an organization which we hope through this new governance model would open new dialogue and relations. BCSS also acknowledges that teacher-coaches do so as volunteers, not as part of their teaching duties, but felt that having a BCTF representative would be positive for both parties.

BCSS is aware that there is a process the BCTF leadership would undertake to approve sending a delegate to our meetings. An invitation for the BCTF to name a Legislative Assembly member is already prepared, should governance pass so they can begin their process. Just as invitations are prepared for all other stakeholder groups, who as a result of our current relationships have varying levels of knowledge of the proposal. We expect that most, if not all, these organizations will see the value in being part of the leadership voice around interschool athletics and choose to participate. While ideally, we would like all partner organizations at every meeting, BCSS has stated that there will likely be some meetings where not all partners are represented. This is why 81% of the voters in the proposed Legislative Assembly come from BCSS Zones, the Board of Directors, and Committee Chairs, all of which will come from schools.

Questioning the validity of votes cast at this point discounts the time and effort that our member schools have taken in understanding the entirety of the proposal and what it means for the future of school sport in BC.

At no point over the past 15 months has the Board or staff tried to deceive or mislead the membership as to the intent of the proposal. We believe the membership will understand the intention in which this proposal has been submitted, and are confident that those partners named, will indeed be valued members of the school sport discussion moving forward.

– BCSS Board of Directors



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

High School Sports

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Kentucky has more bourbon than people

Your morning start for Thursday, May 6, 2021

Fun in Penticton is being promoted through banners going up along Main and Westminster. (Suzanne White Western News)
Banners go up in downtown celebrating fun in Penticton

From beach or biking time to dining or shopping, the banners promote things to do

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
57 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Thirty people in the region are in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care

Victory Church homeless shelter had the highest calls for police service above everywhere else, at 290 calls for service, in the first three months of the year. (Jesse Day Western News)
UPDATE: Human error doubled data about calls for police to Penticton’s homeless shelters

Police have now partnered with Interior Health to have a nurse come with them to calls

(File photo)
Penticton, Summerland RCMP having success with online crime reporting

They have also added new crimes that can be reported online

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O���Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Interior Health locks out Kelowna martial arts gym following COVID violations

Actions were taken after all other steps to gain compliance were exhausted, says health authority

A man who allegedly spat at and yelled racial slurs at an Asian family was arrested for hate-motivated assault Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
Arrest made after man spits, yells anti-Asian racial slurs at Victoria mom and kids

The man was arrested for hate-motivated assault near Quadra Elementary School Tuesday

A lady wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada may find it challenging to reach herd immunity from COVID-19, experts say

Level of immunity among the population changes with the variants, especially the more transmissible strains

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

(Kingfisher Boats photo)
In the market for a boat in the North Okanagan? Be prepared to wait

Vernon’s Kingfisher Boats is out of 2021 models, with many 2022 models already pre-sold

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

Most Read