AGA-BC Environmental Advocacy Committee Releases Funds
The first meeting of the AGA-BC Environmental Advocacy Committee took place June 24, 2013 at the University Golf Club. This committee replaced the standing Pesticide Advocacy Committee whose original purpose was to advise AGA-BC member groups on the issue of pesticide use and advocate for the continued use of federally regulated plant protection products on behalf of the BC golf industry.
The new committee’s purpose was expanded to ensure the golf industry remained involved with all environmental issues facing golf and that the industry’s record of environmental achievement and position on related issues are continuously communicated to government and the public.
Current members of the committee include:
- Keith Lyall (WCTA Past President) Committee Chair
- Trevor Smith (WCTA and AGA-BC president)
- Dean Piller (BCGSA President)
- Stephen Kerbrat (BCGSA Vice President)
- Greg Austin (BC Director, CGSA)
- Tab Buckner (STC)
- Jerry Rousseau (WCTA Executive Director)
The committee also took on the challenge of raising funds for environmental advocacy efforts and by the end of summer 2013, $46,000 was raised through our association partners. Currently, the committee is pleased to report it has approved disbursement of a portion of those funds as follows:
1) Contribution of 1/3 the cost of the golf awareness day held April 30, 2014 – approximately $8000.
2) Contribute to half the lobbyist cost which totals approximately $25,000 through December 2014.
AGA-BC has developed the ‘Golf Industry Scorecard’ for use with public and government advocacy efforts that identifies golf’s social, economic and environmental benefits. This communication tool has proven to be highly effective, as an example, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skill Training Shirley Bond recently commented during a meeting that is was one of the best presentations she had seen in her political career.
Moving forward, the focus of the lobbyist will be on two of these three pillars, environment and grow the game, while the committee continues to bring the golf industry closer to a delegated authority model or in simpler terms, self-regulation.
Creating a separate category of pesticide certificate for fine turf/golf applicators will identify golf industry personnel as exceptionally well trained in the use of federally regulated pest control products and provide both government decision-makers and the general public, the highest level of confidence in our environmental stewardship.
Keith Lyall, Committee Chair