Government Relations

Click on the links below to find out more information on items related to Government regulations and/or issues.

Archives

Iprodione Turf Uses Cancelled
Minimum Wage Increased on June 1st 
WIN! Another Liquor Licensing Policy Change
Integrated Pest Management: Is your course registered?
IPM Regulation: Update on inspection activities and reminder of changes
PST Phase out on Electricity
Message to Unlicensed Golf Courses from the Ministry of Environment
Minimum Wage Increase as of September 15th
Liquor Licensing Policy Change
Property Tax Assessment Project Phase 1
New Safety Certification Program Available for Small Tourism & Hospitality Employers
How-to-Guide for Reporting Pesticide Product Usage

Iprodione Turf Uses Cancelled

During a multi-stakeholder teleconference call hosted by Health Canada on June 20, 2018, the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) announced that all turf uses of the popular golf course fungicide active ingredient, Iprodione (Rovral, Quali-Pro, Trilogy) are cancelled.

Citing safety risks to food and drinking water, manufacturers will have 24 months to implement label changes.  At this time, official end use of Iprodione on turf is June 21, 2021 however PMRA representative Lynn Lee cautioned another special review of the active ingredient was just initiated to look at remaining permissible uses and potentially changes to the timeline for discontinued uses.

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Minimum Wage Increased on June 1st

BC minimum wages increased as of June 1st for all staff including liquor servers. New general minimum wage rate is now $12.65/hour and $11.40 for liquor servers. For more information, please click here.

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WIN!
Another Liquor Licensing Policy Change

Earlier this year, it was brought to my attention that golf courses had a need and desire to be able to sell alcoholic beverages to golfers heading to the course when the food and beverage operation may be closed (reduced hours/seasonal). Bert Hick of Rising Tide Liquor Consultants was tasked to approach the staff at the BC Liquor Branch both in policy and licensing as to how to handle structural change applications to permit this outcome.

We are pleased to report that we have had success on this matter but, as usual with government, there is a process that has to be followed. 

The following are the elements of what the Branch requires:

  • A golf course wanting to license their pro shop would need to submit a structural change application for their Liquor Primary license to have the pro shop added in as an additional licensed area under the Liquor Primary License.
  • The application would require the preparation and the submission of a floor plan of the pro shop, drawn to scale; showing the furniture and display layout, the sales counter and would need to show where the liquor sale and service would occur from. A golf course, to keep it reasonable, could sell the liquor from behind the existing sales counter and have a small liquor inventory behind the counter.
  • The floor plan would have to be submitted to the local government for an occupancy load calculation as to how many persons could, from a safety perspective, be inside the pro shop. If the golf course is increasing their overall liquor primary capacity as a result of the change then approval for the increase would be required by the local government (see below on a possible strategy to avoid this requirement).
  • The application along with the floor plan of the pro shop and the application fee is submitted to the Liquor Branch. The Branch will give Approval in Principal and then the area Liquor Inspector will attend at the site to take pictures, red line the floor plan, and meet with the manager of the golf course. The Branch will then issue a new license and updated floor plan.
Other Considerations
  • All staff in the pro shop that would be serving liquor would be required to take the Serving It Right course. 
  • Liquor moderation tent cards will need to be displayed in a prominent location.
  • Sale of liquor in the pro shop could occur when other service points are either operating or closed (beverage carts, lounge/restaurant/bar/take-out window).
Approval from Local Government Re: Increased Capacity

To avoid having to obtain an approval from the local government for an increase in capacity as referred to above; and in order to save costs and time, the following is a suggested strategy.

Once the floor plan for the pro shop has the occupant load calculations completed with a conservative number, at the time of the structural change application, a corresponding decrease in the liquor primary capacity for the lounge in the club house could be submitted (i.e. 10-15 person reduction for the liquor primary lounge with a corresponding 10 -15 increase in the pro shop).  Therefore, there is no net increase in liquor primary capacity and no local government approval would be required for this non-increase in capacity. Depending on the floor plan layout of the pro shop/bar area, the capacity could possibly be the same but it would simply be adding another licensed area.

Conclusion

The advantage of this opportunity is a cost savings for golf courses to be able to provide liquor service in the off-season when kiosks, take out windows, beverage carts and the main bar are not operating. While there is some cost involved, the long term benefits in terms of cost-saving and convenience to the clientele of the golf course will be realized.  It should result in increased sales due to this convenience aspect.

If you require assistance with these applications, Rising Tide Consultants has offered to provide a NGCOA Canada member discount for their sevices.

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Integrated Pest Management: Is Your Course Registered?

IPM rules changed in British Columbia in July 2016. One rule change pertained to the requirement for golf facilities that spray pesticides to have a pesticide user license and report annually on usage levels (staffer must still have their own Pesticide Applicator Certificate). The Ministry of Environment has contacted the Environmental Advocacy Committee of the Allied Golf Association of BC, of which the NGCOA Canada is a member, with a list of compliant golf courses. There are dozens of golf courses not on this list. If you are unsure if you registered your course for using pesticides back in 2016, please contact Erica Beck at 866-626-4262 extension 40 or email ebeck@ngcoa.ca.

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IPM Regulation: Update on inspection activities and reminder of changes

In December 2017 the BC Ministry of Environment mailed out letters reminding BC golf courses of the amendments to the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Regulation that took effect on July 1, 2016. Please click here to view the letter that was mailed out in December with reminders of the changes that occurred in 2016 and what is needed to ensure your course is compliant.

This past July 2017 Ministry inspectors commenced an audit of BC golf courses to ensure compliance and will be continuing on-site inspections in 2018. 

More info is also available through 'The Rules Have Changed' document.

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PST Phase out on Electricity

Effective January 1, 2018 the PST rate on electricity drops to 3.5% and will be fully exempt as of April 1, 2019. See page 5 of the PST Bulletin 203. Click here to view the bulletin online.

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Message to Unlicensed Golf Courses from the Ministry of Environment

As of July 1, 2016, all British Columbia golf courses are required to obtain a Pesticide User's Licence in order to legally apply pesticides. To assist golf courses with the compliance process, Conrad Berube, MOE Officer for Vancouver Island, has provided the following instructions and weblinks. Please click here.

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Minimum Wage Increase
September 15th

BC minimum wages increase as of September 15 by $0.50 to $11.35 plus a $0.50 increase for minimum liquor server wages to $10.10 an hour. For more information, please click here.

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Liquor Licensing Policy Change
NGCOA Canada British Columbia Chapter WIN

In September, a British Columbia member brought to the NGCOA Canada's attention that their facility was deemed offside by their liquor inspector; they were given a warning and were told that a golfer was not permitted to buy an alcoholic beverage inside the clubhouse and take to the golf course as the golfer crossed the liquor red lines while doing so.

On October 4th, Erica Beck, NGCOA Canada - Regional Director participated in a phone call with Assistant Deputy Minister Douglas Scott who is responsible for the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch. During the call, the issue was addressed and an ask was made to rectify the problem our industry was experiencing and allow a customer to leave a red line area with an alcoholic beverage purchased at the club to enjoy at another licensed area.

Our voice was heard.

On January 23, 2017, this new policy will replace the previous one:  

New policy

A patron may purchase a drink in one licensed area at a golf course and take it to another service area at the golf course, as long as the patron takes a direct route between the service areas. This allows patrons to carry liquor between the licensed club house and the licensed playing area.  

Click here to download the official policy directive.   PLEASE NOTE:  Until January 23rd the current policy is still in place.  

Current policy

A patron cannot purchase a drink in one service area at a golf course and take it across an unlicensed area to another service area at the golf course.  Please remember that this applies to licensed areas only. If you have not licensed your golf course area, then a golfer may not take a beverage onto the playing field (if not licensed).  

During the call with ADM Scott, we also asked to be allowed to have putting greens and driving ranges included in the red line. We have not been given any communication that this is permitted. We will persist in lobbying government to allow all golf courses to permit their customers to consume an alcoholic beverage purchased at the club on the practice green and driving range. 

If your club has any additional concerns they wish to address please contact: Erica Beck, ebeck@ngcoa.ca, 778-726-1200.

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Property Tax Assessment Project Phase 1
Reminder we need your help

The British Columbia Chapter Advisory Board is working with Adrian Rizzo of Kent-Macpherson on an initiative that could help reduce the property tax burden of golf courses in BC.

Currently golf courses are assessed differently than all other commercial properties and as a result many golf courses are unfairly paying excessive property taxes.  The Advisory Board would like to explore having golf courses assessed in the same manner as all other commercial properties, but to do so the assistance of member courses is required. Many courses have offered their consent for Adrian and the NGCOA Canada - British Coumbia Chapter to obtain a copy of their Property Valuation Summary however more assistance is needed in our first phase of this project.

Phase 1

This first phase is to evaluate the property assessments and prepare a report for the Advisory Board on the amount of property tax each golf course may be excessively paying.

To complete analysis we require additional support from our membership. Please sign the attached form that will allow Adrian to access the Property Valuation Summary for your golf course.  All information will be kept in confidence by the Advisory Board. Please sign this form (2 page document) and email to ebeck@ngcoa.ca.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact myself or one of the Chapter Advisory Board members.  You can also contact Adrian at 1-866-763-2236 for more information.

Erica Beck, Regional Director
p. 866-626-4262 extension 40
e. ebeck@ngcoa.ca

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New Safety Certification Program Available for Small Tourism & Hospitality Employers

BC tourism and hospitality employers with fewer than 20 employees can now participate in the Certificate of Recognition Program (COR) that is specifically designed for them.

The COR Program is an occupational health and safety audit, certification and incentive program, rewarding employers that go beyond the legal requirements by taking the "best practice" approach to health and safety in the workplace. go2HR is the certifying partner that is responsible for coordinating the program and supporting participating employers in the BC tourism and hospitality industry. Participation in the COR program is voluntary and offers many benefits for employers.

SECOR offers similar benefits that large businesses enjoy, but with a slightly different process and audit tool that takes into account the size of the operation in order to increase small employers’ success. Employers who successfully achieve the SECOR certification are eligible for an annual financial incentive of 10% of their base WorkSafeBC premiums, with the minimum eligible incentive being the lesser of $500 or 50% of their actual premiums paid. Most importantly, through SECOR small employers will develop a safety management program that keeps their employees safe, helps with recruitment and retention, and minimizes the potential costs of workplace accidents and injuries.

Interested employers can learn more about SECOR and how to participate at go2hr.ca/SECOR.

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How-To Guide for Reporting Pesticide Products Usage

January 31st was the deadline to report on the quantity of pesticide products used in 2016 as per the Integrated Pest Management Regulation in BC. If you missed this deadline and need tips on how to report, please review this How-To Guide compliments of Keith Lyall, Superintendent at Sun Peaks and member of the Environment Advocacy Committee of the Allied Golf Association of BC.
 

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