B.C. School Sports offered their response after some big news was revealed Thursday, two days ahead of Saturday's pivotal AGM vote. (Photo property of Varsity Letters 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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B.C. School Sports responds to criticism following BC Teachers Federation issue with governance vote fast approaching!

B.C. School Sports was contacted earlier today by Varsity Letters regarding issues stemming from the BCTF and its denial of communication and involvement as one of 10 key stakeholder organizations which would occupy voting seats within the proposed governance’s 54-member legislative assembly.

In advance of Saturday’s AGM in which its new governance proposal will be voted on, B.C. School Sports’ Board of Directors responded to our request with the following statement:

Earlier today an article was posted online about the BCSS Governance Proposal and the BC Teachers Federation (BCTF), containing an excerpt from an e-mail 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 10 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.

We’ve also got the response from the other side.

B.C. Secondary Schools Rugby Union commissioner Walter van Halst spoke to VarsityLetters.ca as well.

That story is written in a more traditional format, as much to include the bones of what is at stake pending Saturday’s final vote.

You can read it by clicking here.

If you’re reading this story or viewing these photos on any website other than one belonging to a university athletic department, it has been taken without appropriate permission. In these challenging times, true journalism will survive only through your dedicated support and loyalty. VarsityLetters.ca and all of its exclusive content has been created to serve B.C.’s high school and university sports community with hard work, integrity and respect. Feel free to drop us a line any time at howardtsumura@gmail.com.

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