ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE PAST 3 YEARS
#1 - I believe that one of PARCS' most significant achievements has been the major role we have played in KEEPING ZEBRA MUSSELS OUT OF OUR LAKES. PARCS was instrumental in lobbying the Ministry of Environment to hire a Provincial Coordinator of Aquatic Invasive Species, in insisting on the setting up of inspection stations at the US border & along our eastern border, and pushing for the establishment of the inter-agency advisory committee (on which PARCS is just one of about 2 dozen agencies meeting regularly and providing input to the province about the control of invasive species). At the last meeting of that committee, I spoke strongly for PARCS about the need for the 3 western provinces to jointly sponsor a major check point on Highway #1 in Manitoba to be open 24/7 and to keep out infected boats travelling west from eastern Canada (9 infected boats travelled from eastern Canada across Sask. in the summer of 2020 !)
#2 - PARCS plays an active role in MONITORING & LOBBYING FOR CHANGES TO GOVERNMENT RULES FOR COTTAGE COMMUNITIES. For example:
In the provincial election before this last one, voters who were away from their cottage on the July voting date found out that they were expected to travel to their resort village to register in advance before receiving a mail-in-ballot. PARCS lobbied such that the regulations were changed and absentee voters could get their applications witnessed at home and then mail them in, thus truly voting by mail !
In a previous election, in one of our resort villages, dozens of persons who were renting camper-trailers were allowed to vote and thus elected one of their own renters onto the RV Council. PARCS got the rules clarified before the recent 2020 election such that only the trailer court land owner(s) could vote, not the short-term lessees.
PARCS has played a major role in getting the province to redraw the boundaries in rural municipalities so that voters in cottage subdivisions are now fairly represented (rep-by-pop for cottage owner ratepayers).
PARCS has currently been engaged in defending the administrators in resort villages with fewer than a 100 residents who are being forced out of their positions because the former training exeption for these small resort villages is being cancelled!
#3. PARCS plays a role in HELPING RV ADMINISTRATORS & COUNCILS DO THEIR JOB. Most weeks the PARCS email in-box contains several email questions from administrators and I try to provide answers. We also offer training opportunities such as:
The Zoom training sessions offered last year about the new rules and expectations for running an election.
The special sharing sessions for administrators and councillors, at our conventions.
In addition, PARCS has developed a bank of resources for resort village administrators & councilors , available in 2 locations:
Resource Documents (bottom of front page of the website) which includes:
- A Resource Guide for ordering handouts from convention sessions.
- A list of 34 websites of all resort villages
Sample Policies (top of front page of website) which offers a POLICY BANK of 52 sample policies provided by our resort villages for sharing wiith member communities.
GOALS FOR THE NEXT 3 YEARS
Certainly PARCS plans to continue to be the major Saskatchewan voice speaking to government and other agencies on behalf of cottage communities.
During 2020, PARCS learned that there were other more cost-effective ways to offer training sessions than having delegates travel across the province and stay in hotels for conventions. At our first meeting of 2021 (next week), I will be presenting a number of virtual options for bringing together delegates and administrators from member communities to learn more about a variety of new and interesting topics.
We will, of course, continue to keep our members informed via these PARCS UPDATE NEWSLETTERS.