Joined: 12 Dec 2006
|Posted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:37 am Post subject: OFFICE UPDATE 2011
In 2009 the SOA asked to open discussions with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Finance on PST charged on tour packages. Previously outfitters were requested to submit PST on the accommodation portion of their packages. The rates set recognized that accommodations were to be valued at 15% on the entire package. On a $5,000 trip including 6 nights accommodations PST would have been calculated as follows:
Package x 15% = Accommodation x PST 5% = PST Collected
$5,000 x 15/100 = $750 x 5/100 = $37.50
The SOA membership had indicated that the accommodation amount was far too high. It reflected hotel rates in Saskatchewan cities but not rural accommodations.
After lengthy negotiations, Sask Revenue agreed with the industry’s position.
Beginning in 2011, the accommodation portion of a package will be valued at a flat rate of $50 per person per night. On the same package as listed above the new amount would be %15.
6 Nights @ $50/night = $300 x 5/100 = $15.00
This new method of valuing accommodations will result in a significant saving to the industry. For example, an outfitter hosting 25 deer hunters for a six day package @ $5000 per hunter would save $562.50 on PST.
An outfitter doing 800 clients on the same package would save $18,000.00 in PST.
Please note that these new rates begin on Jan 1/11 and are not retro-active.
Be expecting a curricular from Sask Finance in the near future.
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
The Saskatchewan outfitters Association presently has an official agreement with the province on how business is conducted between both parties. The Memorandum of Understanding, among other things, recognizes the SOA as the representative voice of the outfitting industry in the province.
Early each year protocol dictates a meeting between the SOA and Sask Environment to determine a list of issues that will be addressed by both parties in the forth coming year. These issues are identified though the SOA regional representatives, sector committees and the SOA executive.
The list for 2010 included;
• Outfitter Licensing Commission
• Moratorium of the issuing of new licenses
• Term waterfowl license
• Shooting lane and trail policy
• Issuing of guide cards
• Outfitter sales policy
• Forest fire protection policy
• ATV use
• Wolf and predator season
• Non-resident draw system (whitetail deer)
• The automated licensing system
Many of these are at the planning and development stage, some are at the implementation stage and others are completed. A few need to be revisited to better reflect industry concerns.
The SOA will be meeting with Sask Environment in January to review progress on this list and add or subtract issues as necessary.
MINISTER OF SASK ENVIRONMENT – HON. DUSTIN DUNCAN
The Minister of the Environment, the Hon Dustin Duncan, attended the Fall Forum in Saskatoon and addressed the assembly at the noon luncheon. The Minister replaces Nancy Heppner who had held the position since 2008.
Although the Minister was not able to announce any further progress on the Outfitter Licensing Commission, he did indicate that the opportunity still existed to have this new piece of legislation go before the legislation review committee.
Minister Duncan also met again with some members of the SOA Executive Committee in late December at Green Lake. The Minister indicated that the Outfitter Licensing Commission is still “on the table”.
Meeting in Green Lake was a good opportunity for the Minister to view an outfitting operation first hand.
FOREST FIRE POLICY
The present Provincial policy on fire suppression became a highlighted issue during the 2010 forest fire season. Some outfitting operations were totally destroyed or partially burned while other were threatened. Some Northern towns were again evacuated and many people living in the North were bothered by smoke and the hazards of living close to major fires.
The SOA’s position will be to open the present policy for review.
One of the hot spots of this policy revolves around the initiation of air and ground attacks. There is a difference of opinion on this issue between the Ministry and the industry.
As part of the on-going discussions the SOA will be meeting with Fire Control in January.
ADVOCACY DAY – DEC 2010
Tourism Saskatchewan sponsored an Advocacy Day in Regina during Dec 2010. The SOA took the opportunity to participate. The advocacy group was made up of various tourism industry representatives. The day began with a meeting with the opposition caucus. This was followed by a meeting with the government caucus. The day concluded with a reception in the legislative building for all MLA’s and government personnel.
This type of event is important in raising the profile of the tourism industry in the eyes of government. MLA’s are often so focused on the immediate problem in running government that other groups and issues are not part of their consciousness.
The SOA team consisted of Susan Schigol, Craig Blackmur and Hal Stupnikoff.
The team took this opportunity to meet many MLS’s that we haven’t previously had the opportunity to speak with.
The SOA salutes Tourism Saskatchewan for organizing this important function.
SOA REPRESENTATIVE NAMED CHAIRPERSON OF TOURISM SASKATCHEWAN
Susan Schigol, who is the SOA representative on the Board of Directors, has been the Chairman of the Board of Tourism Saskatchewan. Susan has worked diligently on many issues faced by the SOA including the whitetail deer strategy and chronic wasting disease. This is the second time an industry member has assumed this position. Donna Carlson O’Keefe was the first, Susan Schigol the second.
SAFARI CLUB INTERNATIONAL
The SOA will be attending the Safari Club International Convention in Reno Nevada in January. This organization is very supportive of the outfitting industry. A formal meeting is set up for all outfitting organizations from around the world. This is a valuable opportunity to see what other organizations are doing in their respective countries. The Federation of Canadian Outfitter Associations also uses the forum to hold a meeting addressing Canadian issues.
The SOA executive wished to re-do the Allied member category for membership in the Association. This is now a tiered membership program. The amount of services the Allied member receives is proportionate to their membership fees. There is an allied member sheet included with this letter. Please feel free to approach each of your service providers. There are ample opportunities through an allied membership to have contact with Association outfitters. The least expensive bronze category (the category we presently have) has a membership fee of $300.00. Each allied member is entitled to free mail outs through the SOA up to 6 times per year. Their membership is more than paid for through savings in postage by taking advantage of this.
The SOA is also looking at restructuring our allied member program to allow for more opportunities for our service providers to have more direct contact with outfitters.
At the last SOA executive meeting in December in Saskatoon, a decision was made to re-emphasise regional meetings. Beginning in 2011 each regional chair will be calling a meeting for their specific region as follows;
Elmer Henderson – South East
Don Anderson – South West
Dave Archer – West Central
Dave Nowlin – East Central
Craig Blackmur – Northern Region
Dates, times and places will be posted as they are planned.
SOA WEB SITE LISTING
All members of the SOA are entitled to a FREE listing on the SOA website. Many inquiries now go directly to the web site instead of coming through the SOA office. If you are a new member, to add your camp, go to the following link and follow the instructions to set up your page.
Enclosed is the information form needed to have your camp added or updated on the SOA web page if you do not have a way of doing this yourself. Please take the time to fill it out and fax or mail back.
You may take advantage of a Premium listing on the SOA site. Send up to 12 pictures to the office and we’ll do the rest! The only stipulation is that these pictures must be horizontal NOT vertical pictures. They can be sent directly to the office off of your camera! These pictures may be changed as often as you like and include any captions. The SOA does reserve the right to edit pictures.
What a great way to keep clients up to date on your lodge and what has been happening.
The cost for a Premium Listing will be an annual fee of $100 & GST. This listing is very cost efficient and is a great tool for those SOA members who do not have their own web site.
Once again remember that many of the inquiries that were being made to the office are now going directly to the web site. “Get listed” and give these clients info to contact you!