Kittens surrendered to the Gwaii Animal Helpline are pictured in this submitted photo. (Leila Riddall/Submitted photo)

‘Increasingly centralized approach’ leads Haida Gwaii SPCA council members to resign

Former BC SPCA members say proposals currently under consultation do not favour small communities

Haida Gwaii residents are staying tuned to find out more about the future of animal well-being on the island after local BC SPCA Community Council members declared their decision to resign.

On June 6, former Haida Gwaii SPCA Community Council member Anna Maria Husband announced on social media that she and four other former volunteers had made the “very difficult, but necessary decision” to resign from the community council and as members of the BC SPCA.

“Our joint decision is based on experiencing the BC SPCA’s increasingly centralized management approach. This approach does not favour small communities such as those on Haida Gwaii,” Husband wrote.

“It is important that donations intended to help Haida Gwaii animals stay on Haida Gwaii. Thus, we encourage everyone who wants to help local animals in need to support the Animal Helpline and the Haida Gwaii Animal Hospital Emergency Fund.”

On June 9 the Gwaii Animal Helpline, formerly the Masset Animal Helpline, also took to social media to say north and south island animal well-being workers had met the previous day, and to “stay tuned for new developments.”

ALSO READ: Islanders call for local animal welfare rules

Husband, who started volunteering on the local community council around 2012, told Black Press Media the joint resignation was prompted by a BC SPCA governance review that is still underway.

According to BC SPCA executive director Craig Daniell, the review started in June 2019 and focuses on two main proposals currently under consultation.

Daniell said one of the proposals made by a governance expert is to “slightly decrease” the size of the BC SPCA board of directors, which at present has up to 16 volunteer members elected by community councils across the province.

The other is to allow all members of the BC SPCA to vote and elect a regional representative to the board of directors, rather than only allowing community councils to vote members onto the board.

“We actually want to broaden our governance. Right now a very small number of people actually vote for our board,” Daniell said. “We think it’s far more democratic if every person who is a member of the organization be given an opportunity to actually vote for the board.”

ALSO READ: Abuse cases highlight need for islands animal shelter, bylaws

But Husband believes the proposals would not work in favour of the relatively small and remote local branch.

“We’ve always struggled to get support for our branch and it was quite clear … that we were going to get less and less support,” she said, citing seldom visits from SPCA special provincial constables to the island. “We want to ensure that funds that people hope to be directed toward helping animals stay on Haida Gwaii.”

Daniell said he respects the opinion of the former community council members, but there are other councils across the province that seem to be in favour of the proposals.

“Members of the Haida Gwaii Community Council appear to be opposed to those changes and that’s their right, but at the same time there are others that have a different opinion than theirs,” he said, adding that the two main proposals under consultation will only be approved if the BC SPCA has the support of the majority of its membership. “At the end of the day the current members of the community councils right across the province and the board together will decide whether these changes get made or not.”

Daniell said the “one member, one vote” consultation will be ongoing for a number of months, with completion expected in October at the earliest.

ALSO READ: BC SPCA constable visits Haida Gwaii

ALSO READ: Animal welfare group gets fur-real with social enterprise idea

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email:
karissa.gall@blackpress.ca.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BCSPCAMasset

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sawyer, a northern saw-whet owl that became synonymous with Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society, passed away peacefully over the weekend. Sawyer would make numerous public appearances with MARS staff in and around the Comox Valley and Campbell River. Photo supplied.
Popular MARS ambassador owl dies

Submitted MARS Wildlife Rescue has lost one of its mightiest ambassadors. Tiny… Continue reading

Those who want to view the Strathcona Regional District’s public meetings will have to do so after the fact by going to their Youtube Channel. Photo courtesy Youtube.
No live public option for SRD meetings again

Public Health Order says governments must make ‘best efforts’ to give public a live option

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

The students in the Timberline Musical Theatre program rehearse this year’s production, Once Upon a Mattress, three days per week after school in preparation for next month’s virtual performances. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror
Timberline’s popular musical goes online for 2021

Once Upon a Mattress will be streamed right to your living room thanks to school’s AV department

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Residents of the Cowichan Valley decorated more than 55 vehicles with anti-racist slogans for a car rally in support of Cowichan Tribes on Saturday, January 24. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Dozens join anti-racism car rally and virtual panel in Cowichan Valley

Provincial ministry and BC Green caucus issue joint statement detailing concerns

Jesse Savidant, 31, is wanted by the RCMP after failing to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo in December. Police warn Savidant should be considered violent. (Photo Submitted)
Warrant out for man accused of stolen property offences across Vancouver Island

Jesse Savidant did not appear for court date in Nanaimo last month, say RCMP

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is urging visitors to stay on designated trails after a hiker became injured in an unsanctioned area last week. (Westerly file photo)
Injured hiker rescued in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

Most Read