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

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

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
Abbotsford mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

Mission Fire Rescue Service holding a training session in 2016. Bob Friesen photo.
Firefighter’s human-rights complaint against District of Mission dismissed

District had just reason for firing man for insubordination, B.C. Human Rights Tribunal found

The annual Toys for Tots event in Abbotsford normally includes a free breakfast for anyone who drops off a toy or cash donation. This year’s event was to be held as a drive-thru, but that has also been cancelled. (File photo)
Toys for Tots drive-thru event cancelled in Abbotsford

Public encouraged to donate cash or bring toys to drop-off locations

Abbotsford Panthers star Haidyn Vermeulen (right) celebrates his signing with the Alberta Golden Bears football program along with his mother Niki Vermeulen and father Dan Vermeulen back in September.
Abbotsford’s Haidyn Vermeulen named to CFC Prospect Game

Abbotsford Senior Secondary School student one of 14 from B.C. to earn recognition

Shane Goodvin had just bought a house with wife Laura Major when he started experiencing severe back pain. That led to a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, and the father of five children is now in rough shape. (Submitted photos)
GoFundMe set up for Chilliwack man fighting pancreatic cancer

Shane Goodvin has five children and a loving wife, and he’s worried about their future

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

File photo
Surrey RCMP investigating death threat against Surrey councillor

‘On Monday morning I received a threat on messenger that basically said to put a bullet in me,’ Councillor Jack Hundial told the Now-Leader

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

Most Read