Help pass emergency legislation to protect Districts, Clubs and Academies

ActionBulletin

Bulletin #:A2020-017

Date:July 21, 2020

To:Ontario Soccer; District Membership, ORA, Associate Members

CC:Ontario Soccer Board of Directors, Staff

From:Johnny Misley, Chief Executive Officer

Subject:Help pass emergency legislation to protect Districts, Clubs and Academies

Ontario Soccer, in consultation with Canada Soccer and the Government of Ontario, continues to monitor the most recent developments surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the resulting public health crisis and Ontario Soccer’s Return to Play Plan.

As a result of COVID-19, insurance has become a significant challenge for many of Ontario Soccer’s member organizations, as well all other organizations across amateur sport in the province.

Amateur sport organizations in Ontario are questioning their ability to provide sport programming while struggling with the potential burden of liability due to COVID-related insurance exclusions. This also increases the level of risk for their volunteer boards of directors.

Ontario Soccer, along with the Ontario Non-Profit Network (ONN), are calling on the Government of Ontario to take immediate action to pass an emergency order that provides “Good Samaritan” protection to the amateur sport sector. This would ensure that Non-Profits, their directors, officers, employees, and volunteers would not be held liable for COVID-related defense costs, provided they continue to operate in accordance with all applicable emergency and public health guidance.

The ONN has been advocating on behalf of Non-Profits with a variety of Government of Ontario ministries on this issue. However, if the Government of Ontario waits until the Fall Legislative session to review this again, it may be too late for many organizations across Ontario.

Non-Profits across amateur sport in Ontario are reducing programming because of insurance issues and some may be forced to close. Sport and soccer cannot wait until Fall to resolve this issue.

Ontario Soccer is asking all of its member organizations to take immediate action and follow these critical steps to raise awareness of this matter, by no later than Wednesday, July 22, 2020.

  1. Write to your MPP:Be sure to copy the Premier atpremier@ontario.ca. Share your organization’s story withyour MPPof how COVID-related insurance challenges are affecting your ability to operate and serve your community.
  2. Follow up with a phone call:Find your MPP’s constituency officephone numbers and email addresses.
  3. Spread the word:Email yourlocal community newspaper,call your local talk radio showand push out your points on social media (being sure to tag your local MPP).
  4. Share this action bulletinwith friends and colleagues who care about thriving communities and ask them to do the same.

Your organization can find messaging, a sample letter to share with your MPP, as well as tweets and posts which can be shared on your social media at TheONN.ca.

To be clear, ONN and Ontario Soccer are not looking for protection from litigation if organizations have been negligent and have not followed public health guidelines and Ontario Soccer protocols.

ONN and Ontario Soccer are looking to the Government of Ontario to protect organizations that have acted in good faith as they re-open, follow public health guidelines and safely return our athletes to the field this Summer and Fall.

Please take action today to protect your organization and our sport.

For further questions, please refer to the latest bulletins on the COVID-19 Updates page, which has all the latest information from Ontario Soccer, as well as resources for your members. Please consider placing a dedicated link to the COVID-19 Updates on the homepage on your website.

If you have not subscribed to our weekly e-Newsletter, please do so here.

If you have any questions, please contact Patty Forbes, Director of Administration.

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