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Diary of Representation by the Western Canada B&B Innkeepers Association (Now the British Columbia Bed & Breakfast Innkeepers Guild)
District of North Vancouver re-writes its bylaws without consulting with bed and breakfasts. This effectively puts 28 B&Bs out of business. After presentation by WCBBIA, Council assigns its staff to meet with Rex Davidson and Monika Rogers of the Association and, in the meanwhile puts the new bylaws on hold. A year later the committee develops a new set of bylaws that were adopted by Council and are still probably the most progressive in the province.
WCBBIA assigns a representative to sit on the Board of the Council of Tourism Associations (COTA).
City of Victoria puts into effect new bylaws requiring licensing and zoning for bed and breakfasts. WCBBIA makes representation primarily through Tony Temple, its President.
WCBBIA developed, and continues to maintain, a relationship with Tourism BC, within which there is ongoing discussion on issues of concern to bed and breakfasts in the province.
BC Assessment begins to assess bed and breakfasts of four rooms and more as commercial properties, resulting in huge tax increases. WCBBIA foresees a risk that smaller B&Bs would also be commercially taxed in the future and it assigns an Assessment Ad Hoc Committee to address the issue. After 4 long years of dogged determination, the Committee convinces the Government that B&Bs of 3 or fewer rooms should be considered residential properties, and that only those rooms over that number should be assessed commercial. This results in smaller properties being protected in perpetuity and larger properties saving – in some cases – as much as $10,000 a year.
Tourism BC recognizes WCBBIA as the professional association for bed & breakfast innkeepers in the province and initiates the provision of financial “grants” for educational programs offered by WCBBIA for its members.
Bed and breakfasts on the Sechelt Peninsula request assistance on local licensing issues. Although few are members of WCBBIA, this help is provided in the form of meetings and letters.
Bed and breakfasts on the Sechelt Peninsula request assistance on new local efforts to limit their licensing. This is provided in the form of letters and telephone meetings.
City of Prince George initiates a bylaw structured to limit the size and zoning of bed and breakfasts without consultation. WCBBIA provides members with methods by which these bylaws may be re-worked. The members are successful in having the bylaws revised.
A series of phone meetings with Tourism Vancouver set the record straight about WCBBIA ... its aims and purpose ... changing its image in their records. This recognition leads to Tourism Vancouver agreeing to display WCBBIA’s brochure, even though not all B&Bs in it are Tourism Vancouver members.
WCBBIA undertakes a major, province-wide survey of 275 Canada Select B&B properties, regarding proposed changes to Canada Select criteria.
At the annual WCBBIA Members’ Meeting, members support the Association’s concern over Canada Select’s impending criteria changes. An Ad Hoc Committee is struck to address these concerns. It meets with Tourism BC and with Accommodations BC, the contractor for Canada Select in BC.
The Ad Hoc Committee initiates a cross-Canada dialogue with provincial B&B associations on Canada Select and presents a Position Paper to the Canada Select National Committee (that paper is on WCBBIA’s website). This initiative is unsuccessful in meeting its goal, due to fractional differences among the various forms of bed and breakfast associations across the country. Some of these are formed for marketing purposes only, while others are professional or semi-professional in purpose.
WCBBIA initiates dialogue to gain the use of the Tourism BC approved logo in our B&B brochure and on our website. Legal documents are prepared permitting this, based on all those in the brochure being TBC approved.
In this same dialogue, Tourism BC agrees to stop referring to smaller B&Bs as ‘B&B Homes’, a designation it began using in 2004, without consultation with B&Bs.
WCBBIA recognizes an attempt by various parties, who are opposed to small bed and breakfasts, to force licensing restraints and taxation measures on them. Representation is made by WCBBIA’s Assessment Committee and this action is forestalled. The Committee continues to monitor the situation.
BC Assessment, in its Victoria Region and East Vancouver Island jurisdictions, begins to gather financial information on bed and breakfast properties by issuing letters demanding asset and revenue disclosure. The Association advises those who receive these letters to ignore them. BC Assessment takes no action in response. A Table Talk issue on this matter is also e-mailed to all identifiable B&Bs in the province, as a courtesy.
WCBBIA Board of Directors accepts a Position Paper (co-authored by Rex Davidson, Lawrie Belliveau and Edward Davidson) on the Canada Select new criteria and the faulty survey process used to set the criteria (currently on the WCBBIA web site).
On-going correspondence is begun with associations across Canada. The intent is that some form of loose national organization be formed within which national concerns such as federal taxation and rating systems may be addressed.
As a result of its work with Tourism BC, bed and breakfasts are separated from hotels/motels in the Accommodation Guide.
COTA’s position on issues of interest to WCBBIA are examined to ensure that our members’ needs are tended to.
Dialogue between eastern B&Bs and WCBBIA continues … to establish familiarity more than anything. Later this could lead to the creation of an umbrella organization.
The following links lead to some of the documents mentioned in the above diary, and other documents of interest to B&Bs: