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BCSLA Announcement - COVID-19

Thursday, April 2, 2020

BCSLA ANNOUNCEMENT – April 2, 2020
COVID-19 CORONA VIRUS SITUATION

Dear BCSLA Members, Associates and Affiliates:

Being faced with the unknown is always a troubling challenge and the COVID-19 pandemic has presented our Members and Associates with one of the most extreme situations of our time. As we and other organizations grapple with this, the BCSLA expresses our concern for the well-being of our members, their families and our community. We ask that members please abide by the government’s directions to stay safe and healthy through this pandemic.

As many BCSLA Members and Associates have been faced with practicing landscape architecture in a different manner than usual or operating their businesses from a work-at-home environment, contact with clientele has been impacted as well as the ability to conduct regular business in a traditional manner.

As the COVID-19 situation evolves daily, we have cancelled or postponed some programs in order to ensure that our Members and Associates have the knowledge they need and to remain informed of the impact on our profession.

Office Closed, Staff Working From Home
The BCSLA office is closed however; staff are operating the business of the Society from their respective homes and will continue to deliver services in as timely a fashion as possible. Contact Tara Culham, Executive Director at [email protected] or at 604.682.5610
.  

2020 Conference Cancelled
The 2020 BCSLA Annual Conference, Showcase and AGM will not be held in June.  We will strive to host the Annual BCSLA Conference in the early part of 2021. We are well positioned for this, as many program components have already been drafted.   In keeping with the requirements of our Bylaws, we will schedule an Annual General Meeting to conduct the business of the BCSLA, ideally in conjunction with another regularly scheduled BCSLA event at such time that large gatherings are once again permitted. The Continuing Education Committee is to be commended for their hard work and the fantastic program they had put together.

Board of Examiners
The Board of Examiners Administration schedule has been adjusted in response to the COVID-19 situation. The 2020 Examination Administration Schedule is: July 17, 2020 (fully subscribed), July 27, 2020 (new date) and October 16, 2020.  Please note that in view of the constantly changing COVID-19 situation the 2020 Board of Examiners schedule is tentative.   Alternate and/or additional dates may be considered in response to COVID-19.

Continuing Education in a Time of Social Distancing
The BCSLA Friday File provides links to presentations, workshops and other professional development resources in an on-line platform. This will enable Members and Associates to continue to achieve Continuing Education (CE) credits.

Impact to Practice – Check Website for Updates
In collaboration with our related professional organizations (AALA, CSLA MALA, OALA, BCLNA, etc.) the BCSLA Friday File and website will be updated regularly with resources and status of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it is impacting the landscape architecture profession and our Members and Associates.

We are aware that new issues will emerge that will force Members and Associates with difficult decisions, paralleled with employer responsibilities to protect the health of their staff, clients, other business associates. These are issue we as an association must face together.

Please check the BCSLA Friday File and the website for up to date information on educational opportunities, news and information to assist our members, and please send us your questions as the answers may help others with similar concerns.

Essential Services
Landscape architectural work may fit into several areas of essential services as defined by the Province. The list was developed by Emergency Management BC in consultation with other government ministries and the Provincial Health Officer (PHO)

  • Critical Infrastructure Providers
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Law Enforcement, Public Safety, First Responders and Emergency Personnel
  • Non-Health Essential Providers
  • Sanitation
  • Transportation, Infrastructure and Manufacturing

Please review the list at -  https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support/essential-services-covid-19#sanitation and consider whether your area of practice would fit into the broad definition of essential services. Note that some municipalities have included park construction as essential services. In any event, members should check their individual contracts and get legal advice. 

 

Remain ‘social’ and connected:
Members seeking to connect with one another are invited to reach out through the BCSLA Facebook page or related social media platforms. We understand that this is a dynamically fluid and evolving situation and members may seek to connect on ideas and innovations of working remotely.

As recommended by the government and medical officials at the federal, provincial and municipal level, social distancing is the best measure for flattening the curve the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Members and Associates are strongly advised to engage in their recommended best practices of work-from-home and where necessary conduct meetings remotely via virtual, electronic methods. Even after the pandemic advisories have been lifted, we encourage our Members and Associates to stay safe by considering these practices as a way to ensure that another pandemic does not impact your work and our profession in a negative manner.

In order to go forward and continue to provide our membership with up-to-date information on the impact of COVID-19, BCSLA Board of Directors and staff are monitoring websites:

World Health Organization Updates
Government of Canada
Government of BC – COVID-19 Information
BC Centre for Disease Control
HealthLink BC

The BCSLA Membership has grown as a family and what affects one of our Members and Associates impacts us all. As we face this pandemic, we face it together to keep each of our Members and Associates, their families and our community safe. We can all do our part by following recommendations to stay safe and healthy now and in the future.

Though the BCSLA office is closed to physical visits, staff are working remotely and available by phone, email and social media to ensure that your concerns are addressed.

On behalf of the BCSLA Board of Directors and staff we hope that you, your family and work colleagues stay safe and healthy through this pandemic.

Yours sincerely,
BC Society of Landscape Architects

BCSLA Board of Directors

 

Click to view background photo & credits
Project: Hanley Residence
Landscape Architect / Firm: LeFrank & Associates Ltd.
Location: Brentwood Bay, British Columbia
Photo Credit: David Hollebone