Ken McClelland, President of BCORMA, meets Minister Stone to talk trails

August 29, 2013, for immediate release

It was my pleasure today to meet with Hon. Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure (MLA Kamloops-South Thompson). During our brief but productive meeting, I was able to discuss the following with Minister Stone:

  • The Trans-Provincial Touring Trails Network (TPTTN):  This was new information for the Minister, and he was very positive and enthused about the concept, particularly with regard to Kamloops’ strategic location in the network, and the fact that it would link many small and medium-sized communities in the Interior. I emphasized that this is not an exclusively motorized network but a compliment to the present BC Rail Trails network, and that all trail user-groups would be welcome to use the network.
  • Expressed thanks to the Minister for his and the previous Administration’s financial assistance over the past few years. The success stories of the Revy Riders and GVMC are the most recent example of trail stewards leveraging grant dollars for maximum bang for the buck with their new trail network and staging areas. Other trail stewards such as Greater Kamloops Motorcycle Association, Okanagan Trail Riders, Southern Okanagan Dirt Riders, Vancouver Island Dirt Riders Association (Friends of Tansky) and others have also received varying degrees of financial assistance from the Province, all of which has been put to maximum use.
  • The issue of taxation on current value of used equipment that the owners cannot prove taxes paid on at time of registration (when it comes). This issue continues to be extremely problematic, the Minister acknowledged his understanding of why this is a problem, and will discuss (again) with cabinet colleagues. It is probably safe to say that the Finance Dept.’s intransigence on this issue is policy rather than politically driven, and it has proven a very tough nut to crack.
  • Emphasized that all motorized recreation, both summer and winter, two-wheeled and four, are on the same page in terms of supporting legislation and safety regulations, and that we would prefer to see an annual vs. one time registration/licensing program provided a significant portion of annual fees goes back into the area from which it was generated, similar to HCTF vis a vis Angling and Hunting licences.
  • I emphasized with Minister Stone that off-road motorized recreation contributes something like 1 billion dollars annually to the provincial economy, and that it is a growth sector in the tourism industry.

I plan to schedule a meeting with Lee Morris, ED of Tourism Kamloops in the near future with regard to attempting to have summer motorized off-road recreation recognized as a legitimate tourism industry sector. She carries a fair amount of influence with her provincial counterparts and in Victoria, and I anticipate a good result from this meeting.  

Ken McClelland