President’s Report – Jan/Feb 2014

14.01.09-Lyall.smallPrepared by Keith Lyall

I trust that everyone had a good holiday season and is looking forward to the New Year. First off, I would like to follow up with my last report and the meeting between your Environmental Advocacy Committee and the Ministry of Environment.  This Committee consists of Tab Buckner and myself representing the WCTA, Dean Piller and Stephen Kerbrat (BCGSA), Trevor Smith (AGA-BC) and Doug Ferne (NGCOA).

On November 28th, we met with MOE staff and discussed pending changes to the IPM Act. I think that this committee’s input was well received and will be considered as proposed regulations are put into force.  We do expect to see changes this spring with full compliance, we hope, required by fall 2015. For further information regarding what the WCTA is proposing for these changes please refer to my letter to MOE on the website at

The name Lyall is derived from the word ‘loyal’, from the Sinclair clan in Scotland.  So I guess it’s within my nature to be loyal to the people and the activities I’m close too.  Over the past year, heavy and sometimes heated discussions regarding amalgamation of the WCTA and BCGSA have taken place.  Recently the WCTA Board of Directors had an unscheduled special meeting to discuss challenges associated with the BCGSA becoming a registered CEC coordinator for certified BC pesticide applicators and offering a point tracking system to its members.  Since the WCTA has hosted this program since inception in 2004, we are unsure what motivated the move as both Boards have been intensely discussing the need to reduce duplication and focus energies toward benefiting our collective members.  The WCTA Board agreed that this will likely cause confusion to our membership while adding unnecessary administration for both associations.

I understand that in life, things change and we do need to better ourselves, but being `loyal` has its disadvantages.  I have volunteered as a WCTA Director for the past five years and have been proud and energized by the progress being made.  With the amalgamation question formally asked, it raises many other questions and it may force everyone to think about their loyalties if ways to work together can’t be found.  As Directors, we need to do what’s best for our association and its members to ensure we continue offering the best services we can.  The solutions may not always be clear and although no one can be sure of what things will look like in the future, I’m confident that both Boards will make the best decision for the industry as a whole.

By the time the March / April Turf Line News is distributed, we will be at or close to the conference in Vancouver.  The lineup is looking great and I’m especially looking forward to our keynote speaker, Trevor Linden.  With all the educational sessions, multiple AGMs, dedicated trade show time and evening events, this is such a busy conference and we are surely getting great value.  Great job organizing committee!

This will be my last report and I want to make sure I thank everyone who has assisted me this year as President.  First, to the current Board, thank you all for your dedicated and hard work this past year, the WCTA is in good hands thanks to you.

Jerry Rousseau, WCTA Executive Director, you have helped make my time so much easier.  Your ability to cleanup my horrible grammar is just one of many situations you assisted with to make me look good.  I am going to miss those hour long phone conversations.

Past Presidents Tab Buckner, Scott Mitchell, Dave Duncan and Dena Gent, to have mentored under you was a huge benefit. Finally, thanks to my wonderful wife Bobbe for supporting me during this adventure.  It was difficult to commit time to the WCTA and have a new baby boy but she helped make it work.

In closing, I wish everyone good luck for the upcoming year.  There are changes afoot within our industry and our association, and we will need help with navigation.  Please, if you can, considering volunteering your time, knowledge and experience for a position on the WCTA Board and be a part of the solution.

Sincerely; Keith Lyall