Dear HPSC friends
I sincerely hope that you and everyone in the HPSC community has had a safe and healthy spring!
There really appears to be a light at the end of this crazy year that we have all experienced. Over the last few months, individual Ontarians have done a fantastic job of moving quickly to get vaccinated when eligible, including many HPSC members. It appears that whoever wants to be vaccinated will be able to get both shots by the beginning of the fall in September (if not sooner).
Your HPSC board are moving forward with planning for the coming year based on the assumption that we will be able to have a much more normal season. However, not everything will be exactly as it was in previous years. Like most organizations will have to, we have had to make a decision regarding who will be able to participate in club events for at least the upcoming 2021/22 season.
After consultation with our lawyer, the HPSC Board, in order to do our best to protect the safety of ALL HPSC members, have come to the decision that for the upcoming season in order to participate in any event involving enclosed spaces such as buses, planes, trains, hotels, restaurants etc. we will ONLY ALLOW THOSE WHO ARE FULLY VACCINATED TO PARTICIPATE.
We will be asking members to attest to their vaccination status and anyone who falsifies their status will be considered in breach of the HPSC Code of Conduct and will be subject to disciplinary action.
The bottom line is that only those who are fully vaccinated will be allowed to book ANY of the Long or Charter trips, take the bus for daytrips, or attend any social events held indoors etc.
Our lawyer has advised us that we need to provide some form of accommodation for members who CANNOT be vaccinated due to a health or religious reason. Since transmission of COVID is much lower in outdoor settings (especially when masked) these members will still be able to participate in events held outside. So, for example, they will be allowed to drive up for a daytrip, and take a lesson, but will not be able to take the bus. We will require these members to provide some form of proof from their doctor simply stating that for a health reason they cannot be vaccinated.
Our specific policies on how day trips will be run will be worked out with our resort partners as they become clearer later in the summer and fall and will be communicated as soon as we can prior to the season. As has been the case since the start of the pandemic HPSC will also monitor and follow the public health guidelines for Toronto and the location of any destination we are going to.
While the future does seems brighter, what we have learned over the last year is that nothing is guaranteed. But getting vaccinated appears to be the best option for our society and for HPSC to get back closer to the normal we were accustomed to prior to the pandemic. I urge all members to get both their shots as soon as they can!
I am really looking forward to talking with as many HPSC members as possible in person during the coming season.
Justin Graham, President, High Park Ski Club