Sail Nova Scotia
Membership Fee Policy for Yacht and Sailing Clubs
This policy defines the basis on which member Clubs are to calculate their annual dues to Sail Nova Scotia and Sail Canada. It incorporates revisions arising from the meeting between the President, Sail Nova Scotia and the Commodores of member clubs at the 2004 Annual General Meeting and becomes effective beginning the 2004/2005 season (1 November 2004 to 30 October 2005).
The members of Sail Nova Scotia and Sail Canada are organisations rather than individuals. Most Sail Nova Scotia / Sail Canada member organisations are yacht and sailing clubs, whose membership fees are calculated as follows:
For each membership fee paid to a member club (be that an individual or a family unit, or any other membership unit established by the club), a member club shall remit to Sail Nova Scotia such per member unit fees as determined from time-to-time by the Sail Nova Scotia AGM. Clubs may exclude from this calculation membership categories set up expressly for members who are not active or engaged in boating or yachting, whether power or sail. The 2015 AGM established a per member unit fee of $30 per club member.
Where the primary, and publicly perceived objectives of the club are something other than boating or yachting, for example tennis, and where boating or yachting are a minor portion of the club’s activities, then the member club shall make a proposal to the Sail Nova Scotia as how it will determine what number of its paying members will be used to establish the membership fee owed to Sail Nova Scotia. It will be at Sail Nova Scotia’s option whether to accept the Club’s proposal or propose some other, subject to the principle that the number used shall represent the number of member units whose membership is related to boating or yachting, whether power or sail.
In cases where a member unit (individual, family, etc.) belongs to more than one Sail Nova Scotia member club, the per member unit fee owed to Sail Nova Scotia shall be assessed in each and every case. This is consistent with the principle that it is the club that is the Sail Nova Scotia/Sail Canada member, and its dues are based upon the number of member units paying fees to the club.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a ‘member unit?’ Member clubs collect annual membership dues from individuals or from groups. Individuals can be described in terms such as voting members, senior members, student members, senior members, junior members, social members, or any other variety of terms. Each of these dues-paying individuals is a member unit. Similarly, member clubs collect membership dues from groups such as families or couples. Each of these membership fee-paying groups is also a member unit.
2. Aren’t individual members of clubs also members of Sail Nova Scotia and Sail Canada? No, neither the Sail Nova Scotia nor the Sail Canada have individual memberships. Only organisations are members of Sail Nova Scotia and Sail Canada,
3. Why must member clubs pay a per member unit fee for all members active or engaged in boating or yachting, instead of allowing members to choose whether or not to pay a ‘Sail Canada membership fee’? First, recall question 2 that established that it is the club, not an individual member of a club that belongs to Sail Canada (and Sail Nova Scotia). The number of members engaged in boating or yachting simply establishes the scale of the club’s membership fee, and to use a lesser number is unfair on those clubs reporting accurate membership numbers, if not fraudulent.
4. Should member clubs count ‘social members’ for the purposes of determining the club’s membership fee to Sail Nova Scotia and Sail Canada? It depends. If the social membership is simply a non-voting membership, then those member units should be counted. If the social membership was established to permit participation in ‘other’ activities at the club, such as cards or a weekly social activity, and does not permit activities related to boating or yachting, then those member units should not be counted.
5. Why do clubs list Sail Nova Scotia/Sail Canada dues separately on their invoices to their members? There can be financial benefits to doing so, since the club will then not have to charge HST on the Sail Canada/Sail Canada ‘dues’. But the practice should be avoided for two reasons. First, it encourages members to believe erroneously that they are members in Sail Nova Scotia and the Sail Canada. Second, it encourages an atmosphere where members are allowed to ‘opt out’ of payment, leading to under-reporting and under-payment by the club. The best approach is for clubs to regard the Sail Nova Scotia/Sail Canada membership dues as a liability to be paid out of revenues, not from a specific member levy.
6. I am a motor-boater, not a sailor. What is wrong with my club not making a per member unit payment related to me? Some member clubs rationalise that Sail Nova Scotia and Sail Canada, as provincial and national sports authorities for sailing, are relevant to only those of their members engaged in competitive sailing, and base their declared membership on those numbers. But such an argument is unfounded, for Sail Nova Scotia and Sail Canada support a broad range of boating activities, power and sail, and provide one of the most effective representational services for the boating community both provincially and nationally. Like the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons, Sail Canada offers a broad range of training courses; unlike the Power and Sail Squadrons, Sail Canada also offers formal on-the-water training, for sail and power. Sail Nova Scotia’s participation in the Halifax Marine Advisory Committee, and its success in obtaining boater representation to the Bras d’Or Lake environmental studies are but two examples. More recently, Sail Nova Scotia released a risk management manual to member clubs; are its benefits to be available to all club members, or only those members declared by the club? Can one really say, “I’m sorry, but safety doesn’t apply to you”?
7. What about member clubs providing services to non-members? The per member unit fee is just that, a fee relating to members. It need, and should not be paid for clients of the club who are not members, although the club must ensure that such services to non-members do not put it in breach of its responsibilities under the Societies Act or the regulations of the Liquor Licensing Board. The club must also carefully examine its risk management policy with respect to client, versus member services.
8. What about learn-to-sail operations and junior members? Should a member club count the participants of junior, or even adult learn-to-sail programs as member units? It depends. It a participant is a non-member, paying for the learn-to-sail program as a service, then that participant is not a member unit for the purpose of establishing Sail Nova Scotia dues. If the participant is already a member of the club, either as an individual or part of a group, then he or she has already been included in the club’s member unit count. If the club requires a student to pay a membership fee, or the student chooses to pay a membership fee to the club, in addition to the fee-for-service for the learn-to-sail course, then the student should be included in the member unit count since the member is active in sailing. Where a learn-to-sail course includes racing, or its participants participate in racing as an extra-curricular activity, the ISAF Eligibility Code (Appendix 2 of the Racing Rules of Sailing) requires that a competitor “be a member of a Member National authority (here Sail Canada) or one of its affiliated organizations.” Since neither Sail Canada nor Sail Nova Scotia have individual membership, it follows that a competitor in sailing should be a member of a member club of Sail Nova Scotia and Sail Canada, and be included in a member unit count.
9. If I belong to more than one club, why should a per member unit fee be assessed for both clubs? Recall question 2. It is the club that belongs to Sail Nova Scotia/Sail Canada, and the number of member units in a club simply establishes the club’s fee to Sail Nova Scotia and Sail Canada. That an individual belongs to more than one club is not relevant to counting that member for the purposes of establishing a club’s fee.
Approved by the Board of Directors on February 8, 2005.
Updated with “Sail Canada / Sail Nova Scotia” names, April 2014
Updated with current membership fee amount, March 2017