Ontario Federation approves new framework for change: a benefit for snowmobile clubs

MANITOULIN—The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) has approved a framework for change, which a local representative with the Manitoulin Snowdusters Club says is the single biggest change in the OFSC in recent years.

“This is a new improved model for the distribution of permit revenue to the clubs,” said Sue Middaugh, secretary of the Snowdusters, after the OFSC annual general meeting held in Markham, from September 19 to 21. “It will be based on operational administration accounts. This will allow the permit revenues to more easily be moved to where the snow is so these clubs will have the necessary funds to operate, unlike in the past where clubs and districts were given a set amount regardless of snow or open trails.”

“The OFSC knew they had to make changes, we lost three clubs last year, although the clubs’ trails are still running, and more clubs would have potentially gone into bankruptcy if the new system was not put in place. We would have lost more clubs if not for these changes,” said Ms. Middaugh. “Now all clubs will get a share of money regardless of where they are. It helps smaller clubs survive.”

“This spreads the money around to help the smaller clubs,” Ms. Middaugh reiterated. “Under the new system, all the money from permit sales goes to the OFSC and comes back to all clubs according to a formula being used,” she said, noting the OFSC framework for change was passed overwhelmingly by the OFSC members.

Ms. Middaugh noted a new permit pricing structure which is part of the FFC was discussed and agreed to by the membership during the debate. “We are waiting for an announcement by the Ministry of Transportation, giving approval on the new price structure that would benefit all our permit holders. This new permit structure will also hopefully draw new permit buyers to the clubs. It will be important that all clubs and permit buyers keep listening for this announcement as it will have specific dates and methods of getting the permit for possible savings.”

If the MTO approval is given, “permits will be $180 plus shipping and handling up until November 1, and you will have to sign up online,” said Ms. Middaugh. “This will provide for some stability,” she said, noting that the prices of permits have been getting high in recent years. “There were only 6,100 brand new snowmachines sold in Ontario last year.” Under the new permit structure, after November 1, permits can be purchased from any dealer at an increased price.

Tom Sasvari