By Michael Salyzyn, Atlantic East Division President (michael.salyzyn@skipatrol.ca)

Change is hard; even when we know we must change such things as jobs, situations and relationships in the face of unhappiness and frustration. It means working hard to achieve the new reality but the results will bear fruit.

That is the situation in Atlantic East Division. We recognized that the previous structure of multiple small zones has stretched members’ time and it has become more difficult to finance the functions to achieve the national programming expected. Executive and training roles were duplicated in a geographical area. To address these concerns, we amalgamated three zones in Newfoundland and Labrador to one Newfoundland and Labrador Zone, and two zones in Nova Scotia to one Nova Scotia Zone. These zones will number close to 125 and 210 members respectively. More resource sharing in training and development, and pooling the purchasing of supplies on a provincial level has resulted. It has also provided a solid financial footing to effectively deliver national programs.

We have also eliminated most of the Atlantic East Division positions and empowered the new zones to carry most of the functions directly to the area patrol leaders, and address issues in a more timely manner. This is in preparation for a division merger with Atlantic West Division to form a single Atlantic Division. It’s a new way of doing business; more responsive, representative and effective.

Challenges lie ahead and more become apparent weekly. A temporary management and oversight committee was created to assist the new zones and its structure is being adapted and as needed. The new zones’ structures may also look slightly different. That’s acceptable as long as the objectives of reducing the members’ burden, being more responsive to concerns and reducing fees are met.

Thanks go to the executive members from the former zones for their work over the past year and to those who have joined the new zone executives as we move forward. As the saying goes, “If you focus on what you left behind you will never be able to see what lies ahead.”

Atlantic East Division cutting a new trail