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Why the Saskatoon Wildlife Federation Partnered with the CSSA

by Garry Breitkreuz
CSSA Director 

The Saskatoon Wildlife Federation (SWF) is the newest Saskatchewan club to join the CSSA. There are many reasons the SWF chose to partner with the CSSA, but it all started with the CSSA’s insurance coverage.

With their investment of $2 million in a world-class outdoor shooting facility, the Saskatoon Wildlife Federation’s Board of Directors demanded the right insurance policy for themselves and their members. Many of those board members are business people who understand the importance of making the correct decision.

* Photo above SWF Bob Freberg with CSSA Executive Director Tony Bernardo.

“We weren’t one hundred percent satisfied that the coverage we had was adequate for our needs, so we actually brought in some experts to help us with that,” said SWF President Bob Freberg.

After examining their previous insurance policy and comparing it with others, they realized two things. First, their current policy did not provide adequate coverage. Second, the CSSA’s insurance policy provided primary insurance coverage for their members. This was a main requirement for an insurance policy, as nobody wants to lose their home because of an accident on the range, the main problem with secondary insurance coverage. Secondary insurance coverage only kicks in after your primary policy is exhausted. The SWF’s Board of Directors did not want themselves or their members in that position.

“You can’t have a range that doesn’t have adequate insurance. We wanted to know that if someone actually got hurt on our range, through negligence of ours or others, that they’re going to have the proper coverage in place so that both the person that was affected by it and the person that caused it are adequately insured so it’s not going to create any type of financial hardship for them,” said Freberg.

The CSSA’s insurance policy meets those requirements and more.

As many of the board members were already members of the CSSA, they naturally wanted to support the organization. Then club president Bob Freberg read an article I wrote for Calibre Magazine.

In that article, I talked about all the great work done by wildlife associations across Canada to protect wildlife habitat, but pointed out the harsh reality that these same organizations were not fighting to support our firearm rights. These organizations sat on hundreds of thousands of dollars, but they certainly weren’t part of the larger battle.

That article struck a chord with Bob Freberg. He realized my remarks described his club perfectly.

Explained Freberg, “Here we are opening a new range, we’re an organization that’s been around since 1929, and what have we really done, in dollars and cents, to support those fighting for our gun rights?”

Freberg took that thought to the next board meeting. A motion passed and the SWF approached the CSSA to see how the SWF could help, and what the CSSA could offer them in return.

“Our approach was to get behind the CSSA. By having our membership partner with theirs, and at the same time giving the CSSA some financial support, it would also give the CSSA some numerical support when you’re in front of government,” continued Freberg.

Freberg and the SWF’s Board of Directors understand the battle for our firearm rights is a numbers game. By throwing their support behind the CSSA, they give the organization more members – which politicians realize are votes. Votes are the currency of politics.

With their insurance problems solved by the CSSA’s insurance policy, and their pride in accomplishment for actively joining the battle for our firearm rights, there was still one last issue to be addressed.

“I guess the last piece of that puzzle was education,” said Freberg. “While the club has been around since 1929, times have changed. No longer do we have dad and granddad taking the kids out and teaching them how to shoot and hunt. We have broken families, single moms raising their sons, and those teachers simply don’t exist anymore. Added to the problem of broken homes, absent fathers and extended family that no longer hunt or teach firearm safety, was the issue of new Canadians.”

While they had taught firearm safety training and hunter education training for decades, the Saskatoon Wildlife Association wanted to completely update and professionalize their course delivery. Once again, the CSSA already offered the services the club needed.

“A lot of the members coming to our club now are new Canadians. They love the fact that we have the right to enjoy firearms sports in whatever capacity that may be, hunting or target shooting, and they need that mentorship. Without it, they’re not going to be able to operate firearms as safely as they can just by taking a PAL course. So, with that challenge, with the membership growth and the new generation of shooting community coming into the sport, it was important to have really good RSOs (Range Safety Officers), protocols and all of those things that are required to run a range safely. The CSSA brought us those programs. Their programs were developed, tested, and delivered by professionals. It’s so easy. We basically pick up the phone, we set up a date and CSSA sends an instructor out. All we do is provide the venue and the people. We’re really taking it to new professional standards,” concluded Freberg.

I congratulate the Saskatoon Wildlife Federation, headed by club president Bob Freberg, for their commitment to the shooting sports and their amazing new outdoor shooting facility. I also commend them for partnering with the CSSA and fully engaging in the battle to defend our rights.

The Saskatoon Wildlife Federation is committed to providing its members the best possible understanding of what it means to be a responsible firearm owner and shooter in Canada.

That a gun club from my home province wholeheartedly embraces the values I fought so long and hard for in Parliament during my tenure as an MP, makes me very proud indeed!

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