Scouts Canada's Finances: Crossroads V

Can you smell that?

This is the fifth Crossroads Report and, regrettably, likely the last that we will hear from Scouter Joseph in this capacity. Scouter Joseph Grittani deserves the thanks of Scouters from across Canada for having shone some much needed light in a very dark corner. Perhaps after reading this report you will want to ask yourself — and what is that I smell?

Scouter Joseph points out that the number one measure of success is the number of youth members in the program. As at June 11, 2007 we are at 91.3% of the 2005/2006 registration. The summer program initiatives and late registrations may add another 3 to 4 percent. If we are lucky this year we will only decline by the same percentage as we were declining prior to the passing of By-law No.2. I had personally thought that we would have a "Centennial Bump" and come close to 100% but at this stage it certainly does not appear to be possible. CJ'07 will likely be less than half the attendance of CJ'01. The WJ'07 Canadian Contingent had openings for 450 plus offers of service. Only about 250 have signed up for the contingent plus about 100 for offer of service. The trend continues down.

What abut the financial trend. This year it was asserted at the Annual General Meeting that the National Operation had an excess of revenue over expenses of $102,000. The report shows us quite plainly that this was accomplished only by carefully crafting the numbers and that, restated in realistic term, the National Operation actually had a deficit, an excess of expenses over revenue of at least $425,000 and perhaps as much as $600,000. Similarly it was asserted that our bank borrowings were reduced by close to 1 million dollars. It is apparent that this was only accomplished use of internal funds namely, $500,000 "borrowed" from Ontario and British Columbia, $450,000 of Jamboree registrations that just happened to be sitting in the operating fund at accounting time and $120,000 from other "restricted" funds.

The assertions made at the Annual General Meeting in November of 2006 that we are "in the black" and that "everything is transparent" cannot stand any thorough critical analysis. The Board of Governors and the Voting-members must put an end to this Pollyanna presentation and start dealing with hard facts. The elephant and/or gorilla in the room is the unfunded pension liability that exceeds 6 million dollars. When will the Board take action. What plan does it have to deal with this. How can we continue with a defined benefit plan when corporations like Nortel have had to leave them behind in favour of contributory plans. Priority No.7 includes the priority that National and Councils be run in the black. Unfortunately, so far as the National Operation can be analyzed, the Board and the Voting-members do not seem to be able to distinguish between red and black, between opaque and transparent.

I urge you to take the time to read Scouter Joseph's report and then to wake up and smell the ROSES".

Scouter Ted Claxton

Previous Financial Reports

SCOUT eh! encourages you to read the previous financial reports and note the accuracy of Scouter Joseph's predictions.