Who's in charge of Scouts Canada?

By SCOUT eh!, October 10, 2004.

Scouts Canada's Chief Commissioner, Mike Scott, writes in the October issue of The Leader Magizine "I've read and heard statements indicating that some people believe that Scouting has been taken over by staff. This causes me great concern."

Well, it should cause him great concern. Despite his assertion "that this is not so", staff clearly wield an undue influence on Scouts Canada's operations. Maybe he has not been to Ottawa lately or has not read the latest BP&P.

He cannot be completely unaware, however, because two paragraphs later he contradicts himself. He writes "The CEO [Chief Executive Officer, the head employee of Scouts Canada] appoints the Deputy Executive Commisioners (Volunteers) who, with staff support, form an Opereations Advisory Committee..."

The Operations Advisory Committe, if Mike Scott has not mispoken himself, therefore consists of 9 volunteers hand picked by the Chief Executive Officer and 7 staff members (including the CEO). All members of the Committee are either appointed by or, in their roles as employees, report directly to the CEO.

The new By-law, Policies, & Proceedures (BP&P) issued on September 24, 2004 contain more revelations. Policy 2001.3 states that there is a single line of accountibility through the Executive Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer (EC&CEO; a fancier name for the CEO). In short, the EC&CEO is in cotrol of everything and everyone. Policy 1013 at Page 5 states "A Council Commissioner is accountable to the Executive Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer." It goes on to say that, "In consultation with the Chief Commissioner, the Executive Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer will establish proceedures for the appointment, accountability, and duties of Commissioners". On Page 11 it goes on to say that the EC&CEO shall be responsible for development of the management structure and shall have the authority to implement such policy at all levels of the Corportion. Our Chief Commisioner has been reduced to the role of an adviser to the EC&CEO.

The recent changes to Scouts Canada's governance have turned Scouts Canada upside down. Instead of staff supporting volunteers, the volunteers support the staff. Additionally, the whole structure is undemocratic since the Board of Governors, who hires the CE&CEO is not democratically elected and has no acountability to the membership at large.