Fundraising Ultimatums

Update: August 2005

After an outcry against forced sales, Cascadia Council passed a different motion:

The Cascadia Management Team reserves the right to invoice a sum of $30 per member from any Group that chooses not to participate in the Popcorn Campaign in order to support the essential Council and National programs and initiatives that would otherwise have benefited from popcorn fundraising revenue.

Cascadia Council clearly doesn't understand that fining members is not their role, but at least there's an easy solution for groups: Sell one item of popcorn. Selling one item is participating in the Popcorn Campaign. By doing so, Cascadia Council would have no basis for assigning any fines.

June 29, 2005

The following was recently circulated in Scouts Canada's Cascadia Council:

The Cascadia Council Management Team passed a motion the week of June 13, 2005 that states:

"Each registered person in Cascadia Council will be expected to sell $75 worth of popcorn in the 2005 popcorn campaign. If groups decide not to sell popcorn, Cascadia Council will invoice them for $30 per member with $5 of that amount going to National Council."

As you are aware, popcorn is a very large part of our income for the Council every year. With the funds received from popcorn, Cascadia provides funds for a number of things including training, Area Team support, servicing, marketing, and programs for our youth. So it is important that we all contribute to this campaign.

While fundraising can be a useful tool for supporting group activities, insisting that members have to sell popcorn or be fined is nonsense. This is a demonstration of the lack of accountability in Scouts Canada.

By-law II has this to say about requirements for membership: "An Ordinary Member shall be any person who subscribes to the mission and principles of the Corporation, who pays the membership and national insurance fee established from time to time by the Board (or has such fees paid for him) and who falls into one of the [membership] categories".

Nowhere does it say, "...and who sells $75 worth of popcorn or be fined $30."

The Mission Statement and the principles are clearly laid out. There is no way that they could be misconstrued to included selling popcorn.

In addition, there are likely problems with the position of the Cascadia Council in respect of the Competition Act.

Under the Competition Act:

"business" includes the business of

  • manufacturing, producing, transporting, acquiring, supplying, storing and otherwise dealing in articles, and
  • acquiring, supplying and otherwise dealing in services.

It also includes the raising of funds for charitable or other non-profit purposes. Scouting falls under this definition because we supply a service. The definition of business also includes raising money for non-profit purposes. In the legislation we see that Product is defined to include provision of a service:

"product" includes an article and a service;

"service" means a service of any description whether industrial, trade, professional or otherwise;

The requirement that a person sell popcorn from Trails End as a condition of being a member or as a coercive measure is prohibited under the heading "exclusive dealing or tied selling." The act goes on to say:

77. (1) For the purposes of this section, "exclusive dealing" means

  • any practice whereby a supplier of a product, as a condition of supplying the product to a customer, requires that customer to
    • deal only or primarily in products supplied by or designated by he supplier or the supplier's nominee, or
    • refrain from dealing in a specified class or kind of product except as supplied by the supplier or the nominee, and
  • any practice whereby a supplier of a product induces a customer to meet a condition set out in sub-paragraph (a)(i) or (ii) by offering to supply the product to the customer on more favourable terms or conditions if the customer agrees to meet the condition set out in either of those sub-paragraphs;

"tied selling" means

  • any practice whereby a supplier of a product, as a condition of supplying the product (the "tying" product) to a customer, requires that customer to
    • acquire any other product from the supplier or the supplier's nominee

It is unbelievable that in Scouting such tactics would be employed and even more unbelievable that a Council would endorse such practises. What is really offensive is that the youth are the ones that will take the brunt of these odious tactics. To top it off, the ordinary members who are affected by this decision have no way of removing those who made this decision. Scouts Canada needs democracy now!