Finances on the Brink

Update: June 9, 2005

Scouter Joseph has written an updated report about Scouts Canada's finances. Read "Beyond the Crossroads".

Update: March 21, 2005

Shortly after Scouter Joseph Grittani's report about Scouts Canada's finances was published, Scouts Canada's Vice-President for Finance sent a memo about it to Councils. You can read the memo and the response by SCOUT eh! Treasurer Ted Claxton.

An Analysis of Scouts Canada's Financial Position

February 17, 2005

Scouts Canada's 2004 Annual Report stated that, as of August 31, Scouts Canada was in debt $1.8 million to an undisclosed bank. That borrowing, we are informed by Scouts Canada, is on an unsecured line of credit that may be drawn upon to a maximum of $1.9 million. The report also discloses a Accounts Payable and Accrued Liabilities of $1.5 million. These figures are shown under the heading "Current Liabilities".

The previous year, the Annual Report showed no bank debt at all. Accounts Payable and Accrued Liabilities were $771,000.

This is a pretty big change in the financial picture. To get a better idea of what is happening, SCOUT eh! member Joseph Grittani, an accountant, took on the task of analyzing the past five years of Scouts Canada financial statements, boiling them down into a short, easy-to-understand report.

It is very clear from the analysis that Scouts Canada continues to face a particularly stringent financial situation and that they do not seem to be taking the problem seriously. Their draft Strategic Directions list some desired outcomes ("all councils operating in the black"), but no substantial strategies to meet these outcomes. They propose some minor tinkering, but this is not enough for a deep and fundamental problem.

Already, money in internally restricted funds, such as the Jamboree fund, has been spent on operating expenses (read: staff salaries). What's next? Will they cash in the Scout Brotherhood fund? Will they keep selling camps to keep the money flowing?

A democratic Scouts Canada would be accountable to the members to ensure that all monies are used for their intended purpose. This is currently not the case. Please read Scouter Joseph's report to find out what they are doing with your money: