LETTER: Subdivision of Metchosin wilderness lacks transparency

It is always a gamble to donate to a charity. Donors want assurance their money is going to needed services. The only way for a charity to guarantee this is transparency.

The current Boys and Girls Club of Greater Victoria fiasco with the District of Metchosin should be a case study. The club’s secrecy since 2019 about subdividing its Metchosin wilderness property, its non-collaboration with stakeholders, and its aggressiveness defending both its non-collaboration and secrecy should give diligent donors pause.

If a charitable organization espouses values like belonging, respect, encouragement, working together and speaking out, and then disregards them with its stakeholders, a donor should be worried about board and executive transparency. If a charitable organization receives millions of dollars in government funding and then sells off part of its wildness property asserting that youth today no longer need wilderness experiences — which much research refutes — a donor should be worried about operational transparency.

Canada Helps.org states that one measure of a charity’s accountability is the extent to which an organization is open and transparent about its operations. On this account, the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Victoria has failed its stakeholders, donors and youth.

Mark Muldoon