As I am sure you Torontonians saw in the newspaper this AM, at their Meeting Wednesday the TDSB (Toronto District School Board) decided to charge Scouting (and Guide) groups half of the propsed rate per hour, or $5.70 instead of $11.40. For our group of about 75 youth this will mean about another $1200 in costs that need to be covered, or about $15 per individual. Yikes!
In the run-up to this decision I traded a bunch of e-mails with Board Chair Gail Nyberg. She said they were working with groups to find a compromise but I gather now that even the unpalatable situation outlined above is in jeapordy. Apparently we will lose our preferential deal if the City of Toronto cries foul and wants the same rate as we received. What do you think the chances of that not happening are?
The Star article stated that the board hope we will all pressure our local MP's to have the province pick up the tab. Fat chance again but at least some lobbying is worth a try.
What have we heard from the paid staff on this? Not much. And for once I am somewhat in agreement with the majority opinion on those folks. Unlike others I do not object to their mere existence. However I do object mightily when they do not do even an adequate job of SUPPORTING the volunteer leadership.
This issue is a VERY IMPORTANT and IMMEDIATE one. I sent a flurry of e-mails Scout House's way on this subject and received NO RESPONSE WHATSOEVER. A single memo sent to parents through Group Committees is simply a very feeble effort. There should have been info on the website, they should have returned calls and e-mails on this matter and perhaps even (now here's a novel concept) organized some press coverage in advance.
Since they won't help us organize, I guess we'll have to do so ourselves. A challenge to all:
Call, e-mail or write your MPP and School Trustee ASAP. Let them know what their mean spirited action will do to Scouting Youth. (lots more apples and popcorn to sell eh?)
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