The OPFFA and the misuse of funds
The Defendants filed a Motion to obtain disclosure, one aspect being the financial records of the OPFFA. In response, all that was submitted by the OPFFA was a five page spreadsheet titled ‘Acct: 4079 – OD Donations’. It seems highly suspect that an organization with 11,000 members could only produce five pages of financial records. Obviously, they were holding back information.
We implore every OPFFA member to do their own due diligence to see how this organization is handling your money, and the precious money of the donors. You need to request detailed balance sheets, and bank statements, not only of the OPFFA, but of your Local Association as well. Not only do you have the right to request this information, but you should want this information. What makes you think that your elected executive board members are not misusing your money, and the donated money? How much money are they misusing at conventions. Rumor has it that it’s substantial.
What about using the Association’s (Local and Provincial level) credit cards to purchase personal items such as frequent dinners, weekly drinking binges, clothes, vacations, etc. Please don’t tell me you never suspected this! Guaranteed this happens, and it will proven to all of you soon, and those perpetrating this theft will be found out and held accountable.
Now it may have been difficult for the OPFFA to comply with the Motion to obtain their financial records because according to court records their bookkeeper stated that Quick Books was their choice for book-keeping. To put that in perspective, that is like using TurboTax to do the OPFFA’s yearly taxes. And, oddly enough, according to court records, they only use one single general bank account for the entire organization. That’s one account to handle all the Occupational Disease donations, all the per capita funds from their 11,000 members, paying all their utility bills, mortgage payments, payroll, expenses, lines of credit, credit cards, etc. When this fund was created the OPFFA, at a cost to members, hired an accounting firm to advise them and it was clear that the accounting firm thought that having one account was ludicrous.
These five pages of financial records are accessible through The Freedom of Information Act. The pages show the various deposits entering the account from various donors. But strangely through 2008 to 2013, you can see certain figures within brackets, which indicates a withdrawal. Written next to these withdrawals is “Relocate Interest Income”. Now, it has already been established that the OPFFA has only one banking account (perhaps they have rushed out to open another account since the trial in an attempt to obfuscate actionable behaviour). So where would the OPFFA transfer this Interest Income since they only had one account? Through those years, 2008-2013, the presidents were LeBlanc, McKinnon, and Santoro, respectively. Perhaps they know where this money went. Wherever those funds are, the OPFFA had no right to use them for anything other than what was mandated by the OPFFA, that being: OD research; education; lobbying; and pursuing OD claims. The OPFFA has argued and paraded this mandate so many times during this trial. Which leads us to how are they funding this lawsuit? This is a much larger story that needs to be told, but again it is actionable behaviour perpetrated by the OPFFA. You can see the Interest Income figures down below.
You’ll notice by 2012 and 2013 the interest accrued starts to decrease, the reason being is twofold. WSIB claims were tapering off. Atkinson and Grieve had already worked on all the large cancer claims by this time. Hence donations from widows reduced dramatically. The OPFFA would have everyone believe that their bank balance declined because Atkinson and Grieve were stealing their business….. but let’s forget about that for now….. the truth has a way of always revealing itself. Another reason the accrued interest was waning in those years was that the OPFFA was using the donations from widows to fund the work of Active firefighter claims, hence less money in the account. This was strictly against policy, and a clear reason why a separate bank account was needed for the donations from the widows and retired firefighters.
Another anomaly you’ll notice from this OPFFA financial record is one donation that was returned to the donor. It was a $1,000 donation and the financial statement states it was returned because a tax receipt could not be provided. That’s because the OPFFA does not have a charity designation. Now tell me, what is the next logical question that comes to mind? It’s obvious isn’t it, are they paying tax on all these donations? And for those of you who are not aware, the answer is absolutely not. What are the implications of receiving donations for so many years and never declaring this income? And who is accountable for not paying these taxes?A ton of blow-back will be returning to the OPFFA very soon and to the members. And no doubt, Hyndman will be taking another visit down south and leaving the members in disarray.