As the provincial election is just around the corner and as we have been advised to communicate with MLAs and other candidates as soon as possible, the BCACG has articulated its position on gaming funding for non-profit and charitable organizations in the attached document BCACG Position. This has been the BCACG’s position for several years and has been presented in many situations on numerous occasions.
If you would like to help get our message to the candidates, please use this document. We request your involvement so that as many MLAs and contenders as possible consider including it in their election campaign platform.
This is BCACG’s official position. If you do not agree with it, please do not speak on behalf of BCACG, but rather on behalf of your own organization or as an individual.
This is a chance to be heard loud and clear and if we all work towards our goal, we have a good chance of success.
THE MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE PROVINCE OF BC AND BCACG 1999
At the recent BCACG Symposium 2012, there was considerable interest in the 1999 Memorandum of Agreement between the Province of BC and the BCACG. Click on the links below to see a copy of the MOA and a copy of the 2000 Meekison Report that reiterated to the Province the central role of the MOA in gaming policy re charities and non-profit organizations.
NEWS UPDATES BCACG SYMPOSIUM 2012
As of September 22, there are over 120 people registered for Symposium 2012 on Oct. 4th and 50 for the Symposium Workshop Oct. 3rd. Looks like a great turnout.
Many many thanks to the people who have agreed to present at the Symposium and Workshop. The Final Agenda is now on this website under Symposium.
BCACG Symposium 2012 at the River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond, BC – Oct 4th from 8:30 to 4:30, followed by a wine and cheese gathering.
Pre-symposium workshop for CCGAs (Community Charitable Gaming Associations) and those interested in forming one – Oct 3rd from 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm.
Click on Symposium in the menu bar at top of page for news updates and registration.
Please visit our News blog (“NEWS” button at top) for more updates and in-depth posts on pressing issues and our current activities. And see below.
RESTORED GAMING ELIGIBILITY & “SPECIAL INTAKE” application process: As you probably all know by now, the government reinstated all the categories that were eliminated in 2009 or cut by 50%. If you are in one of the reinstated categories for 2011-2012 gaming funds, the deadline was Feb. 13, 2012 to apply for the amount you used to receive. Please keep us posted on your results. Note that you will next have to apply for the 2012-2013 fiscal.
Click here to see the grant app info-special-intake-grants-2011-121 and details of the special 2011-2012 intake. Get in touch with BCACG if you have any questions.
The government released the BC Gaming Grant Review in December of 2012. We appreciate Skip Triplett’s tireless work on it, though of course we wish it had resulted in appropriate levels of funding from the BC government. We are now considering our next moves.
October 31st 2011
On October 31st 2011 the following communication release was placed on the Province’s website:
“Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Ida Chong has received the independent report from Skip Triplett that examines government’s community gaming grant system for British Columbia. Triplett . . . delivered his report to the minister today. Government will release the report, in full, within the next 60 days – once it has had an opportunity to thoroughly review the document and determine next steps based on the options provided.”
From everything that has been said by people who were involved with the review, it was conducted very well – open, receptive and comprehensive. It fulfilled the scope established for it by Minister Chong and was impressive in its use of a dynamic website and social media. As well, Minister Chong’s opening
remarks at the symposium were very much appreciated, especially her sincere intention that positive outcomes be implemented for charitable and non-profit
organizations in BC.
BCACG is grateful to Premier Clark for fulfilling her campaign promises to the letter and to consistently giving priority to solving the crisis facing so many
charitable and non-profit organizations in BC. We sincerely hope that this commitment generates positive change.
As we look forward, we hope that it does not take the full sixty days to release the report and to announce the “next steps”. Many charities have already downsized or shut down. It is a very serious problem for most, if not all, of the remaining organizations to have to wait yet again for information about the future. While we understand that government needs time to consider the report, this communication release does not give any clear timeline of when the “next steps” will actually be implemented. Hopefully there will not be yet another waiting period for the implementation timeline to be announced and then for the implementation to actually take place.
As BCACG has said now for over two years, the simplest most effective short-term solution to the worsening crisis facing charitable and non-profit organizations is to reinstate 2008 eligibility criteria and levels of funding immediately.
October 6, 2011
The BCACG conference was held in Vancouver on Oct. 6, 2011 at the River Rock Casino, Richmond, B.C.
9 am Welcome: Minister Ida Chong. 1 pm Skip Triplett. And at 3 pm: The panel on “Advocacy on behalf of Charitable and Non-profit Organizations during the Crisis in Gaming Funding” is at 3 pm. Amir Ali Alibhai (Alliance for Arts & Culture), Sandy Garossino (co-founder of Vancouver Not Vegas Coalition), and Lindsay Brown (Founder of Stop BC Arts Cuts, co-founder of Vancouver Not Vegas Coalition).
The BC Community Gaming Grants Review committee, headed by Skip Triplett, was conducted around the province. Members of the charity and non-profit sectors came out in force to tell the committee that cuts in government services have meant that communities are increasingly very reliant on the charity/non-profit services that are ensured by BC gaming grants. Thank you.
March and April 2011
In March and April of 2011, BCACG conducted a survey of over 2000 charities and non-profits. They were asked if they considered themselves to be at risk of closing their doors if their funding does not return to the stable levels of 2008 – before the massive cuts and category changes of 2009. Almost 200 charities and non-profits replied, each with its own story about layoffs, reduction in services and loss of premises. They also projected how long it would be before they would simply have to give up and shut down. This number of replies does not include the organizations that no longer have the staff or the time to reply to questionnaires. There were 6800 charities and non-profits in 2008 receiving gaming funds, if you extrapolate the numbers out of 2000 for 6800, it means at least 680 charities and non-profits across the province, and probably as many as 1000, are currently at risk.
Across Canada an equitable percentage of the profits from gaming have always gone to charities and non-profits. The gaming industry was built on the backs of charities and non-profits and our work is still used to promote gaming in BCLC’s marketing campaigns, and in those of all the regional community gaming centres. It is simply not right, if not fraudulent, that BCLC, and the various gaming businesses, use our hard work and the needs of the people we serve to line their pockets with profits – while starving the charitable and non-profit sector of the relatively meager amounts they rely on to provide much needed services in every community of the province.
While some organizations received a much needed boost from the $15 milliom Premier Clark added to the 2010-2011 budget, there has been no action for 2011-2012, except the promise of a review –which has been slow in coming. How long can a patient in need of oxygen survive? Premier Clark convinced us all that she cared deeply about the work of the charitable and non-profit sector, including the arts! When will that caring manifest itself in action?
Email MLAs here. Write your MLA and the premier and ask them to abide by the 1999 Memorandum of Agreement with charities and restore these funds immediately!
If you think that more gambling in BC means more funding for BC charities, think again!
Since the current gaming funding crisis began in mid-2009, the BCACG has advocated strenuously for the return of promised funding to charities and non-profits. The BCACG began by advising the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch of the impacts that gaming funding cutbacks were having on its members. In the fall of 2010 the BCACG stepped up its advocacy and publicly challenged Minister Coleman to abide by the 1999 Memorandum of Agreement which dictates that 1/3 of gaming revenues be distributed to charities and non-profits (we currently receive about 10%). Minister Coleman’s response was that the Memorandum is not legally binding; this is not true. BCACG also called on Vancouver City Hall to halt the review process for the BC government’s application to expand gaming in the city (Edgewater mega-casino) until these issues are resolved. Thank you to Vancouver City Council for its motion calling on the BC gov’t to support charities with a fair share of gaming revenues (Feb 2011) and for its unanimous rejection of the Edgewater mega-casino, partly in light of BCLC irregularities including reneging on charity contributions.
The BCACG has also formally asked the BC Auditor General to investigate the legality of the cuts to gaming funding.
The charity and not-for-profit sector can not be squeezed any further. Many community services once shouldered by government have been off-loaded onto our sector, and with these current cuts our ability to leverage invaluable volunteer labour to fulfill our work has been severely compromised.
What can you do?
Write your MLA! Tell your elected representative what gaming cuts mean to you. The BC MLA Finder has all the contact information.
View our Petition to restore gaming funding to charities and non-profits across the province. This is an older petition but feel free to sign it.
For more detailed background information on the legality of gaming cuts: BCACG Brief on BC Gaming Legislation
British Columbia Association for Charitable Gaming (BCACG) is a non profit society representing charities’ interests in British Columbia since 1997. Our members have access to gaming revenue though Direct Access, Bingo Affiliation or Raffles. BCACG addresses the concerns of charities with licensing and access to gaming revenue.
BCACG needs your continued financial support. In addition, your membership gives us strength in numbers. Your voice is necessary to ensure your access to gaming revenue continues. So many important charities and non-profits in BC rely on gaming revenue in the province. For membership application, please click here.
Note to our BCACG membership – please update us with your contact info
Please email us with your organization name, email address, and a senior staffperson’s contact name so we may keep you abreast of critical gaming policy and funding changes that impact your charity or non-profit group. We would like to email these timely news bulletins to you so you may act on them quickly and/or forward them to your local stakeholders, media and politicians as required. By the time these bulletins were to reach you by regular mail, it may be too late for action. Thank-you for your immediate attention to this matter.