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Thread: OCA Trillium Report (term used loosely)

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter McKillop
    The item below was posted here by Eric Van Dusen on November 13, 2008. Here is something you can do for me: make the agreement executed by the OCA and the Trillium Fund publicly available. I'm assuming that by now, more than 13 months later, someone has actually managed to get off their duff and obtain a copy of the executed agreement from Trillium. Please post it here or at the OCA's website so that anyone who is interested can see it.

    Can you do that in a timely fashion? Or should we expect another committee to be struck, perhaps headed up by Eric Van Donothing, with a major report to be tabled at the 2010 AGM?
    Note this segment: "I have been in touch with the Trillium Fund and the Project Manager is willing to release the agreement signed between the OCA and the Trillium Fund, but he is not willing to release the reports submitted by Barrry."

    This does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that a copy of the agreement was requested (and then received). Trillium was willing to release the agreement, but I have no idea whether the OCA (ie: Eric or anyone else) requested a copy.

    On the Trillium Web site, it used to be possible to rummage around and find copies of the grant requests, but I have not been able to do so (perhaps they online have certain number of years online and that stuff has since fallen off the website)...

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Liles
    .... This does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that a copy of the agreement was requested (and then received). ....
    Correct. Which is why I said that I assumed that someone had obtained it by now.

  3. #23

    Default Fyi, Fyi

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Mallon
    What exactly do you want me to do? ...
    This one is also from ChessTalk, posted on October 15, 2008. That's 14 months ago. Do you have a copy of the final version of the agreement between Trillium and OCA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter McKillop October 15, 2008, at ChessTalk
    More Questions for Chris Mallon and One for Frank Dixon

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Chris: Does the OCA have copies of all of the Trillium grant documentation? How about making them available for the rank and file to see? What about the resolution authorizing the application to the Trillium Foundation? Was it passed with due regard to the applicable provisions of the OCA constitution (e.g. conflict of interest)? Were expenditures in excess of $1,000 authorized in accordance with the constitution? And by the way, why was York Region (this is from memory; if it's wrong then whatever the geographical region was) singled out for this bit of munificence? It is the Ontario Chess Association, after all. What was the OCA's rationale for choosing this locale and excluding others?

    Frank Dixon: Frank, why hasn't your voice been heard with respect to this matter?

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Last edited by Peter McKillop; October 16th, 2008 at 12:45 PM. Reason: I'm too lazy to start another thread.

  4. #24
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    Peter,

    I stated flat-out following my June 2008 election that, while I was not happy with the overall result, I was not sure that anything productive would come out of any further investigations. Some people wanted a lawsuit however I pointed out that even IF we happened to win it, assuming that we could afford it (we had $-2 in the account and $5000 of debt), Trillium would quite possibly just demand to get it back themselves.

    With all that considered I said I was not going to personally pursue the matter; if some were still interested in doing so, they could form a committee. Eric accepted.

    My opinion has not changed in the year and a half since then. I still see no benefit into investigating any further, and therefore I won't. I'm not going spend/waste time arguing with Trillium to get documents released that won't change anything. So, to answer your actual question, no we do not have any of the trillium paperwork (other than an early draft of the original proposal) - unless Eric happened on to anything. That's all I've seen.

    As for your other questions, I can't answer them, since other than being around for the initial "Hey we should think about applying to Trillium" when I was OCA VP 2004-2005, I had nothing to do with it. I don't know why they chose York Region, I don't know what the voting procedure was, I don't know if it did or didn't follow the constitution. I wasn't even an OCA Governor at the time.

  5. #25

    Default Trillium Report

    It is easily understandable that OCA members would be disappointed with the Trillium report.

    A few comments may suffice:

    1) The Trillium Foundation refused to release any information except the legal agreement that was signed between the OCA and the Trillium Fund. In particular, Trillium refused to release the reports submitted by Thorvardson to the fund.

    2) Thorvardson has always maintained that he gave all pertinent documentation to Chris Mallon. Mallon has always maintained that Thorvardson gave him none or very little documentation regarding the Trillium fund.

    3) At the 2009 OCA AGM, the meeting voted to direct the committee from ever contacting the Trillium Fund again.

    4) Regarding the Canada Closed, most participants from this championship were contacted but many could not remember the details of payment. As far as could be determined, Thorvardson did not have or was unwilling to release financial records for the Closed.

    5) While I, Eric Van Dusen, had grave concerns over Thorvardson's handling of the Trillium grant and the Canada Closed, much of the EOCA executive including Garland Best and Aris Marghetis were much angrier than myself.

    6) The underlying purpose of the exercise was not to assign blame, mete out punishment or retrieve the lost money, but to identify weaknesses in the OCA governance structures and make recommendations to stengthen those governance structures. Since the OCA is made up of four leagues, my only suggestion was to require a signature from treasurer's of three of the four chess leagues. It was the only way I could see that no one person or league dominate the executive structure. That particular suggestion was dismissed as too bureaucratic or cumbersome at the 2009 OCA AGM.

    In closing, it is my opinion that the trail was way too cold in order to gather the kind of evidence that is required for a legal proceeding. The committee was simply unable to gather the legal documents from Thorvardson or the Trillium Fund.

    The president, Chris Mallon showed little interest and gave little or no support in facilitating the committee's investigation. The OCA AGM decided that no further contact with the Trillium Fund would be permitted and had no interest in strengthening governance structures because they felt that such restructuring would be too bureaucratic.

    That was the democratic will of the attendees of the OCA AGM. While I may disagree with the decision of the assembly, I am required to respect it and carry out its will to the best of my abilities. After the AGM, it was my feeling that in practical terms, the investigation committee was not in the position to make significant progress.

    Hence, I submitted my findings to Michael von Kietz. He wrote the first draft of the report, which was then reviewed by Egis and myself. This revised version was then presumably was sent to the OCA Executive.

    I commend all the committee members for their hard work. All of us tried our best. However, I do feel that the committee did come up short.

    Eric Van Dusen
    Last edited by Eric Van Dusen; 12-22-2009 at 01:05 AM.
    Eric Van Dusen
    CFC Past-President 2010-2011

  6. #26

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    Eric, you and Chris are a real pair. You guys were so apathetic about this thing that you couldn't even be bothered to obtain what Trillium offered you - a copy of the final contract. You guys and von Keitz have done all this "investigating" and you know dick about the most fundamental aspect of all this; i.e. the terms of the grant. You guys, who reportedly have banned Thorvardson from holding office in the OCA again, don't even know what the hell was supposed to have happened with the grant money. For all you guys know, Thorvardson might have complied fully with all of the terms and conditions stipulated by Trillium. The circumstances suggest other possibilities but the point is that you guys, who presumably have some responsibility for looking out for the best interests of chessplayers in Ontario, know dick. Thanks for your valiant efforts on our behalf!!
    Last edited by Peter McKillop; 12-21-2009 at 11:11 AM.

  7. #27
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    I had nothing to do with the investigation other than allowing the committee to form. I have never spoken with Trillium and they have never offered me anything at all.

    You are correct in that BT may well have complied with Trillium regulations. Trillium has already said they consider the matter closed. It's also plain fact that BT violated several OCA regulations.

    My personal opinion is that absolutely nothing can be done about it anymore, so why not put effort into something worthwhile? But since others did want to investigate, I gave them the opportunity to do so, and we can now see the result.

  8. #28

    Default Peter McKillop

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter McKillop
    Eric, you and Chris are a real pair. You guys were so apathetic about this thing that you couldn't even be bothered to obtain what Trillium offered you - a copy of the final contract. You guys and von Keitz have done all this "investigating" and you know dick about the most fundamental aspect of all this; i.e. the terms of the grant. You guys, who reportedly have banned Thorvardson from holding office in the OCA again, don't even know what the hell was supposed to have happened with the grant money. For all you guys know, Thorvardson might have complied fully with all of the terms and conditions stipulated by Trillium. The circumstances suggest other possibilities but the point is that you guys, who presumably have some responsibility for looking out for the best interests of chessplayers in Ontario, know dick. Thanks for your valiant efforts on our behalf!!
    Normally, I would not respond to such a discourteous response.

    I do in fact know pretty much what the grant was for as pretty much almost everyone in the OCA does. The OCA had a contract with the Trillium Foundation where its grant was for a pilot project in York Region to support youth chess activities. The grant was primarily for a salary of a Program and Volunteer Coordinator and the purchase of chess equipment (boards and clocks).

    Thorvardson hired a person to do this work. He soon fired this person and notified the OCA Executive that he was going to do some work for the pilot project and "pay himself a little something", as quoted from David Gordon, an OCA governor at the time from the EOCA. What he did not inform the OCA Executive, that he, as president of the OCA, was going to hire himself out as the Program Coordinator and renumerate himself with the Trillium Grant that he, himself had applied for.

    I remember quite well the idea for this grant because Barry had explained it to me over a few dinners we had shared at the Canada Open, when it was held at Kapaskasing for the second time. It never ocurred to me at the time that the grant would be for a salaried person, let alone that Barry would pay himself with the grant.

    The contract with the Trillium Fund is and still remains well understood. If Chris Mallon, the President of the OCA wants a copy of the contract, he, himself can contact the Trillium Fund and get a copy of the contract.

    What he cannot get and what I desired most was the reports that Thorvardson was contractually obligated to submit to the Trillium Fund describing the results of the pilot project.

    The Trillium Fund referred to privacy laws and stated uncategorically that it could not release these reports to the OCA. The Trillium fund manager stated that what Thorvardson had done was not criminal but unethical. This manager had assured Hal Bond, CFC President at the time, that as long as Thorvardson was eliminated from the OCA, then the OCA would be in the position of receiving more grants from the Trillium Fund in the future.

    Thorvardson is now banned for life from holding any official position in the OCA and in turn, the CFC. Thorvardson was requested to resign his position from the Chess Foundation as directed by myself under the order of the 2009 CFC AGM. What else do you want done, Peter? I do have the power to refer his case to the CFC Ethics Committee which could consider a lifetime ban from the CFC.

    I am still puzzled about how privacy regulations can over ride the contractual obligations between the Trillium Fund and the OCA. The OCA should be able to have full access to the file that is held by the Trillium Fund and yet, it does not have this access. It would be a very good question to refer to a lawyer or better yet, your local Member of the Provincial Parliament at Queen's Park.

    The ball is in your court, Peter.

    Eric Van Dusen
    OCA Member

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Van Dusen
    Normally, I would not respond to such a discourteous response.

    <snippage of lots of hearsay>

    The ball is in your court, Peter.

    Eric Van Dusen
    OCA Member
    How is the ball in Peter's court? He doesn't represent the OCA. If his reply was discourteous it's probably because he's frustrated with the buck-passing that's going on. How can you (or anybody) be satisfied with that report. Your own post that I'm replying to contains more information than the report.

    But even your post has the same problems as the report does: it doesn't cite anything. It uses language such as "everybody knows". How about a report that includes the following:

    - letters or other communications between the OCA and the CFC about the 2006 closed

    - financial statements from the OCA about both the closed and the Trillium grant

    - a list of all people contacted in preparation of the report including why they were contacted and when they were contacted (this should include Barry Thorvardson)

    - a written statement from somebody at Trilllium about the grant (preferably a somebody with, umm, a *name*)

    - a copy of the agreement between Trillium and the OCA

    - references to specific OCA by-laws that were violated with respect to the Trillium funding (if any)

    - references to specfic provisions of the grant agreement that may have been violated (if any)

    - if any supporting documents are missing: a statement of why they are missing and what steps were taken to acquire them

    Peter's not the only one who wants to know what happened and filling a report with a whole bunch of "everyone knows" and "everyone agrees" and making references to verbal statements of un-named individuals is not a "report". What has been presented so far is an incomplete executive summary of a report.

    As Clara Peller would say, "Where's the beef?"

    Steve

  10. #30
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    Default Deficiencies in the report!

    Steve, well said.

    I was very disappointed in the report myself. Thanks to Peter, we now know a little bit more from Eric's reply.

    You have an excellent list of report deficiencies. I hope the committee will now go back to the drawing board and try again!

    If the chess community is ever going to be taken seriously, we need to be accountable and transparent in our financial and political dealings.

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