Society execs should be ashamed of themselves

Burnaby Now
March 27, 2014 01:31 PM

In the wake of the damning audit of the Portland Hotel Society, there's been a feeding frenzy condemning former directors and managers for their excess.

And there is certainly much to condemn, including an almost complete lack of accountability and a fingers-in-the-cookie-jar approach to self-reward that is shocking in an organization that exists significantly off public funding.

Questionable expenses included $69,000 in high-end restaurant bills, trips to Hawaii and Disneyland, a cruise down the Danube, spa treatments and booze purchases. The society also seemingly set up their books to defy any meaningful oversight.

The scorn and outrage justifiably aimed at the society has been palpable. It's not that there have never been bigger fish guilty of worse offences at the public trough. But as an organization supposedly devoted to the poor, this society was supposed to be better than that.

Instead, they came to see themselves as entitled.

Their actions have resulted in a huge sense of betrayal.

While the sins of the wicked pierce our side, the sins of the righteous pierce our heart.

One of the saddest fallouts of the sorry affair is that it has given plenty of ammunition for those who would love to cut public funding for similar endeavours, regardless of the good they do.

B.C. Housing Minister Rich Coleman said criminal charges aren't being considered against society executives.

That's too bad, because if this isn't technically criminal, it's certainly a moral crime.

It will have a real and negative impact on the most vulnerable people the society was supposed to help - perhaps for years to come.

For that, those associated with this sordid affair have only themselves to blame.

© 2015 Burnaby Now


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