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Who really benefits from a dysfunctional organization?

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26.JAN.07

EDITOR: In a week’s time our St. Vincent and the Grenadines Association of Toronto (SVGAT) would be 40 years old. Yes, forty years with nothing to show but a name! It is time for us as conscientious Vincentians to wake up and deal with the real issues that impede the progress of our association; it is time that we break our silence and expose those who exploit our good name for personal gains.

We have paid our dues to the “Cartels” for too long. Our love and passion to socialize together by giving our time, our money and our efforts have been taken for granted by a select few who are determined to personally exploit our SVG community.{{more}}

Those of us who have been SVGAT’ members in the 70s and 80s can attest to the success of our organization with respect to its goals and its deeds. For many years, we were second to none in Canada. Today despite the many opportunities that are rampant for communities such as ours with respect to funding, sponsorship and charitable status, we are still impeded from advancing as a result of the strategies adopted by the shortsighted and opportunistic “Cartel”.

I call upon all Vincentians to send a clear message to those opportunists at our 40th anniversary that “enough is enough”. I call upon those Vincentians with an exemplary record in Canadian Society to come forth and help to advance our community. It is time to get out of the SVGAT wilderness of stagnation and re-build a viable SVGAT.

Despite the fact that many Vincentians in Toronto do not wish to be active members of the SVGAT, it is nevertheless imperative that you know what’s happening. It is your right as Vincentians to demand transparency of the operation of the Association. Individuals who accept positions to serve in the association must be accountable to the Vincentian community. A quality that is clearly absent in our SVGAT.

Prior to the annual election of the SVGAT a private house party is usually held with a selective group of individuals (the “Cartel”) who will use a confidential financial membership list to determine the eligible voters and determine the slate of candidates that they would want to run the association.

These individuals would try every trick in the book (scam) to not only influence the outcome of the election but also to remove members from the voting list that they feel may support candidates that will oppose their plans and objectives.

This strategy allows the “Cartel” to control the SVGAT affairs including its website, publications, advertisements, sponsorships and its finances. They would disguise their plans by nominating or electing one or two credible/respected community members into non-functional and unimportant positions (such as Vice President or nominated members) who like the Vincentian Community would be unaware of their modus operandi. The VP or nominated members would serve in positions that basically have no voice, and would, by virtue of their position, give the allusion to the greater community that things are acceptable. These two persons would always be out-voted on any important issue thereby enabling the initiatives of our SVGAT cartel.

The question is…Who benefits from a dysfunctional organization?

Elma Gabriel
Community Advocate (Toronto)

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