Though I didn’t attend the 2012 Annual General Meeting of the EFO, I did manage to take a peek at the 2011 annual report and financial statements that were handed out there. Since the numbers contained in that document are as vague and disguised as a politician’s pre-election speech and absent of any 2012 budget figures, I asked an EFO attendee if any budget information was made available to the Ontario egg producers. The reply was a definite and resounding “No”. I thought the response was just a joke. Wrong. How could that be? The two hundred plus egg producers of Ontario have given a blank cheque to a group of individuals who have landed the EFO smack dab in the middle of a multi-million dollar law suit. Given a blank cheque to a group of individuals who provide only general information, when convenient and keep all details of the egg industry business behind closed doors. Given a blank cheque to a group of individuals who are supposed to be ‘volunteers’ but wait! That same group took home over $700,000 in ‘per diem payments and expenses’. By the way, wouldn’t those payments be considered taxable benefits by the CRA? Were T4’s given? I think all of us know the answer to that. Not bad for volunteers, eh?
Since the past chair of the EFO likes to use ‘old sayings’, here’s one that definitely applies to Ontario egg producers after this lack of action at the annual meeting: “A fool and his money are soon parted.” Giving an open and ‘sky-less’ budget to the current EFO leadership team is completely incredible. Where is the Chief Financial Officer, giving advice to the producers, telling the producers that it is a wise and necessary action to complete and approve a budget for the upcoming year’s revenues and expenses? An action that promotes accountability. Wait. What am I thinking? Isn’t the Chief Financial Officer or in this case, the secretary-treasurer of the Board, Harry Pelissero? Is it wise for the keeper of the cash to be the same person that makes the decisions on how much cash to spend? Why would Harry advise the producers to take a wise and proactive step to make HIM more accountable? He’s just made it easier to avoid accountability for his actions.
What are the egg producers of Ontario thinking? Not thinking with their brains obviously! I didn’t know the Board of Directors and the management team of EFO could have the same effect on the Ontario egg producers as a gorgeous woman has on a virile heterosexual man. I can’t imagine that Harry is dressing that provocatively these days! These producers are simply making it so easy for supply management opponents to make a case for the dissolution and/or major changes to the supply management system.