A tip of the Frank beanie to Susan Black, new suprema of the Conference Board of Canada, those world-class policy wanks (wonks, shurely?!–ed.) who specialize in bringing together the rich and powerful from government, bidniz and academia.
You know, the non-partisan, evidence-based, independent, highly respected think tankery that got us where we are today. Think webinars.
A large chunk of Conference Board business comes from plush contracts doled out by government departments. But what really keeps the CBofC afloat is its status as a registered charity. They’re a non-profit, dining on donations, paying no taxes.
And yet the Conference Board competes for that juicy government biz against companies without charitable status; companies who pay taxes and struggle to survive sans government subsidy.
In order to land government contracts, of course, one must be accomplished in the art of sucking and blowing and at that, CBofC directors are highly adept.
Consider the cozy relationship between the feds and Board members like “Not the Real” Deepak Chopra, head of Canada Post and Conference Board director. Benoit Daignault, president of Export Development Canada and CBofC director; Marc-André Blanchard, Justin Trudeau’s Quebec lieutenant in the 2015 election, now CBofC director.
But despite rich government handouts, the Conference Board somehow loses money, limping to the finish last year $1.1-million in the red.
How is it possible for a Canadian non-profit to rake in millions of dollars worth of government contracts, pay no taxes, and yet still lose money?
Perhaps their bottom line would look a little healthier if they weren’t doling out lavish gifts to outgoing presidents.
We speak of Dan Muzyka, whose five-year term mercifully ended in April, but not before his fellow directors presented him with a farewell gift: A brand new, $60,000 Audi A5.