Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Guest blogger Marie Renaud Martin on Rick Hansen


It was hard to even read the Vancouver Sun's article. We live in a country where young hockey players make more than some small countries. Yes, Rick Hansen's fund raising goal was huge and he fell short. The man went around the WORLD in a wheelchair. It makes sense that he thinks big. He made a mistake. So what?

If Rick Hansen makes hundreds of thousands, I am happy he does. He has given his adult life to raising awareness. In Alberta, our government pays volunteer appointed board members hundreds of thousands of dollars in honorariums and we don't even flinch. All about perspective. So Mr. ex-Sun writer, good for you, you can read a financial statement, point out mistakes and manipulate words. How have you positively impacted our world?



Anonymous said...

You obviously didn't even read the article. It wasn't sensational, or gossip. It wasn't extrapolating facts that don't exist. It was cold, hard numbers. You think he's worth $400K+? Awesome. If he were in the private sector, all power to him. The man can pull $25K per speaking appearance, there is money to be made. However, when you are funded by taxpayers and donors, you are accountable to those people. Every cent you spend should and must be in the public interest. Frivolous spending just isn't an option for nonprofits, who work to be transparent and show donors how their precious dollars were spent. The Foundation made seriously bad decisions as trustees of public money, and despite questions from the media and public, they refused to be accountable.
I know you want to believe in the myth, but the organization's management of this funding is disgraceful.

Anonymous said...

No one is questioning Rick's achievements. That is not the issue, and people need to put their emotions aside. The Sun article raises some very troubling facts about the CURRENT management of PUBLICLY DONATED FUNDS, and "so what?" is a truly pathetic response.

Anonymous said...

It seems you are mixing things here, Rick's achievements are one thing but the way a foundation is run is a very different thing. Being in a wheelchair myself, I am very troubled by this article and also very concerned by how little they spend on research for a Cure which was the reason for the tour at first.

Anonymous said...

David Baines has been uncovering white collar crime and stock fraud in particular, for the past 23 years. He has an MBA from the University of Western Ontario and has won four National Newspaper Awards, a National Magazine Award and four Jack Webster Awards. The Sun columnist has written 3,887 stories in the past 25 years, nearly all about people who tried to take unfair advantage of others. The Rick Hansen Foundation was hardly singled out for no reason. The blubbering admirers should start to understand the huge amount of waste and squander that has happened with the citizens tax paid money. Health Canada owes THE PEOPLE an investigation and changes made to the funding that's blindly given to self serving initiatives that are not carried out or reviewed properly. This entire situation is an outrage and begging for government intervention. Considering the millions that have been trashed for nothing, it's no wonder the people suffering from paralysis are angry and disgusted. Thank goodness for investigative reporters like David Baine that bring situations like this to the public's attention so something can be done to stop it. If people insist on stroking Mr. Hansen's ego the taxpayer's millions will continue to finance thin air. It's time for this to stop and real funding to actually make it into legitimate labs for paralysis research. You won't hear any sobbing over the public disclosure or hero worshiping from me. The facts are the facts.

Anonymous said...

Fell short? So what? So bloody what? I give a damn even if you don't.

Please do not be so cavalier about how my tax dollars and donations are spent. The money wasted on the anniversary tour would have been better spent on cure research.

And as to Rick's salary compensation. If he is overpaid. Simple as that. Add to that the dodgy accounting over his name and I am suspicious.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure that mega salaries are ever justifiable. If hockey players really do make more than some industrial executives it goes to prove it's a mad world. As a paraplegic I was interested to read the original Hansen story; as a historical frame it was inspirational. Also, as a para I look forward to cure. The costly razmataz associated with festivals has become a bit of a circus, and Mr Hansen leaves many of us feeling that nostalgia for the heroic wheelie battling against challenges the able bodied take for granted outweighs any thrust towards cure.

The hard maths of the foundation currently makes cloudy cuckoo reading.

StemCells&AtomBombs said...

Your blog almost knocked me out of my chair when you talked about Rick Hansen falling short of his fundraising goals.

Falling "short" is one of the biggest understatements I've heard in a long time. They spent 17 to 19 million with a goal of raising 250 million but in the end only 84 million was raised. Well, you may say that they more than quadrupled their initial outlay, but then if you look at this 84 million, you start to see that most of it was simply a renewal of existing funding. In fact, RHF's revenues did not see any significant change pre and post 25th anniversary spending, but instead they are now saddled with a deficit.

You can say, "So what?" to this?

You are very generous in your forgiveness because , "He has given his adult life to raising awareness." And then goes on to disparage Baines' article by questioning how much positive impact he has had on the world.

I myself say; so what?

How does this let Rick Hansen get off for his troubling financial stewardship? How much money is he allowed to be off by because he is a good guy? I would love you to supply us with a figure. Also, since Rick Hansen's salary is of no concern, so again I would like you to offer us a salary figure that you would consider to be too high. In fact, Rick Hansen is paid at least $50,000 more than the highest paid charity executive in British Columbia while all other BC charities paid less than $300,000.

Anonymous said...

I am writing to you in regard to the following recent article in the Vancouver Sun:

After reading this article, I opened the Foundation's Annual report for 2011-2012:
I found that, for this one year, the RHF spent $35,116,719, but the portion for grants and sponsorships represented $13,217,111. That is only 37.64%, which is below financial and government standards for non-profit organizations. The most disturbing part of the report, however, is the overall very low funding for research to find a cure for spinal cord injury, which received only $6988. That is 470 times less money than the Foundation spent on traveling and meetings ($3,301,734).
In my opinion, it is therefore important to investigate all audited financial statements for the RHF for the last 25 years in order to find out how much money they have actually spent on pioneering research to find a cure for spinal cord injury, which is supposed to be one of their main goals. This information should be made public as the Foundation receives 77% of its funding from Federal and Provincial Government Grants