TORONTO, Ont. - Just weeks after launching at Truck World Sept. 26, the Owner-Operators Business Association of Canada (OBAC) has hit some snags.Shortly after the association's launch, the group's acc...
TORONTO, Ont. – Just weeks after launching at Truck World Sept. 26, the Owner-Operators Business Association of Canada (OBAC) has hit some snags.
Shortly after the association’s launch, the group’s accountant, Tony Leckie, went missing. Dave Marson, president of OBAC says a substantial amount of money is also unaccounted for.
Meanwhile, the association has had a falling out with one of its founding members, who is devastated with the direction the group has taken.
Bill Wellman, a long-time owner/operator advocate, was instrumental in forming the O/O group.
In fact, it was his company that incorporated OBAC as a non-profit corporation. Shortly after getting the group up and running, he verbally agreed to resign and left the association in the hands of its board.
Since then, however, Wellman has been critical of the some of the association’s decisions.
One decision that raised some eyebrows was to cut each member of the board of directors a $1,000 cheque when they met in Toronto.
While not everyone on the board accepted the per diem, it ate up a significant chunk of the group’s start-up money, provided by the federal government.
In fact, since a $176,178.82 deposit was made Aug. 8, thanks to Industry Canada, that figure had dwindled to less than $15,000 by Sept. 1.
Now, the remainder of the government funding the association was banking on (from the Ontario Ministry of Enterprise, Opportunity and Innovation) appears to be in jeopardy.
A recent letter from the ministry to OBAC, states the department has several concerns that need to be addressed before it receives any of the funding it expected.
In a letter dated Oct. 7, the ministry stated it was concerned that “To date there is no evidence that the membership drive is underway and therefore the financial contribution required in the contract from OBAC membership fees is unlikely to be achieved by Dec. 31.”
Furthermore, the letter states the government is concerned that a proposed Ontario branch of OBAC has yet to be established. It was supposed to be up and running by July 15.
Wellman also raised concerns about some serious conflicts of interest that had arisen.
For example, two members of the OBAC board selection committee work for an industry trade magazine.
Now, Wellman hopes it’s not too late to pick up the pieces and try to salvage the association.
“As for OBAC, I worked two years to give it to them,” says Wellman.
“Bill Wellman gave these people a golden hen.”
OBAC is insisting Wellman is no longer a member of the board, because of his verbal resignation earlier this year, but Wellman says that’s not the case.
“Even though the board thinks I can be removed from the board, the bylaws state very clearly that I will hold office for a period of two years, until the first annual election,” says Wellman.
“I told them I would resign, but all this mess started. I’m not going nowhere until this mess is straightened out.”
For its part, OBAC says it’s alive and well and will continue on without the support of Wellman. For more on the situation with OBAC
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