D2 Paper Session: Finance, Governance & Accountability
Date & Time
Thursday, June 4, 2020, 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Time Zone
Eastern Daylight Savings
Location Name
Registration required - Virtual Conference links will be available 24 hours prior to session

Chair: Anthony Piscitelli, Conestoga College

Dying to be heard? How survival strategies and public opinion interact when Canadian development NGOs go to the wall
Lauchlan T. Munro, University of Ottawa

In the last decade, a dozen Canadian development NGOs have faced life-threatening cuts to their government funding and three such NGOs have ceased operations. This paper analyses how the survival strategies used by these NGOs in crisis interacted with their appeals for various types of public opinion, and with what results. Based on analysis of annual reports and financial statements, key informant interviews and media reports, we conclude that that Canadian public opinion is less important for an NGO’s survival in such a crisis than smaller, deeper pools of potential supporters such as members, alumni and faith groups.

Economical Demutualization: Scrutinizing the Reasons to Vote Yes
Anthony Piscitelli, Conestoga College; Liam McHugh-Russell; McGill University

Over the last decade Economical Mutual has embarked on a process to become the first property and casualty mutual insurance company in Canada to demutualize. In 2019 Economical sought and received policyholder approval of a bylaw amendment which will allow the company to continue to pursue demutualization (Economical Mutual, 2019). This presentation will describe, critique and evaluate each of the rationales for demutualization set out by the company in their communications to eligible policy-holders: preparation for industry consolidation, access to capital, the creation of a holding company structure, increased reporting requirements, employee attraction and retention, and unlocking shareholder value.

Evaluating the Impact of Faith Building Closures: Year One Ontario Survey Results
Milton Friesen, University of Waterloo / Cardus; Kendra Fry, St. Paul’s Centre for Faith, Justice and the Arts

Estimates suggest that as many as 1/3 of Canada’s 27,000 faith buildings (church, temple, synagogue, mosque or gurdwara) may close by 2030. This two-year study surveys existing arts, culture and community groups that make use of faith building space to examine a series of core questions about how faith building closures may impact them. Where will twelve step groups, foodbanks, blood donor clinics, arts groups or community meetings go in the absence of faith buildings? Online surveys were collected in 2019 from 1269 groups using faith buildings. Of these, 629 surveys where sufficiently complete to be validated for inclusion in the study.