Sports minister dodges questions over National Lacrosse Association funding, transparency
Minister of Sport Kirsty Duncan avoided answering questions over federal government funding of the Canadian Lacrosse Association (CLA) as well as the organization’s lack of transparency.
The CLA, which lost its charitable status in 2010, is currently embroiled in a dispute with national team players which could see Canada miss out on the world championships for the first time since 1967.
The organizationand its players are trying to come together on an agreement over costs to national lacrosse players, who often have to pay to play at major events.
Players often need to find backing from sponsors, a job made more difficult by the lack of tax status which would allow backers to get tax receipts for their donations.
Exactly how much the CLA has in its operating budget is unclear as its financial statements are not made publicly available like those of Hockey Canada or Basketball Canada.
WATCH: Canadian lacrosse players fed up with paying own way
When questioned over the lack of transparency by the CLA, Duncan said the organization is required to provide a report to Sport Canada and is essentially, responsible to itself.
“Regarding requirements all of our sport federations, and that would include the Lacrosse Association of Canada, are required to put forth an annual report or statement that goes to Sport Canada as well as to its board members so they are accountable to their board members,” she explained.
When asked why the federal government is continuing to fund the CLA despite concerns the Canadian Revenue Agency has over tis governance, Duncan pointed that the organization was seeking charitable status.
“Let me just being by saying we are proud to support our national sports organizations across the country,” she responded. “It is my understanding that the lacrosse association of Canada applied for charitable status and we will let that process unfold under the Canada Revenue Agency.”
The CRA revoked the lacrosse association’s status because it issued “more than $60.7 million in donation receipts for abusive transactions arising from its role as a participant in tax shelter arrangements that, in the opinion of the Minister, do not qualify as gifts.”
*With files from Global News’ Megan Robinson and Andrew Russell