CAMH loses $1 million donation due to ‘issues of accountability’
TheStar.com – News/GTA – Statement by philanthropist Andrew Faas said CAMH wasn’t able to demonstrate that the donation was used in accordance with the foundation’s goals.
Sept. 29, 2016. By SAMMY HUDES, Staff Reporter
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has lost a $1 million donation due to “issues of accountability.”
Philanthropist Andrew Faas, the founder of The Faas Foundation, withdrew the grant to CAMH because the organization was unable to demonstrate that the first installment of the donation was used in accordance with his foundation’s goals.
“We deeply regret that things have come to this point with CAMH. We awarded the funds in good faith and expected results that were in keeping with the guidelines we agreed upon,” Faas said in a statement three months ago.
The Faas Foundation, established in 2005, aims to support not-for-profit organizations involved in creating psychologically safe workplaces by helping employees deal with the stress and emotions of their jobs.
Faas, a former executive with Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaws, noted that the foundation has awarded many grants in its history, but that “this is the first time in our 11 years that we have lost confidence in a grantee.”
The grant was to be used for CAMH’s “Well@Work” program, an initiative to provide Canadian workplaces with training to identify risks of mental illness and strategies to support employees in need.
In a statement provided to the Star, CAMH said the program was on hold due to the funds being pulled. The organization stated it provides donors with accountability reports, timelines and updates on donor-supported projects.
It said the plan was to develop and roll out the Well@Work program over three years and that it “stands by the progress made in the first year.”
“We continue to work towards re-establishing Mr. Faas’ satisfaction as to the value of his gift and in the work undertaken with his support,” says the statement. “We believe that, once completed, the initiative has the potential to positively influence workplace mental health across Canada.”
Faas said his foundation is only able to award a limited amount of funding each year.
“It is important that there be demonstrable accountability from the institutions that receive these funds, so that we can be confident that the funds have been applied towards our objectives,” he stated. “We are not satisfied that that was done in this case, which is unfortunate, because other groups could have benefited from these funds.”
CAMH said in its statement that the organization had “looked forward” to improving workplace mental health initiatives for its own employees through the Well@Work.
In July, CAMH pleaded guilty to a workplace safety charge related to the 2014 beating of a nurse by a patient. The hospital was ordered to pay an $80,000 fine for violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act by failing to develop, establish and put in place measures and procedures to protect the health and safety of workers.
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