This year started off generally well with the NFA well-positioned to take a strong role in influencing government policies prior to the election. Our social media sites were poised to flood our supporters and interested persons with information on firearms related government policies and suggestions with actions to take. The volunteer site administrators were working well together and generally all was progressing nicely towards a strong push on government bills. We had intervened in two important Supreme Court of Canada cases with firearms rights ramifications, and were well positioned to gain as a result of our significant participation in both of them, were they to be victorious as we rightly expected that they would be. In short, we were looking quite solid with good support from volunteers, and an enthusiastic group of new directors.
In early June, the NFA will be heading to New York to make a brief presentation on ISACS and to observe the discussions on UN attempts to go after more civilian arms rights in the Programme of Action Second Meeting of Government Experts, hosted at UNHQ June 1-5, 2015. The NFA has been working on getting consulting status for ECOSOCS/UN. This will mark our eighth year of attending UN meetings.
Things changed dramatically after Shawn Bevins was terminated for cause. Mr. Bevins’ termination was duly preceded by a full course of progressive disciplinary action for several matters related to his self-acknowledged drinking problem, failure to provide receipts, misuse of the NFA credit card, and undermining of executive officers. He was duly counselled, warned, given two letters of reprimand, and then terminated. His termination prompted subsequent demands by a group of 5 directors to have him reinstated. At the same time, these five directors sued the NFA, ostensibly to compel the production of corporate records which are freely available to them. In parallel with such legal action, the NFA president and other executive officers and others have been attacked on social media, and defamed by several individuals reacting and speculating without cause or evidence. That situation was clearly in evidence in the failed attempt to make the president quit at the recent AGM in Quebec City.
The NFA has lost credibility, income, and donations because of this public spectacle. Nothing justifies the behaviour of those directors who conspired to hold a coup, and then followed it up by muckraking on social media, and curtailing our formerly highly effective Facebook marketing program by removing the duly constituted administrators. They chose to initiate an unnecessary court action which the NFA was forced to defend against. The executive has every reason to believe that this situation is the reason why some of our proposed amendments to Bill C-42 were ignored, in spite of initially being favourably received. In other words, those actions have damaged our organization, its reputation, and our ability to carry out our main function – of changing firearms law. In their desire to take control of the NFA, they have shown a total lack of scruples and no consideration for the long term damage that they are inflicting upon this organization.
The conspiracy to take over the AGM in Quebec City was clearly driven by misplaced motives of loyalty to Mr.Bevins and false assumptions of wrong-doing that have only served to damage our cause. The misuse of the NFA logo and proprietary logos has also caused the NFA to be exposed to risk at unapproved events which claim to be NFA activities, but which are continued actions designed to disrupt and destabilize the NFA and its leadership.
The NFA has had its financial records reviewed by an accountant annually since 2010. While not a full audit, this financial review process has been acceptable to the membership and directors since its inception in 2010. The reason for this process in the early years was quite simply to save the cost of a full audit, and yet maintain a reasonable third party check on the operations of our financial staff. As reported to the directors, the executive instructed the general manager to obtain quotes for, and conduct a formal audit of NFA finances for the preceding two years.
The consensus of our last directors’ meeting prior to March was that a full formal audit instead of the financial review as conducted previously was necessary at this point, particularly with so many new and inexperienced directors being recently elected or acclaimed to the board, and all were canvassed as to who the auditor should be. The five that responded all approved KPMG, which was contracted to conduct the audit. KPMG advised us that it would only be necessary to audit 2013 and 2014, and tie that to our Notice to Reader unaudited financial review from 2012. This audit has now been completed, and permits a full picture of our financial situation which should hopefully ease the concerns of anyone who has conjectured that there was anything amiss in the NFA. The results of this audit were provided to directors at the AGM and presented to the members in the treasurer’s report. It is worth emphasizing that no improprieties whatsoever were unearthed by the auditors, because none exist.
In short, there is nothing amiss with the NFA management, or its finances, and the auditor’s report is proof of that fact. It is available in the office to view, but before being officially called audited the statements must be approved and certified. Your executive will continue to work towards the best interests of the NFA.
The NFA National Executive
Jerrold Lundgard, Secretary
Bill Rantz, Treasurer
Blair Hagen, Executive VP Communications
Sheldon Clare, President & CEO