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ViewPoints: Brandt-CNIB Regina Development Scandal

Ordinary citizens protested the secretive Brandt-CNIB development that would have developed commercial real estate on a provincially owned park in Regina. They are willing to fight it in court.

Regina City Council repeatedly protested the Brandt-CNIB development and it passed two motions against it calling for more transparency.

The Saskatchewan Provincial Capital Commission’s Board passed a unanimous decision to audit the Brandt-CNIB development. The report raises even more questions about this secretive deal that would allow CNIB to live in prime office space rent-free.

CNIB still refuses to name the commercial tenants that want to rent space in the Brandt-CNIB development.

One Hundred Years Enough for the CNIB

Graeme McCreath
March 18, 2018
Graeme McCreath argues the group encourages custodial treatment of the blind.

Is the CNIB’s centennial this year really something to celebrate?

The Canadian National Institute for the Blind came about directly because of the high profile of gas-blinded heroes of the First World War and survivors of the 1917 Halifax explosion. As a self-preservation policy, the institute eventually turned to influencing government to designate all blind Canadians permanent wards of a charity, but in reality, recipients of little.

Temporary causes reflect contemporary attitudes, but society changes and so should attitudes. Nevertheless, this longstanding enigma, the CNIB, will celebrate its centennial this year, yet elsewhere inclusion has replaced segregation, and obsolete Victorian values have evaporated like the age of steam power.

Trudeau Liberals Axe Funding for Blind and Vision-Impaired Books

By Brian Hill Associate Producer Global News

Kirsty Duncan rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday November 3, 2009.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has decided it will no longer fund the production of accessible books for blind and vision-impaired Canadians, Global News has learned.

Starting April 1, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), which is Canada’s largest producer of accessible and alternate-format books, will no longer receive government funding for converting conventional books into accessible formats. The news comes nine days before the CNIB is set to celebrate its 100th anniversary.

Canadian Federation of the Blind Letter and Background Information Mailed to Librarians and Legislators

Please circulate widely.
April 13, 2017

Dear legislators and librarians interested in services to blind Canadians:

Canada currently has two library services for blind people and others with print disabilities. The publicly owned system is called National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS). The privately owned system is the old CNIB library, now called Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA).

Having two library systems is an unreasonable duplication of effort and a tragic waste of resources. The Canadian Federation of the Blind urges governments and libraries to put an end to this nonsense and once and for all make our library service truly public. We believe NNELS is fully
capable of managing distribution of books in alternate formats and should become Canada’s resource for libraries as they integrate service to people with print disabilities.

CNIB Faces Legal Challenge by Ex-Kiosk Operator Accused of Mishandling Money

‘I got shafted and I’m being made to look bad…. I didn’t do anything,” says Mike Perry By Yvonne Colbert, CBC News Posted: Mar 14, 2017

Mike and Jane Perry say their lives have been turned upside down by CNIB, which claims Mike is responsible for $9,000 in missing funds.

CNIB, the national registered charity for the visually impaired, is again facing a legal fight with a former lottery kiosk operator who says he’s been wrongly terminated and accused of mismanaging funds.

Mike Perry is one of at least seven former kiosk operators to be targeted in connection with funds that have allegedly gone missing, but he said he’s been told the non-profit organization is writing off the shortfall.

People, Power, and Pelf

by Ed Vaughan
Braille Monitor
January 2016

Throughout my academic career and personal life, I have been concerned when individuals are exploited. Concerning blindness, I was always angered when I encountered educators and rehab workers with low expectations for blind people. This becomes worse when low expectations are embodied in the culture of agencies and organizations. Pelf is the Middle English word for wealth ill begotten.

Does this idea apply to people who make their money and careers while diminishing the life prospects of the people they are supposed to be serving?

CNIB Seeks Government Money, But Won’t Comment on Missing Funds

National charity has withdrawn all lawsuits and settled with kiosk operators By Yvonne Colbert
CBC News, Nov. 12, 2015

The Canadian National Institute for the Blind was at Province House today asking for more government funding for its therapy programs, but the non-profit is refusing to discuss the thousands of dollars it’s spent on legal action against former lottery kiosk operators.

CBC News reported earlier this year, the charity claimed in court documents that $100,000 had been misappropriated by several kiosk operators in Halifax, Truro, Bathurst and Summerside who ran lottery booths for the non-profit.

More Missing Money at CNIB Lottery Kiosks

Charlotte Macfarlane still trying to get $4,000 owed in wages from charity By Susan Allen, Yvonne Colbert, CBC News
Posted: Feb 05, 2015

Charlotte Macfarlane says she didn’t take any money from CNIB. (CBC)

Another former lottery booth operator working for the CNIB says the charity held her responsible for missing funds, though she says she wasn’t at fault.

Related Story

The CNIB – an organization that helps visually impaired Canadians – is suing four booth operators in the Maritimes. They’re in Truro, Halifax, Bathurst and Summerside.

Website Audits: Is the CNIB Robbing You Blind?

By Geof Collis
May 25, 2012

How can they perform expensive Audits if their own website isn’t compliant?

Remember, just because it’s the CNIB, doesn’t make them an Authority or experts on web Accessibility and you’d be well advised to get other proposals if you want to go the Audit route.


What’s in a Name?

ANI Editor Note: Add the CNIB to this list.

by William D. Meeker
Braille Monitor
June 2011

From the Editor: Bill Meeker is an active member of the National Federation of the Blind of Wisconsin. Generally he is a quiet person, and you’ll almost
never see him taking center stage. He is, however, one of those who, when he speaks, makes it clear that in his silences he has been thinking and has
something of import to say. His comments are part of an ongoing discussion on our listservs about blindness agencies and other not-for-profits that
seem to be changing their names and, in some cases, clouding what they do.