Closure of Ladysmith cancer office should be reconsidered

Rob Waters, president of the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce, asks the Canadian Cancer Society to justify closing the local office.


Editor’s note: This is a copy of a letter sent to Barbara Kaminsky, chief executive officer of the Canadian Cancer Society, B.C. and Yukon Division

As president of the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce, I strongly object to the closure of our small community office located in our Ladysmith Resources Centre.

Cancer is a powerful personal disease that is or has touched virtually every family in our society.  The public criticism about your decision continues to escalate throughout our community.

My understanding is the cost of maintaining the Ladysmith office runs about $5,000 annually, paling in comparison to the dollars raised in our community for the cancer society.

So often in today’s bureaucratic circles, decisions are made without considering the magnitude of the consequences.

I mentioned cancer is a very personal consequence for many people.

I, for one, am a cancer survivor, having a kidney removed four years ago due to a cancerous tumour, so I take the decision very personally, as have many in our community.

Another gentleman has been nominated for the Volunteer of the Year in Ladysmith, having collected bottles and cans throughout the year, personally donating $5,000, representing 100 per cent of the funds collected from his initiatives. He personally cleans and sorts the discarded bottles and cans, turning over 100 per cent of all the proceeds to the local society office.

Over the last three years, he has turned over in excess of $10,000 to the local cancer society office through his volunteerism!

I need you to justify the Ladysmith office closure to my membership.

To me, it makes no sense. The local dollar return far outweighs the cost. There are many businesses in Ladysmith that work tirelessly to achieve the kind of return on investment your cancer society enjoys in Ladysmith.

Another question I would like answered is, what are the national administration fees taken from donations?

I am certain it will not be as favourable as that enjoyed in Ladysmith!

I strongly encourage you to reconsider your decision and continue to maintain your service in our small community.

In times of need when the feared “C” word appears, there is great comfort in having a sympathetic service manned by local residents from our community.

Rob Waters

President, Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce