Many of our supporters have been asking many questions about OELC so we have answered them as honestly as we can below
- Who owns the OELC property on Rama Road?
OELC has always rented their property. In fact, for the last 70 years OELC had an arrangement where between 1948 and 2015, we rented the property, while receiving various levels of financial support from the Ontario Government
- Does the Ontario Government still support OELC-CASO?
In 2015 OELC struck an agreement with the Ministry of Education for the provision of various programs and also received a transfer payment to off set our rental and site costs. In 2018, this funding was terminated by the government and OELC had to rely on its own funding model to continue operations.
- Is it true the provincial government is selling the OELC property on Rama Road?
In 2018, the provincial government decided to initiate the process to sell the OELC site. First, they had to go through various Ministries to see if they wanted it, and then it would be eventually offered to 3rd party purchasers. A purchaser has been identified, however the process of “selling” the property will take many years.
- What will happen to OELC?
OELC has been negotiating with the provincial government, and told them that since this process will take so many years, it makes sense to keep a good tenant, and a tenant who has taken care of the land for the last 70 years. For 2022, OELC will be operating on the Rama Road site with a full schedule of summer programs
- What about the future for OELC?
After Covid-19 virtually shut down our operations for 2020, the board of directors underwent a thorough review of our programs and how they could continue to be delivered to the thousands of young people across Ontario. In 2021, we launched some specific virtual programs, and in spring of 2021 we launched OELC on Location, where we transplanted the OELC Leadership experience to school sites.
This was extremely successful, and in 2022 we will be expanding this with leadership programs in Thunder Bay and other locations.
- What are the long-term plans for OELC?
OELC understands that we have to ensure our programs continue, and for this reason our board is committed to creating new ways to deliver youth leadership to as many people across this province. Additionally, we have started to develop new programs on anti-racism, and Interfaith Leadership, while also making sure that our current programs are relevant.
We have also started to redesign our social media platforms, podcasts, and other marketing activities to communicate what OELC is doing so that everyone who subscribes to our Alumni and website will be up to date.
Combine this with OELC on Location, and we believe we can bring OELC to even more youth in the future.
- What can I do as an individual to support OELC?
In 2020, we asked donors to suspend their contributions to OELC until we had a chance to define how OELC could look for the future. Now that we are confident of our direction, we are asking people to consider OELC for their donor investment. Later this year we will be announcing a number of programs where supporters can donate to. For past donors, we thank you for your support, and for new donors, we look forward to working with you.