Hospital auxiliary calls on province to eliminate fees on break open tickets

MINDEMOYA—The Mindemoya Hospital Auxiliary is joining its provincial colleagues in calling on the province of Ontario to eliminate the provincial fee on break open tickets for all charitable and non-profit organizations in Ontario.

“We want the province, through the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, to stop charging a fee for selling break open tickets,” stated Mary Alice Lewis, president of the Mindemoya Hospital Auxiliary, on Saturday. “For every so many tickets we sell we have to pay a provincial fee. In our case, for example, the West Bay General Store sells tickets on behalf (hospital auxiliary). What we raise in funds from the sale of tickets goes toward purchasing local health care equipment. This petition follows a letter that had been sent by all hospital auxiliaries to the provincial government. The petition is being distributed all over Ontario.”

The petition reads in part, “to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Whereas the Government of Ontario, through Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, levies the Ontario Provincial Fee on the sale of break open tickets by charitable and non-profit organizations in the province; local hospital auxiliaries/associations across the province, who are members of the Hospital Auxiliaries Association of Ontario, use break open tickets to raise funds to support local health care equipment needs in more than 100 communities across the province.”

The petition points out in September 2010 the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario announced a series of changes to the Ontario Provincial Fee which included a reduction of the fee for certain organizations and the complete elimination of the fee for other organizations, depending upon where the break open tickets are sold. “And whereas the September 2010 changes to the Ontario Provincial Fee unfairly treat certain charitable and non-profit organizations (local hospital auxiliaries) by not providing for the complete elimination of the fee which would otherwise be used by these organizations to increase their support for local health care equipment needs and other community needs; We the undersigned petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to eliminate the Ontario Provincial Fee on break open tickets for all charitable and non-profit organizations in Ontario and allow all organizations using this fundraising tool to invest more funds in local community projects, including local health care equipment needs, for the benefit of Ontarians.”

“We are hoping the government will drop the fee on the tickets sold, for non-profit agencies and groups like ours,” said Ms. Lewis.

Ms. Lewis pointed out by the end of November all the petitions signed on Manitoulin Island will be handed over to Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Michael Mantha, the same in other areas of the province, to be presented to the provincial government.

Tom Sasvari