Peter John Vandyk - Chamber of Commerce member since 1992 - claims the organization is close to broke.

By Pepper Parr

June 11th, 2024



We sent Peter John Vandyk a note last July – he got back to us this morning.

Stunning news.

Peter John Vandyk with MP Karina Gould and Mayor Marianne Meed Ward at a presentation event.

“I have attached the financial statements to confirm the summary below. They are a non -profit but have not broken even the past 4 years and there are other problems in this organization.

Membership revenue is declining

  • 2020 – $345,000
  • 2021 – $316,336
  • 2022 – $321,918
  • 2023 – $289,680

The membership total has gone down several hundred since 2020. However in the annual report they are claiming to have grown by 67 members. How can you report growth when the membership fees paid have gone down by over 10% or $32,238?

Salaries are going up

  • 2020 – $439,300
  • 2021 – $534,634
  • 2022 – $535,955
  • 2023 – $603,947

Chamber of Commerce president Terry Caddo at a Chamber sponsored event.

Professional fees

  • 2020 – $8,498
  • 2021 – $7,987
  • 2022 – $54,046
  • 2023 – $61,641

Why is the  BCC is spending $115,687 on lawyers and accountants the past 2 years?

Bad debts

  • 2020 – $26,005
  • 2021 – $10,793
  • 2022 – $32,930
  • 2023 – $9044

The BCC has written off $78,772 of bad debt over the past 4 years. In 2019 this amount was $2,030

Interest and bank charges

  • 2022 – $17,190
  • 2023 – $17,835

Prior to 2022 the BCC did not borrow money or pay interest charges. They have spent $35,025 in the past 2 years.

Scott Bridger, Director of Membership and Business Development.

In Summary the Burlington chamber has lost $507,860 over the past 4 years.

  • 2020 – ($61,802)
  • 2021 – ($179,109)
  • 2022 – ($134,954)
  • 2023 – ($131,860)

I have been an active member of the BCC since 1992.

It appears that the Chamber really did need th rent reduction they asked the city to give them earlier this week.

Related news story:

Chamber of Commerce asks city for a rent reduction



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6 comments to Peter John Vandyk – Chamber of Commerce member since 1992 – claims the organization is close to broke.

  • Joe Gaetan

    A forensic review of the organizations financials and governing documents may be in order. Based on the info provided I doubt any bank would lend them a nickel. Over to you COB.

  • Grahame

    What exactly is the return on investment for this Org.Do they do much other than act as a lobby org. How much do they pay the President,Is he worth it???

  • Anne and Dave Marsden

    When one sees discrepancies as large as this in membership and such a huge increase in salaries, debt and consultant fees along with a request to reduce rent it is time to get serious about a leadership review.

    • Caren

      Joe, Great comment!
      Seems to be a ongoing trend with various organizations in Burlington. Just go before our Burlington City Council and ask for the money. No problem, Burlington Property Tax Payers will foot your bills for you.

  • Joe Gaetan

    Does the CofC need a rent reduction OR do they need to take a serious look at their business model from top to bottom? Surely, given they are a commerce organization the membership has all the business savvy needed to keep it afloat. If not the next step is Canada’s version of Chapter 11. Rebranding it as the “Burlington Green Chamber of Commerce” may be a way to get free rent.

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