Credit union top brass to splurge €48,000 on Canada beano
Lunch in wigwam on itinerary for 19 delegates
THE Irish League of Credit Unions, the body funded by the struggling credit union movement to represent its interests, is sending 19 of its staff and top brass on a 10,000km round-trip to Ottawa in Canada for the World Credit Union Conference next month.
The schedule includes options such as lunch in a Native American wigwam, a visit to Niagara Falls as well as a golf classic in an exclusive country club.
The ILCU, which reported an operating deficit of over €18.8m last year, is spending an estimated €48,000 to send the delegation to Canada for the annual conference that starts on Monday, July 14. Registration, tours and a golf classic take place from Friday, July 12.
The beano takes place at the Ottawa Conference Centre. Suggested hotels for the visitors include the four-star Fairmont Chateau Laurier hotel, four-star Westin Ottawa and the three-star Lord Elgin.
Optional tours also include a trip to Niagara Falls, an Ottawa river cruise, Gatineau Park and Mackenzie King Estate. The trip is sold out. There are optional visits to historic Montreal and the upper Canada Village – an 1860s' replica of a Canadian village. The schedule also includes an optional golf tournament at the exclusive Loch March Golf and Country Club, costing up to €250 per person.
"In relation to the World Credit Union Conference which takes place in Canada in July, 10 ILCU board members, three members of the supervisory Committee, four staff members and two scholarship winners will attend the conference," the ILCU told the Sunday Independent. The bill for the board members' travel and accommodation is €24,000. The costs of one traveller will be borne by the World Council of Credit Unions.
"In addition to attending the conference, a number of the Irish delegation members will be participating in the conference as speakers etc. Costs covered in the above figure include airfare, hotel accommodation and registration costs," the league added. "All delegates flights are economy class. The ILCU is not covering any costs in relation to the spouses or partners who may wish to travel." "While we acknowledge these are very difficult times for many of our members and we do not wish to appear insensitive to their circumstances, we also feel it is important that we continue to keep in touch with the progress and difficulties faced by the credit union movement internationally, so that we might learn from the opportunities and the potential difficulties which lie ahead.
"It is vital for the Irish movement to stay abreast of the latest regulatory, legislative and other developments to ensure the movement continues to evolve, develop and continue to provide quality services to credit union members throughout the island," according to a spokesman.
The 19-strong ILCU delegation is scheduled to make one speech and moderate one discussion, according to the published conference programme.
Some 2,500 delegates are expected at this year's event in Canada. Previous world conferences have taken place in Las Vegas, Barcelona, Hong Kong and Gdansk.