Can LC see the red flags?


 By Pierre Filion

OK, let’s first make sure we are on the same page and understand the same things:

  • The future of the game will not be determined by actions, or performances, on the floor or on the field but rather in Lacrosse Canada’s boardrooms and political meetings.
  • Lacrosse Canada is a democratic association, and its members are the provincial lacrosse associations; there are 11 members.
  • Lacrosse Canada is a creation of the provinces and politically reports to the provinces annually (or semi-annually); it was created to manage areas of the game that the provinces cannot manage.
  • Lacrosse Canada is not ‘’a senior government’’ mandated to lead from above the ‘’junior governments’’ (the provinces) who sit and listen.
  • Being reported to is not just part of the democratic process; it’s a huge responsibility as in the final analysis the members (the provincial associations) have the first and final say concerning the game’s future as they are the ones who vote on issues and matters; their votes matter…Hopefully they know that!

Now any type of questionable analysis of the situation of the game inevitably leads us to the main question; are the members (the provinces) attending annual or semi-annual meetings doing their jobs?

At this time, one could comfortably claim that they simply are not stepping up to their responsibilities and are somehow acting in a politically irresponsible manner.

Provincial delegates attend Lacrosse Canada’s annual or semi-annual meetings as if they were ‘’juniors’’ who are told what to do and what is good for them; they come ill prepared to politically address national issues or common provincial issues that Lacrosse Canada should deal with. They have no political agendas that could help them grow and mostly no collective will to ‘’come together’ with proposals, decisions, requests or action plans. They separately attend Lacrosse Canada’s meetings trying to score points for themselves and to gain limited personal/provincial advantages.

This lack of collective approach puts Lacrosse Canada in the advantageous position of ‘’entertaining’’ the delegates with issues relevant only to Lacrosse Canada; the members (the provinces) massively contribute to Lacrosse Canada’s revenues but receive very little in return. Little that they do not already pay for!

The time has come for the provincial associations (all 11 of them) to get together and see that the game is not growing and come up with proposals to change the situation. Useless battles between provinces will not help build a common cause, a common perspective and mostly common goals.

There is a forum called ‘’the member’s council’’ which can be the area where the provinces can get together, without Lacrosse Canada, and prepare a common approach and common goals. If the democratic process is to work the provinces should politically understand that THEY are Lacrosse Canada and the final deciders of the directions the game is taking.

But they also are the main culprits if, after being politically reported to, they fall asleep concerned only by their own personal/provincial situations. The game deserves more than egoistical delegates beating their own drum and trying to downgrade others. The game deserves more than useless conflicts generated by those who benefit from division and chaos.

But can the provinces, at least, see the red flags waving around them?

Can they see, and appreciate, how ridiculous it is that the national association governing Canada’s national summer sport has no corporate goals? Can they see that they (the provinces) are, through inaction, responsible for this situation?

Can they see that Lacrosse Canada’s annual budgets have no link whatsoever with pursued goals/objectives? We raise money and spend money but have no idea of the goals that we are trying to meet. And the provinces tolerate that.

Can they see that the game is not growing and that nowhere is there a plan (or maybe even a will) to strategically develop the game. Lacrosse Canada behaves as if the growth of the game depends on the provinces who, in fairness, do not have the human and financial resources to efficiently grow the game. The provinces, for most of them, are on a survival mode and fear more of losing the little they have rather than sharing ideas and resources to have Lacrosse Canada address the issue of the growth of the game and the increase in the number of register participants. Provincial development is a national concern, and the provinces should, together, demand that it becomes Lacrosse Canada’s priority.

Can the provinces remember how they were taken for a ride at the November 2023 annual meeting? If the provincial delegates had come prepared and politically astute there is no way that ‘’the proposal’’ developed by Lacrosse Canada would have come to the floor for discussion and a vote.

Currently, it seems that the provinces are contemplating the urgent need to do absolutely nothing!

The weaker the provinces are the more powerful Lacrosse Canada will be; but paradoxically, the stronger the provinces will be the better Lacrosse Canada will perform because it will have to leave its area of comfort and address new and creative issues.

There are red flags all over the place and I’m not even sure that the provinces, collectively, have the courage and wisdom to look at them and to come together with THEIR solutions and THEIR ideas. The members’ council is the best forum to initiate discussions and share concerns.

Remember the Hockey Canada scandal; everyone blamed the Board of Directors but, in all honesty, the main culprits were the provinces who, on their watch, allowed all this to happen because they did not play their political role correctly. The same thing is happening in lacrosse because the provinces have no common goals and tolerate Lacrosse Canada’s one sided and traditional analysis and narrative.

And they also tolerate the childish way they are being treated by Lacrosse Canada; and they will do that until they realize that THEY are Lacrosse Canada and the final deciders of its direction…. or lack of!