On Saturday, April 7, Rugby Canada posted this announcement declaring an immediate increase of $20 onto the registration fees of every player across the country. This would raise the $450,000 Rugby Canada needs to fund its senior men’s program (and coincidentally is the same amount they lost in funding after the team failed to qualify for the World Cup).

It would be an understatement to say that players from across the country did not receive this announcement kindly, with universally negative comments citing issues ranging from gender inequity to incompetent management.

The Ottawa Beavers and Banshees RFC condemns Rugby Canada’s decision for all of the reasons being cited by our peers.

As many of you know, the OBBRFC establishes its annual dues through a vote of membership at our Annual General Meeting. A large portion of these dues include amounts established and recovered directly from your registration by Rugby Canada and Rugby Ontario. We have been communicating the dues, as a totality, to our members and prospective members since the AGM was held in November. It would be unfair, dishonest and against our Club constitution and general principles to raise dues a week before the senior teams head outside to begin training for the summer season.

As a result, the OBBRFC’S 2018 dues will remain at the rates previously advertised, and the Club will eat the increase to every player’s registration.

However, this unfortunately means that the Club is incurring an expense of approximately $3,000 that was not budgeted for.

Thanks to a boost in sponsorships, as well as the fact that the executive has already found some creative ways to reduce operating costs, this should not put the Club into a deficit situation this year. However, all non-essential purchases that haven’t already been committed to now have to be examined with extreme scrutiny, and we will be left vulnerable should Twin Elm Rugby Park come forward with a cash call. Dues will likely have to increase next year, as well.

Equally important is that we need to ramp up our fundraising effective immediately, and we will need participation from everyone to make sure these initiatives are successful.

The Beavers and Banshees will continue to fight this decision from Rugby Canada. In the meantime, registrations must continue in order for us to be prepared for the start of the 2018 season. The registration portal has already been updated to ensure that the rates uphold our commitments to our membership.

We will need to rely on our Club’s values of Hard Work, Solidarity and Perseverance in order to ensure we still deliver on a fun summer for everyone. But we’re confident we can still grow the sport and deliver on a great season in spite of Rugby Canada’s best efforts otherwise.

The OBBRFC Executive

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