Yellowknife Filipino group says it's not associated with canvassers selling chocolate bars

The Philippine Cultural Association of Yellowknife said it isn't affiliated with the Filipino fundraisers around town. They've received upwards of 10 complaints about the fundraising.

Children’s Joy Foundation fundraising in N.W.T., but isn't registered in the territory

Lea Barbosa-Leclerc, president of the Philippine Cultural Association of Yellowknife, says the door-to-door solicitors are not affiliated with her organization. (Rignam Wangkham/CBC)

The Philippine Cultural Association of Yellowknife is letting locals know it isn't associated with a recent bout of door-to-door fundraising.

The solicitors, selling Purdy's chocolate bars for $10, are fundraising for the Children's Joy Foundation.

"We received complaints. Not just five, not just 10, but more complaints than that," said Lea Barbosa-Leclerc, president of the Philippine Cultural Association of Yellowknife.

The association put out a Facebook post to warn Yellowknifers that it is not affiliated with the solicitors. 

"There is a Filipino lady or ladies going around the city asking for donations as well as selling chocolates. She/they claim that they are seeking donations for a children's foundation in the Philippines or are selling chocolate bars and [are] very insistent at times," the Facebook post read.

Barbosa-Leclerc said residents have told her they've been harassed by the door-to-door chocolate sellers.

"We do want to help out. We do believe in charity. But I think it needs to be done in a very professional and respectful manner," she said. "It is not within our rights to tell them how to solicit ... As well it is not within our rights to tell Yellowknife [people] how to give money."

She believes the solicitors are fundraising with good intentions and collecting the money for the foundation.

Lea Barbosa-Leclerc says she has received many complaints from Yellowknifers about the door-to-door solicitors. (Submitted by Lea Barbosa-Leclerc)

City received 'concerns'

The city "has received concerns from the public regarding canvassers for the Children's Joy Foundation, and [is] following up on the matter," stated city spokesperson Iman Kassam in an email.

Kassam said although there is a bylaw that business canvassers are to adhere to, non-profit organizations are exempt from this.

According to the N.W.T. Department of Justice website, charities must register with the corporate registry as a non-profit. The Children's Joy Foundation isn't listed on the government's corporate registry.

It is registered with the Canada Revenue Agency as a Canadian charity based out of Surrey, B.C.

The foundation did not respond to CBC's request for comment.


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