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Letters to the Editor, August 2002

In the OHPE's second installment of our new feature "Letters to the Editor", we are pleased to publish a short opinion piece by A. Simon Mielniczuk in which he urges community organizations to search the Bank of Canada Unclaimed Balances database for any forgotten funds.

Simon writes that "if [a search] does result in funds returning to the community, please share the experience." We on the OHPE editorial team echo his sentiment. Write us at and let us know if your search was successful. For further information, please contact us at or Simon at

Does your community have forgotten funds? Sounds like the introduction to one of the many online spam-scams we all receive. This is about bank deposits at the Bank of Canada. Every Canadian bank account that becomes dormant, that is, unused for an extended period of time, eventually ends up at the Bank of Canada. Most of us think about reclusive individuals who depart without notice by either creditors or family. I admit to checking first for unknown relatives, without result.

Community organizations can also pass on without notice. I decided to try the names of various communities and organizations. The results were far more encouraging than my first attempt. Actually, it was sad to see how many organizations still had more financial resources than people. Admittedly most of the groups that show up have only a few dollars. Hardly worth the effort of filing a claim. Others, however, had surprising balances.

The system is very fast, accepts partial names and can restrict the search to one province. My search on 'planning' retrieved the Community Planning Association of Canada (Ontario Division) which last had a financial transaction on October 23, 1987. They still have $6,846.88 sitting in the bank! The TD Centre Social Planning Committee of SEU Local 204 has $2,836.71.

Nostalgia led me to other searches. The Regent Park North Old Boys Association has $169.50. Yorkwoods Family Care Network has $3,034.22. John Parish XXIII [sic] has $642.00. Flemingdon Park Merc Han (spent 6 years in that community but have no idea who this is) has an astounding amount of $28,049.36! There are four other groups with Flemingdon in the name. I remember each of them as active at one time.

Then I thought about social movements of the 60's and 70's. A search on nuclear turned up two accounts totalling $965.16 for Social Workers for Peace and Nuclear Dexermament. I'm sure this was a typo. We spelled much better then. The Toronto Committee for Nuclear Disarmament last visited their $669.20 in 1968.

Finally, I had to try health promotion. One entry. If you know anyone at the Panova Institute for Health Promotions, Inc. in Thornhill, Ontario, let them know that their $116.60 is safe.

Online instructions and claim forms appear straightforward. It does require locating legal officers and corporate papers, however, in many communities the effort may well be worth it.

Try the Bank of Canada Unclaimed Balances search

( If it does result in funds returning to the community, please share the experience.

Our introduction to the new Letters to the Editor column can be found in the OHPE News section of OHPE 268.0 (

Our full submission guidelines are on our website at

We look forward to hearing from you.

The Editorial and Management Team of the OHPE