Politics & Governance
There's no getting around it: when we band together around a cause because we want to affect change, this is a political act. Anyone who thinks they can avoid politics altogether is deluding themselves, as there are politics inherent in every relationship between any two people. And because our mission is to bring free and open software alternatives to widespread use, many would argue that we're fighting capitalism because 'free' is the antithesis to 'capital'. However, as we stress in our Supporters page, we mean 'free' as in 'choices', independence or community inter-dependence, and fair pay for fair services. As many nonprofits and charities have found, for-profit and non-profit can be quite compatible, rather than opposites.
Our meetings, however, are very democratic and seldom contain political discussions in the traditional sense of the word, as we leave the more political initiatives to our partners, like CLUE. So it's a stretch to call us 'radical communist pinkos' (we may call ourselves that in jest) because we accept that Canada is still a capitalist country, we accept that our solutions may not be appropriate for everyone, and our beliefs and priciples are based on the concepts of private property. They are, therefore, rooted in legally-supported, privately-purchased and privately-owned hardware, while we believe that software ̶ without which hardware would be useless ̶ cannot be divorced from hardware, or owned and controllable by another corporation. We certainly do not believe that math, ideas, methods of stacking oranges in a barrel, or art can be anyone's exclusive property. Copyright should be upheld; credit should be given to creators of works; the mediums ̶ books, CDs, DVDs, or PCs ̶ should be under the sole control of its owner(s). Thus, copyright should not equal ownership or rest with a corporation in perpetuity when others pay for it and produce it. Even the hardware manufacturers believe this, too, as they always distribute the drivers for their hardware for free download, without requiring proof of purchase.
At ubuntutoronto, because we have already agreed on the above principles, can focus on our mission, action, measurable results, and growth. We are governed by Ubuntu Canada's principles of organization, which are themselves in adherence with Ubuntu's LoCo (comes from Lo-cal Co-mmunity) guidelines. Yes, we could lose that recognition and our position in the approval process, so there is accountability and oversight here. Should we be blessed with any outside funding, we fully intend to be financially accountable by posting that information, and where the funds are spent, on this website for all to see within three business days or less. That's true transparency.
We are a grassroots organization of volunteers. Non-taxable receipts will be issued for charitable donations; any check should be made out to our registered nonprofit partners (MetaLug or CLUE) in care of Ubuntu Toronto. Gifts-in-kind, and volunteer time given, will also be credited in writing. To date, all expenses have been paid out of pocket, but we would like to see the costs of materials and out of pocket volunteering expenses covered. We will let you know if and when these status definitions need to change as per our growth, and if/when we seek registered nonprofit status in our own name. We just need to balance the size of operations and volume of transactions with the amount of administrative costs such registration entails. Neither funders or Ubuntu Toronto like paying for administration costs, prefering projects with impact and practical benefits.
We are actively seeking sponsorships or partnerships with other Toronto-based businesses and/or nonprofit organizations. Any PC system builders who are willing to preload Ubuntu on new computers, and thus giving their customers a real choice, are especially welcome, and will receive free advertising on our sites in the form of links to their sites.
Please add your comments regarding this page here.
Please re-work second paragraph, stress that freedom to choose what software is run in your hardware is rooted in the concepts of private property. (AndrewHunter)
Consider using more formal language. Right now it is very casual and does not come off as professional. (AndrewHunter)
Suggest getting the bank accounts set up with CLUE before saying we can issue tax receipts. (AndrewHunter)