PRIDE MEETING FULL of FIREWORKS
PRIDE MEETING FULL of FIREWORKS
Yesterday, at the October 21, Annual general meeting of the Vancouver Pride Society, fireworks flew as the Pride board attempted to ram through a number of contentious motions and by-law changes.
From the outset, the membership took control of the meeting.
On a motion from yours truly, the members refused to pass the UNAUDITED financial statements of the society. The board had previously been warned that Unaudited statements were not acceptable, yet they once again, attempted to sneak this through.
Next up on the agenda, the board which had previously suspended a director without due cause and although the board has the right to remove a director, removal must adhere to the Socities act of British Columbia. Also, there must be demonstrated and justified cause. The Pride board did not follow their own procedures and then after tarnishing the reputation of the director, had no other recourse other than to reinstate him since the removed was merely for expressing an opinion in the gay press about the Trademarking issue.
The reinstatement of the ousted Director, took place just a few days before the meeting but then adding insult to injury, the same Pride board presented a resolution to change the by-laws giving the Pride board sweeping powers to remove a member or director. Of course, they once again had on the table, the re-moval of the aforementioned Director. The membership were aghast at these underhanded crass actions and in an unprecedented move, passed a motion of Censure against the board. Of course, the board recommendations were flatly rejected.
Finally after three hours of heated debate, and selection of a few new members to the board, the issue of NO TRADEMARK was finally up for discussion. I had the opportunity to present a motion against Trademarking Pride. Attempts were made by a number of the Pride board to stop the motion from being introduced. They were unsuccessful, yet after only hearing from one person, again attempted to bring closure to the debate. Then after a few more speakers, the former President, Ms Shawn Ewing asked the mover of the motion (Me) to accept a friendly amendment.
The amendment is to have a Special General Meeting with this item up for discussion. I only accepted this amendment based on the members agreeing the meeting must be held within 4 months time and that the Pride board CANNOT enter into any Contract or Agreement with any outside parties related to the Trademarking of Pride. The members supported this and so I accepted the amendment as friendly.
In summary, the members acclaimed a number of new members to the board, however a number of table officers remain as they were not up for reelection. Included among those new members selected was Sadie Kuehn, who brings forward a wealth of experience, passion and knowledge. Moreover, many members are hopeful that Ms Kuehn will be a stabilizing force on the board. Ms Kuehn will be the Community's voice on the board.
Next up, the Pride board is continuing to seek funding from the City of Vancouver. However, it would be premature for the city to entertain this funding request until the problems at Pride are sorted out. The most major of course being the lack of Unaudited financial statements at two consecutive AGM's and of course, the CENSURE of the Pride board.
Jamie Lee Hamilton