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Capital Pride AGM primer

Resignations and bylaw amendments make this a meeting to watch

Joanne Law will resign from Capital Pride at the AGM after close to two decades of service. Credit: Laura Zahody
Capital Pride’s AGM is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct 24, so Xtra decided to look at some of the issues set to be tabled at the meeting. Former board member Guy Hughes says he will attend, and Hughes’ public conflict with outgoing chair Loresa Novy is sure to be on everyone’s mind. Additionally, numerous amendments to Capital Pride’s bylaws are set for a vote, although a former executive director has deemed the bylaw amendments uninteresting.
 
Here are the key issues to watch:
 
Financial report
Capital Pride has struggled with debt since accumulating $100,000 in liabilities in 2004. At the June 21 Capital Pride media launch, Joanne Law, director of community relations, said the organization has been paying down its debt for years.
 
“We’ve been paying our debt to the City of Ottawa since several years ago. We’ve always paid our money back to the city at a designated amount that the city and Capital Pride negotiated,” Law said.

Law added that it would be at least two or three more years before Capital Pride is back in the black.
 

At the post-Pride town-hall meeting on Sept 13, treasurer Jonathan Dawe estimated that Capital Pride pulled in $30,000 from ticket sales this year. Dawe declined to speak with Xtra for the article.
 
Elections of directors to the board
Law and Róisín Holahan, corporate sponsorship coordinator, have confirmed they will resign from the board at the AGM. Law, 68, has worked with Capital Pride for close to 20 years and cited her age as a factor in her decision to resign.
“I will still volunteer,” Law said at the Aug 17 Capital Pride awards gala. “This is my community. I love everybody. It’s where I get my energy from.”
 
Holahan did not give a specific reason for her resignation, saying, “I am trying to put the stress of Capital Pride behind me, hence the resignation.”
 
At the Sept 13 Capital Pride town-hall meeting, chair Loresa Novy said the board would fill six vacancies at the AGM.
Initially, Hughes said he would seek reelection. However, Hughes says he is now uncertain.
 
“I want to help. The question is, are other candidates willing to work with me,” Hughes asks. “The atmosphere will determine whether I run.”
 
Novy did not respond to a request for comment for this article.
 
Voting on amendments to bylaws and membership
Amendments proposed by the current board include rewording Capital Pride’s mission statement and clearly outlining the role of the chair and vice-chair.
 
Former Capital Pride executive director Robin Duetta says he is unimpressed with the amendments.
 
“There is nothing in there that really means much,” Duetta says. “Aside from the communication team being able to communicate and the operations team being able to operate.”
 
A proposed amendment regarding membership would have all memberships expire on Sept 30 of each year. If this amendment passes, members renewing their membership can vote at the AGM; however, those who purchase new memberships cannot.
 
This amendment regarding membership pleases Marion Steele, who oversaw the last major changes to the bylaws when she acted as chair in 2005.
 
“All our . . . [bylaws in 2005] were done for good reason,” Steele says.
 
However, she says, as a former chair she is currently a lifetime member yet did not receive notice of the upcoming AGM or a copy of the amendments to the bylaws. She says she requested this communication twice with no response.
 
“No one has gotten back to me. Not Loresa [Novy], not Micheal [Lafontaine, vice-chair of operations],” Steele says. “I sent it off as a mild form of complaint to Fierté Canada Pride. This is AGM notice. This has to be done properly. Membership has to be notified. I have the right to vote by proxy, and I certainly would like to see the revisions to the bylaws.”
 
Read the proposed amendments to the bylaws below.
 
Xtra reporter Bradley Turcotte will be tweeting live from the AGM. Follow him on Twitter @XO_reporter

Capital Pride by-laws draft changes September 2012