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Former Pride Toronto co-chair alleges plot to force him out

Francisco Alvarez says other board members tried to 'prevent' him from being reelected

Francisco Alvarez speaks at a past Pride Toronto AGM. Credit: Andrea Houston
Former Pride Toronto co-chair Francisco Alvarez, who recently resigned from the board, is alleging that “scheming” and “duplicitous” behaviour by other board members has forced him out as co-chair.
 
Alvarez, who declined to be interviewed, sent Xtra a statement detailing his many concerns. (Read the full statement here.)
 
“Over the past week, I became aware of scheming amongst other board members to block my re-election as co-chair,” he writes. “This went as far as them trying to find a way to prevent me from standing for re-election to the board at the upcoming AGM . . . One Board member met with me last week to ‘hint’ that I should save face by voluntarily withdrawing.
 
“After serious consideration of my options, I have decided that I cannot continue to work with colleagues who are so duplicitous and unappreciative of my personal contribution to this organization since February 2009.”
 
Alvarez, who was the longest-serving member of the current board, warns that the remaining members will “try to spin their actions” as necessary for the long-term health of the organization and “to increase gender representation in the board executive.” He asks why “is only one woman being recommended on the slate of candidates for election to the board at the AGM?”
 
The list of potential candidates has not yet been released. The AGM is scheduled for Oct 24 at Hart House.
 
PT executive director Kevin Beaulieu declined to comment on the situation. “This is a board matter, so I will refer you to Sean Hillier [the remaining co-chair],” he says.
 
Hillier also declined to comment on the specifics of the letter. “I have no comment. We are very appreciative of the work Francisco has done and the contributions he made to the organization, and we are sad to see him go.”
 
Beaulieu did say the organization’s priority remains WorldPride in 2014. “Staff remain focused on working with the board to ensure its success.”