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Last chance for input on Pride bylaw changes

The last of three public consultations to seek input on changes to the Vancouver Pride Society’s (VPS) constitution and bylaws will focus on a final six articles, Mar 18.

Governance committee chair Sandra LaFramboise says she expects the article dealing with the duties of board officers and directors to be “a little bit hotly debated.”

The article paves the way for the VPS to hire an executive director, as well as prescribing specific duties for the vice-president’s position.

At a previous consultation, heated debate over the issue of requiring criminal record checks for all board candidates ultimately led to a recommendation that such checks should be invoked only for those running for executive positions, LaFramboise says.

“Now it’s just a matter of voting on it,” she says.

A special general meeting (SGM) will be held at the Vancouver Public Library Apr 4 to present the proposed amendments to the Pride Society’s membership.

LaFramboise says the purpose of the meeting is to vote on the governance committee’s recommendations— not to further amend them.

There’s been ample opportunity for debate already, she says.

“Debate has occurred in prior SGMs, and an AGM and has also occurred at the governance committee, has occurred in community consultations, has occurred at board level. Has occurred. It’s not like it [hasn’t],” LaFramboise emphasizes.

“Some people will say that’s not democratic,” she acknowledges, “but that’s not true. “The democratic process is if you oppose it, then you must vote no and if you support it then you vote yes.”

Meanwhile, the VPS is still looking for a presenting sponsor for this year’s celebrations but president Ken Coolen says he continues to be optimistic that all “will work out.”

The Society’s cash assets stand at just over $93,000 as of Jan 31, according to treasurer Bernard Leclair’s report presented at a Mar 2 board meeting.

“Nothing is way out of proportion from last year and from the year before from what I can tell,” Leclair told Xtra West during a break in the meeting.

But the state of the economy is making people wary about making the wrong move, he says. “There’s a lot of sitting on the hands and waiting.”

“I believe that if we do everything that we can, that it will work out,” Coolen says, adding that the organization is tapping into resources that it has never tried to access before.

LaFramboise, who is also chair of the finance committee, says she has so far applied to BC Hydro for a three-year grant— $30,000 in the first year, $60,000 in the second and $90,000 in the third. She also plans to submit a grant application to the BC Gaming Commission, another three-year proposal at $100,000 each year, funding that would be used to meet the VPS’ operating costs.

The VPS has already submitted its application to the city for a $20,000 celebration grant, LaFramboise adds.