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Rumours of Egale’s demise greatly exaggerated: Egale

Volunteers scramble to pick up slack after director's departure

Egale’s board of directors fired back after Capital Xtra broke news that their last remaining full-time staff member departed suddenly, leaving no one to answer the phones and at least one donor’s automatic banking contributions in limbo.

Gilles Marchildon is no longer the executive director of Egale, he says, but everyone is tightlipped about the terms of his departure. He “hasn’t been in the office” since Oct 26, confirmed Egale board member Hilary Cook.

“Would we like to have a new ED [executive director] in two weeks, but there’s not a lot of people who can do this job,” Cook says.

Instead, they will be taking steps to hire a part-time administrative staffer immediately. Cook would not give a timeline for filling Egale’s top job.

However, following reports on Xtra.ca that noone was answering Egale’s phone line, two volunteers headed to the office Nov 17 to check through the mail and return voice messages.

Defying their reputation as slow responders, Egale fired off a press release within 24 hours under the headline, “Rumours Of Egale’s Demise Greatly Exaggerated,” which points out that their legal work continues.

“We have business as usual,” says Cook.

Egale’s press release also states: “October’s donations were processed late, but they have been processed and we are, as always, grateful to our donors for their support.”

But according to longtime donor Paul Larocque, there was no Egale deduction in October at all. His direct-debit withdrawal scheduled for Oct 15 did not appear on his monthly statement, and money was not withdrawn until Nov 9, some 25 days late. Larocque is weary, but hasn’t halted donations yet.

“I’m worried,” he says. “We need a national organization.”